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Interview with Mint Gold Dust Founder & CEO Kelly LeValley Hunt
This week we’re celebrating our one-year anniversary! Today, we’re pleased to share an interview with our Founder and CEO Kelly LeValley Hunt for a look back at the year we’ve had, our future, and her advice to female founders in the NFT space.
What inspired you to start Mint Gold Dust?
I needed to work with artists on a daily basis who inspire me. In Mint Gold Dust I found a way to work with creatives and technology for the good of my soul. I had previously invested in an ecosystem that supports NFT platforms, investing in companies such as Illust Space, Smart Seal, Refashioned OS, and Gilded Finance, and the only missing piece was the NFT Platform itself as the foundation. I just knew that with a platform that used ERC-1155 contracts, I could help promote and work with these companies that supported artists and collectors. So I decided to build.
I had also invested in SuperRare and loved what they were doing, and I could see that the market was evolving really quickly, and artists and collectors were going to need more than a platform to present NFTs; in other words they would need a supporting ecosystem.
An example of this was our project with Refashioned OS. They came to us when they were launching their software platform to work with clothing manufacturers for clothing on demand to minimize waste in the fashion industry. We were able to connect them with graffiti artist Curvazoid to create the design; work with Smart Seal to NFC tag each garment; work with Smart Seal to NFC tag each garment; work with Illust Space to create a 3-D rendering of artist, creator and businesswomen Paulina Vega (who also happens to be Miss Universe 2014) wearing the clothes; and then the NFT asset was geo-dropped in AR in New York during fashion week. A perfect marriage of the ecosystem hard at work.
What has been your favorite project or event from the past year?
The Genesis 8 project that we launched last November has to be one of my favorites. With Eleonora Brizi curating, and Memeconscious writing code, the excitement of a new platform marked the beginning of this journey – the true genesis!
What is it like being a female founder in the NFT space?
I hate this question but I get asked it a lot. I don’t know how to answer that because I’ve never been anything else.
That being said, my best piece of advice for women in technology is to do what you want to do and don’t think about who’s watching or judging. At the end of the day, it doesn’t fucking matter. The only thing that matters is that you are doing what you’ve set out to do, and that you’ve built a good community around you that supports you and you can support back. Just do it, and don’t think about the consequences. Just fucking do it. I hate when I curse (but I do curse a lot!) so this shows how strongly I feel about it.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from being 1 year in operation?
It’s not just about the technology, it’s not just about the artists, and it’s not just about the collectors. It’s about the community as a whole and the engagement and coordination of that community.
What made you choose to not seek out funding in the first year of operation?
Getting funding can be daunting, and I just wanted to focus on building and making sure I got it right. I didn’t want to take funding to build a product with someone else over my shoulder. I’ve also been too busy talking to artists and creators to do a funding round, so time constraints played a big factor.
What can we look forward to in the next year from Mint Gold Dust?
Valuable engagement with artists, listening more with our community. I feel compelled to support creatives in the way they feel they need to be supported. Better conversations with people and I will encourage my team to do the same. We are going to focus on more partnerships and more innovation with new technology in the NFT sector; including building out a more robust live auction service and platform.