#linyageladyboss : Erin Duininck
There are note-worthy creatives, there are trail-blazers, there are small biz owners that are leaving snippets of glass from the ceiling's they shatter. And then, there is Erin, who by no exaggeration, is the embodiment of all of the above and enveloped by layers of so much more. An emblamatic figure for female entrepreneurs in the greater Twin Cities (and stretching beyond), this auspicious woman remains as humble as the roots she calls her own lineage, who have taught her the great value of work ethic, that respects for others knows no bounds, and a somehow unflappable demeanor amidst several spinning plates that are her endeavors.
Most know Erin from the picturesque Golden Rule, her shop adorning an already quintessential street in downtown excelsior, mn, yet somehow leaving it a little bit brighter than how she found it; much like her effect on those who walk in the shop doors. While her talents extend out in various directions, her nimble ability to also address what needs attention is also what makes her one we knew we had to have on this linyage ladyboss feature. Her unrivaled shop curation, home and social presence at the awe of any onlooker is only matched with equal parts gratitude, towards her customers, staff, community, family and everyone in between; leaving frivolity and entitlement for the birds.
You will likely find yourself reading our interview with Erin, imbibed on every last nugget of honest wisdom, just as we were. We strive to showcase women that are as innovative as they are kind; when something akin to inspiring comes over us as we leave their presence. And with that, we give you Erin Kate Duininck.
1.) First things first: Tell us who you are as an artist/creative/badass boss lady, in 5 words or less.
Your Number One Hype Woman.
2.) In our current world where creatives have to wear many different hats to keep the business afloat, you are the 'o.g.' in being a Jill of many trades. Between jewelry making, curating, running the business end of things, managing a staff and so on, your role really has several layers. Do you find you work best when you have a variety of projects going on? Surely they all play in to one another more often than not.
Historically, I do work best with many different tasks and projects to keep me busy and interested. One of my best friends and I used to have a little company called "The Everything Girls" at which we offered to do most anything you could want. Our way.
In more recent years, I do find that I am drawn to working on one large event or upcoming project at a time and it's hard for me to see past it to the next one. But I think that has a lot to do with sleep deprivation and taking on multiple new businesses.
When something starts feeling overly hard or distracting it's usually not quite in alignment with how I want to keep choosing to spend my life and it might mean I have to let it go. I think nothing ever feels too scattered if I keep my over-arching themes and values consistent.
3.) Balance is an elusive thing, we know that to be true. But when it comes to living out all of your passions and being a mother, how do you best stay afloat? What serves you/them to make this juggling act happen?
I'd feel like a liar if I tried to pass on any real advice. My family is pretty vocal when I'm not present enough. I guess the best thing you can do is pay attention, listen, and be humble. If your family has to tell you that you're doing it wrong, don't beat yourself up. Just make a change.
4.) How have you noticed your own lineage influence you as an artist/business woman? Perhaps any facet or person that you find yourself drawing upon.
I love this question. I feel extremely tied to the people who have come before me, so much so that I often joke that I feel like I'm too many people wrapped up in one body. If that sounds overwhelming - it is! My paternal grandfather ran the student union at UMD and then later at the U of M. He died before I was born so I grew up hearing of his legacy and getting a new "Siggelkow Leadership Retreat" t-shirt every year. My aunt was an established published poet before she died at 27. She also died before I was born. These two absences have acted as presence in my life. I have always felt connected and called to continue their work of community, connection, and poetic communication.
My maternal grandfather was a choir director and I like to envision myself in that position. I think there is something very holy about choirs, lifting your voices in hopeful harmony as you all reach for the same goal.
I was also deeply influenced by both of my grandmothers. One was a loud social activist who never shied away from political confrontation and dialog. Honestly, she kind of scared me growing up but I find myself acting more and more like her. My maternal grandmother was a really interesting character. She birthed ideas, created companies, headed up efforts, formed fellowship groups, and started long-standing traditions out of thin air. She ran an estate sale business and felt that it was her mission and calling to aid in that way during painful end of life situations. She also had a booth at an antique mall and took great care in her research, restoration, record keeping. I hope I am at least a bit like her.
And of course my parents. Everyone is probably sick of hearing about my delightful parents. They were professional musicians, singing for families and children for all of my growing up years. When I was 19, they moved into a more traditional ministry position as pastors and spiritual directors. They modeled art and service as vocation and I am eternally grateful for their guidance. Their faith in God and devotion to their fellow man has been unwavering. Their artistic integrity and altruism are inescapable.
5.) In our eyes, you're sort of the mayor of the west side of the Twin Cities. :) Your humble soul will argue otherwise, but you are really extraordinary at creating community all around you, beginning with your town of Excelsior. Tell us why and how your geographical location influences your business and/or creative process.
Wow. That's an incredibly generous compliment that zero other people will agree with! I am very passionate about roots. I feel so strongly that we must learn to find beauty in our own backyard (NOT HARD) and that we should also make do and mend. I adore Excelsior. I think it's charming and idyllic. I did find that when I moved here, there wasn't necessarily a shop or public place that I felt fit my specific tastes or aesthetic. Yes, I could visit Minneapolis fairly easily, but because it is such a lovely town it just made sense to create something to fill my perceived void and cross my fingers that there would be like-minds drawn to it.
6.) New or old, where or whom do you draw your inspiration?
I find it hard not to be inspired by everyone and everything. I've yet to meet a soul without a compelling story one way or another.
7.) Favorite time of day to create and work?
All day every day.
8.) Coffee, tea, or other? AKA, what fuels your day-to-day?
9.) Best nugget of advice you've been given that stands true for you today.
"You can do hard things."