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Emily Cole of the CommUNITY Learning Network and New Mexico TechWorks team had the opportunity to interview Zippy Guerin. Zippy is the founder of Santa Fe Found, and online platform that highlights local "artists, entrepreneurs, designers, makers, producers, and dreamers." In this interview, she explains how technology has impacted her career and life.
How did your personal and professional background influence where you are today?
I worked for myself after I graduated college and started a company with my then-partner. We worked from home and traveled quite a bit, and through this work, I got to see a lot of different communities across the country. A few years ago I passed through Santa Fe for the first time since I had left in 2010, and unlike most places I visited, I felt like I could actually live here. So, I decided to make the move to Santa Fe and am very happy I did. Because I didn't know anyone when I moved here, I felt as though I really needed to reach out and build community. So last May I started Santa Fe Found, a website that highlights local creators, artists & entrepreneurs. Through running this platform, I have met so many incredible people and am constantly in awe of peoples' creations. I also now work at a nonprofit called Creative Santa Fe, and I've really enjoyed working with different organizations and artists to get people in our community civically engaged.
What advice would you give to younger people that are interested in entrepreneurship and technology?
Go for it! Realize that the technological landscape is shifting daily, so if you are feeling like you're already behind on something, just remember that every day you have the opportunity to be an early adopter or pioneer of a new medium. Also, realize that there are intersections between entrepreneurship and technology and just about everything else. You can create your own version of entrepreneurship that fits into your own lifestyle and your interests. What the typical stereotype of an entrepreneur or engineer looks like is not truly representative of all the different types of people who are running their own businesses and using technology to make a living. I challenge you to make it your own!
How has inventing technology or using technology helped you move forward?
Most recently I've used technology, specifically social media, to share local creators' stories and connect with the Santa Fe community via my website Santa Fe Found. I started this project 8 months ago and there are already thousands of people who are interacting with the content I publish each week. It's very exciting to be able to support local artists and entrepreneurs and share their stories online, but it's also incredible to learn about how Santa Fe Found has led to people bringing these relationships offline and collaborating on projects in real life.
What is your favorite thing about working with technology?
My favorite thing about working with technology is that it democratizes many processes that in the past have excluded certain types of people. I so appreciate how technology allows people who might otherwise be isolated (physically, financially, etc.) to connect with almost anyone in the world. Online, your work speaks for itself and if you have good ideas, you can communicate them to populations that might otherwise be out of reach to you.
Interview by New Mexico TechWorks, Emily Cole
To read the full interview, visit https://www.nmtechworks.com/zippy-guerin.html
CommUNITY Learning Network is a grassroots New Mexico-born and locally based 501(c)3 organization dedicated to building stronger communities through real-life learning.