We had the good fortune of connecting with Graham Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Graham, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
We started Impart after I created a gift for my son who was entering Middle School. I was looking for a way to set him up for success in a time of growth and change. I needed a broader perspective than just my own, but I also needed trusted sources. So, I invited 50 family friends and people I admire to think back to their own middle school experience and share their most important lesson from that time. The result was an amazing book filled with authentic and insightful wisdoms, hard-earned from a broad set of experiences. My son still refers to its pages. He was able to gain foresight, which helps him navigate new experiences without having to start from scratch. Just as important, he knows he has a group of people invested in his success that he can rely on going forward. As I saw the power of gathering life lessons from a community, I realized that I could automate the process to create these meaningful and impactful gifts such that it would require limited tech savvy, as little as 15 minutes and be priced at less than $50. The idea to use a gift to help loved ones navigate life transitions can apply to coming of age milestones, young family milestones, golden year milestones, and important birthdays as well as addressing challenges that face many of us through life. I wasn’t really looking to start my own business at the time but the idea and its potential to make people’s lives a little easier while reinforcing community bonds became a passion that I couldn’t shake.
What should our readers know about your business?
Impart is an online platform that allows users to collect life lessons from friends and family to present in a book to a loved one approaching a key life milestone. Unlike photo books and other print gifts that memorialize the past, Impart books are designed to set loved ones up for success in the future. We believe there is power turning life lessons into renewable resources. We believe in generosity. We believe that as people share their lessons and experiences, commonality and respect emerge. We are off to a fast start and Impart is resonating with the market for two reasons. First, people are looking for alternatives to traditional material gifts to celebrate milestones. How many hip flasks or briefcases does someone need? Second, people are starving for a greater sense of connectedness. We are inundated with information from untrusted sources, we are engaged in fewer social institutions and we live further away from our extended families, so we have less time on Grandma’s font porch. Throw the COVID disruption on top of that and people are even more attracted to Impart as a fun and authentic way to help loved ones and reinforce community without needing to physically get together. Impart is a true COVID start up. We started developing the platform in the same week as the initial Stay-At-Home Order in Denver. It was a risky time to start a business, but once we had conviction in the idea, we wanted to use the start up as a tool to help the local economy. We worked with local partners like Spire Digital, 9th Wonder and All Four Branding to get up and running. Stressful times certainly, but in the end the COVID period has been a great time for building new things. We are passionate and proud of our project.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love this question because we have friends who just moved to Denver and we gave them an Impart book as a welcome present to share “local” knowledge in an Insider’s Guide to Denver. Some of the consensus picks shared in that book were: Mercantile, Barolo Grill and Tables for dining; The Cricket, Don’s and the Candlelight to grab a beer; Red Rocks for music; the Highline Canal and Chautauqua for day hikes; and The Broadmoor for a weekend getaway.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My wife is my Co-Founder and Chief Encourager. She has always encouraged me to take risks and follow my passions. Her steadfast belief in me has given me courage and drive. All of my successes are hers as well.