Hilary Wilson is an event pro, visual artist, and accidental business player. Learn more about one of our newest private office tenants!
Q: Who are you? Introduce yourself as you would at a dinner party.
A: I'm Hilary, an artist and musician turned fundraiser and event manager turned local finance connector. I'm really into talking about money. Hey, where are you going? Seriously, now, I'm super engaged in thinking about what the world would be like if money more obviously and represented love. Please pass the rolls.
Q: What is your background? How does it differ from what you are doing now?
A: I grew up playing violin and generally being into the arts, especially visual arts. My BFA from CalArts has been really helpful in many ways, though very soon after graduating, I started down a career path helping arts organizations to raise money more than making art myself. I realized I really like organizing things. Not until about a year before I applied to BGI's MBA program did I ever think about going into anything resembling "business" and certainly not finance. It wasn't until my mid-thirties that I realized that business is an incredibly innovative place to play and a great place for right-brained creative types.
Q: What are you working on right now?
A: I am working with Community Sourced Capital (CSC), a start-up finance company started by some of my BGI classmates. We help small businesses access growth capital through loans sourced from their own community. My role at CSC is right now a front-line listener to all our incoming inquiries, and a back-room strategists helping with the vision of where we're going in 10 days, 10 months and 10 years. I also work on marketing and spend a lot of time with the other Seattle members on growth and scaling. It's an incredible honor to work with this team.
Q: Why did you join Impact Hub?
A: The easy answer is that I joined a team that was already here when I moved back from Utah last summer. However, as a BGI grad I already had lots of connections to the great folks in the building. And keep making more!
Q: How do you make money?
A: I also consult with a couple different non-profit organizations, helping with their annual auctions and other fundraising campaigns. This is the work I've been doing for the better part of a decade, and I still love to sink my teeth into a big event.
Q: What is something that really excites you right now?
A: I'm really excited to see all the new ideas around finance, be it emergent ideas around slow money, or the use of social capital as collateralization. The thru line is about driving money back into systems that are visible to those participating, and which represent real value. AKA, a really different picture of finance systems than the one that we saw careening out of control in 2008.
Q: You have $10M to spend in the next year, and you can’t spend it on you, your friends or your family. How do you spend it?
A: I would buy Squares [Editor's Note: CSC provides loans to small businesses using funds sourced from people in their community - people who purchase $50 Squares] in every CSC campaign, as well as create pilot programs around the country to help CSC scale. These Squares would keep being deployed into new campaigns as the businesses repaid which would create exponentially more value than the original $10M. I'd also buy a lot of undeveloped Northwest land and put it in a trust for everyone to enjoy in the future.
Q: What’s on the horizon for you?
A: I recently moved back to Seattle after being gone living in Salt Lake City for three years. I just bought a house last week, and I have a feeling that's going to be taking up some of my time in the future.
Q: Where do you usually hang out when you are at Impact Hub? How often are you here?
A: CSC is a little hard to miss - sorry Hubsters! We are just about to get a great office in the expansion building [Editor's Note: They are moved in! Go visit!], but until then, find me in the Triangle, under the stairs, or at a table on the first floor. I'm currently around about three days a week, but it will be more and more over the coming months.
Two questions that we ask every member...
Q: What is something we don’t know?
A: I'm related to Thomas J. Crapper, inventor of the flush toilet.
Q: Give us your top three Seattle gems!
A: I'm actually a born and bred Seattlite, which feels rare some times. A Seattlite hasn't lived until they've seen: Azalea Way in bloom in the the arboretum; the view of Lake Union and downtown on a clear night from Kite Hill at Gasworks Park; summer campfire at sundown at Alki, Golden Gardens, or (illegally) on the bluffs at Discovery Park.
Contact Hilary at [email protected].