1350 Distilling is made up for four individuals; two couples that met through the wives who worked together at Douglass Valley Elementary School on the Air Force Academy. Each partner is unique and contributes special talents and personality for our business. This is the third of four biographies of our partners. We hope you get to know each of us.
My name is Abbie Weien.
I was born in Redondo Beach, California, and grew up in Southern California. I moved to Flagstaff, Arizona in 1991 to attend Northern Arizona University, where I received my bachelor’s degree in biology, and then received my teaching certificate in elementary education.
NAU is where I met, fell in love, and started a family with Jake. We lived there for 16 years before moving to Colorado Springs in 2009 with our two daughters. We had discovered “The Springs” back in 1995 on our first road trip together, and finally made it our home 14 years later! This has been the best move of our lives. The community, the schools, and the opportunities have been a wonderful experience for all four of us.
I began working at Douglass Valley Elementary School on the Air Force Academy in 2011. Working with military children and their families has been the best teaching experience of my career. The respect I have gained for the military life is tremendous, and I have learned it is a lifestyle like no other. The strength, perseverance, and sacrifice of the whole family is something I have grown to understand and appreciate. The students I work with have moved more than I have in my entire life, and because of that, are the most welcoming children I have ever worked with. They understand change, are outgoing, and find a strength within themselves to make the best of any situation.
Why a distillery?
To be honest, I had never thought about starting or owning a distillery, until Phill approached us with his idea. Phill, Kandis, Jake, and I began doing research and toured many local distilleries, learning the distilling process, and visiting their taste-rooms. We discussed, besides creating an unforgettable product that we wanted to create an unforgettable experience, which was unique and would honor all those who visit us and buy our products.
For me, the most trying aspect of coming up with the brand we were imagining was that it needed speak to all of us. My grandfather was in WWII and my great uncle died on D-Day. I never served in the military, but I work with military families. That doesn’t mean that I do not appreciate our servicemen and women, the parents of my students. I just have a different relationship with it.
We needed a name that could allow for this acceptance while still being attractive to our veterans. The American flag quickly spoke to all four of us as a symbol that united all of our different backgrounds. We realized that we each had emotional ties to the flag, but that they each were unique. We are two women and two men. Some of us are more liberal thinking while others are more conservative. That doesn’t make our patriotism more or less valuable.
Our differences represented America and all of our potential customers. Our brand needed to reflect this too. The idea of the elements that comprise our flag, the 13 stripes and 50 stars, seemed quintessential. From these discussions, 1350 was forged. It was subtle, yet poignant. We knew that once our customer understood the meaning behind the numbers, we were onto something that rolls off one’s tongue and sticks into their memory.