Austinite Kim Gorsuch created Weeva two years ago after her father became ill with myocarditis, a virus in his heart. She realized her family would lose the stories about her father one day if they didn’t write them down. There were so many things she wanted to tell her dad but it was impossible to say all of them at that moment. “We can’t speak these things, but we could write them.”
Weeva allows you to create a memory book by inviting others to contribute stories and photos. The person who signs up invites friends and family to participate. It’s all handled electronically. It’s called Weeva because it allows you to weave the stories of someone’s life.
Once you feel like the collection period is complete, you let Weeva know. Then Weeva edits stories for grammar and spelling. Designers lay out the book’s pages. The copy gets printed into a hardcover keepsake book. It takes about three weeks between the time you say you’re done collecting stories and the time the book is in your hand.
With Weeva, she says, “You’ve done something that is astonishing with relatively little effort.”
Schools use it to honor a teacher with her class’ drawings and messages. Families use it for birthdays, graduations, weddings, anniversaries or as an alternative baby book.
One book that started as a tribute book for a woman who was turning 85 became a last gift as the woman suddenly got ill and ended up in hospice. It was read to her the day before she died. “She wasn’t able to talk to them, but she smiled,” Gorsuch says. “That to me is amazing. We helped people understand that your life matters. Only celebrities get to know that.”
It’s not just older people. She remembers a 21-year-old boy who received a book and sat there and cried. “It’s one of the most amazing things you can give to someone,” she says. “Here’s you seen through the people who love you best. I’m blown away by how powerful it is.”
Companies also are using Weeva to mark a business milestone or a professional achievement.
“It’s much more personal” than a corporate gift someone might receive, she says. “It’s designed to be on your desk. People do go back and look at it. It’s like getting 50 love letters.”
One of the toughest things is convincing people that they are writers. Weeva gives people prompts to start them thinking. “All you have to do is state something that matters to you,” she says. “The second thing is to take a leap of faith that people will join you. … Sometimes people say, ‘My people will never do it.’ But if you don’t give them the opportunity, they won’t.”
How many books has Gorsuch made? It’s like how the cobbler’s children have no shoes. She’s working on one for her son and his friends about high school for graduation. Her second one will be the family stories she’s wanted to collect. weeva.com.