THE WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, AND HOW OF THE NEXT WELD
When did WELD [Dallas] officially open?
WELD Dallas officially opened June 1, 2012. It feels much older than that because we’ve seen so much happen in such a short time!
What spurred you to create WELD?
Taking the first steps toward creating WELD was a calling. I felt strongly that I could have a greater impact in this world by building a platform that would empower others to grow their ideas into successful projects.
What makes WELD different than other creative workspaces?
WELD is not a space . . . It’s a balanced, well-rounded body of people that are simply working together to accomplish big things. Every member goes through an application process to ensure we’re building a team of passionate, big-idea-generating, collaborative creators — which isn’t found in a typical workspace.
Why is creative collaboration so important to you? To other artists?
We were designed to live life together. Even the most capable of human beings are weak in areas that others excel in. That’s inevitable. And if our minds are left to wander, or if we are struggling to create on our own, we often question if pursuing our creative giftings is worthwhile . . . Creating in community not only makes achieving one’s vision a possibility, it also inspires new visions altogether.
Why’d you decide to expand?
Growing WELD is a no-brainer. In Dallas we set out to create an environment that would empower its members unlike anywhere else. Expansion allows us to take that gift to new communities — Enabling cities full of uniquely talented individuals to band together as a creative team.
What benefit do you see coming from the addition of other locations?
We have about 70 members at WELD Dallas right now, and as we continue to grow, each new member adds an amazing flavor to our community — a new talent, a new skill, a new way of seeing the world . . . What if we took that model and built diverse, creative communities around the country? Expansion on a national level is my dream for WELD.
From day one, we got emails from all over the country inquiring about where we planned to grow outside of Dallas. While it was tempting to expand quickly, we decided to wait until we learned the ins and outs of cultivating and growing a community before taking WELD to another city. Today, a year after we officially opened our doors, we’re ready to take what we’ve learned, and the core principles that make WELD what it is, to new places.
Where are you considering launching the next WELD?
We’re closely looking at: Nashville, Colorado Springs, and Austin. These communities are all jam-packed with creative talent and people we believe in.
How did you select those cities?
WELD is all about connecting people. And while a number of factors went into the decision, the selection of these three cities for our first round of growth was heavily influenced by relationships.
When will we know the next WELDing city?
Today we’re launching our WELD 2.0 campaign to help garner interest from the communities we’re considering. We’ll run it for a few weeks, and plan to announce our next location by July.
Who will run the new location?
We want to play a part in getting things off the ground, but ultimately, we want each community to be self-sustaining. We aren’t looking to transport a team of creatives from Dallas. It would be more beneficial if we simply provided a WELD to grow in, and allowed each community to empower its own all-stars.
When will the new location open its doors?
Soon. As a community, we were able to build WELD Dallas as a brand and a community in about 2 months. At this point, I feel it’s pretty realistic to say we could have another WELD operational this year . . . But we’ll just have to wait and see.