Kim Gorsuch has built a business out of preserving other people’s memories. An Austinite with an affinity for storytelling, Kim left her role as Vice President at a Fortune 500 Company to found Weeva after a powerful moment of clarity.
“A few years ago, my dad fell ill with Myocarditis. The sudden heart condition caused all his organs to fail in a single day,” said Kim. “What I realized in that moment was that he, and all of us, have these amazing stories, but if we don’t take the time to collect them, then one day they simply evaporate.”
With a strong resolve to give memories a continued life, Kim began laying the groundwork for her company, Weeva, which allows people to collect and preserve all the joyful, special moments that make up a lifetime—such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, retirement and special vacations—without the burden on the customer to check for spelling, grammar or possess creative talent.
She teamed up with a designer to create an online platform that made submitting anecdotes, stories and photos incredibly easy for the customer. From there, her team of designers fashions them into a hardcover, coffee-table style book that has won rave reviews. (After appearing as a guest on “We Are Austin,” the producer deemed Weeva “the coolest gift ever.”) There is no limit to how many people can contribute to a book, and tots as young as three and loved ones as old as 90 have been known to participate.
Having worked as a long time business strategist, executive consultant and Senior Vice President for companies like IBM and Lending Tree, it was this conflation of circumstance and entrepreneurial know-how that gave birth to Weeva.
“Prior to creating Weeva I spent a number of years helping other companies make a name for themselves, though I always knew one day I’d start my own venture,” Kim recalls. “I set out to create an avenue where a whole family or community could participate in storytelling. But I also wanted to ensure that the books weren’t too time-consuming to create. The trick was to find a way to shift the design and editing burdens away from of the individual and provide a fun way for families and communities to share their experiences.”
Weeva’s first finished piece was an anniversary book which came by way of a business networking group Kim joined in the fall of 2013.
Since that time the company has covered an array of personal milestones from weddings to births to graduations, has completed a range of projects with companies like Live Strong, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Boundless Network and has fulfilled book orders in 10 countries.
Last year, Weeva even minted a book in honor of Leonard Cohen’s 80th birthday. While it wasn’t commissioned, fans from all over the world wrote in to reflect on the impact Cohen and his music had had on their lives. After he received the gift, Cohen sent a note thanking Kim for the “amazing” book.
Today, Weeva has evolved to a place where you’re able to tell somebody exactly what they mean to you.
Kim explains, “I can think of nothing more important than telling the stories which weave our lives together. We make it easy to memorialize the people and events that are so paramount…and what better way to let people know their life has mattered?”
Weeva, which is currently working on raising its first round of capital, is a member of the Capital Factory Accelerator program and has primarily been bootstrapped through its rise. Book prices range from $100 to $250 and can be completed within a matter of days, though Kim says most projects require a few weeks of lead-time to collect the stories and photographs.
By Amy Haley