#IndieCruise Mastermind 2018 Storyteller: Kristin Fraser: The Financial Side of Expanding Your Business

Recently, I shared that The Storytellers is the theme for Indie Cruise Retreat 2018 to Ixtapa, Mexico. This post continues the series of posts to introduce you to the five marvelous Storytellers we have selected to share with you on our upcoming retreat for Makers and Creatives. (Join us!?) You've already met Sandy Engels, our Storyteller in the Emerge Phase of entrepreneurship, Christy Rose, our Storyteller in the Engage Phase of entrepreneurship, Toushonta Hogan, our Storyteller in the Evolve Phase of entrepreneurship, and Deb Jasien, one of our Storytellers in the Expand Phase of entrepreneurship. Today, I'm thrilled to introduce Kristin Fraser, our final Storyteller in the Expand Phase of entrepreneurship.

Kristin topic on Indie Cruise 2018 is The Financial Side of Expanding Your Business.

A Bit About Kristin

Kristin has been a member of the Indie Business Network for a decade. When we first met, she and her former husband had just launched her company and Kristin had a full-time job teaching school. Over a period of a few years, Kristin slowly cut the chord on her traditional job. First, she decreased her hours slightly. Over time, she scaled back to working her job four days per week. Eventually, she organized a job sharing arrangement where she shared her job with another teacher. Kristin finally went full time at The Grapeseed Company in June 2008. She opened her first Grapeseed Company store in Santa Barbara shortly after. This the lovely aromatic scene that might await you when you visit the flagship store there. (That's Kristin in the center.)

Kristin is an amazing example of what you can do when you have a specific and well-defined niche, and you don't waver from it. Even when it gets hard and when people give you all kinds of advice about how you could get really big really fast, if you're like Kristin, you pace yourself so you can not only grow your business, but also enjoy the journey on your own terms.

After Kristin opened her first store, she opened a second one. Things didn't quite work out there, so she closed the second location. But because Kristin is focused and intentional, she eventually re-opened a second location, and just this month, she opened a third.

Kristin's products center around grapeseed extracts. Every single product she sells contains some form of grape: seeds, oil, pulp, skin, juice … you name it. If it's in a grape, you can probably find it in one of The Grapeseed Company products.

On Indie Cruise, Kristen will focus specifically on the Evolve Phase of my signature approach to entrepreneurship, called The Indie Method. The Evolve Phase consists of 9 specific and sequential steps to help you refine your business model and create a platform for future growth, new income streams, and additional brands.

On Indie Cruise, Kristin will focus specifically on the Evolve Phase of my signature approach to entrepreneurship, called The Indie Method. She will share her entrepreneurial story with a focus the cash it required (and continues to require) to make and execute on her expansion plans through the years. Her story center heavily on her local retail store presence and the back bar and private label services and consultations she provides, and on how she boot strapped and “relationshiped” her way to the top of her field.

Kristin's story is especially interesting because it showcases how she balances a very localized and handmade presence with a national product distribution strategy. You can buy her products in her stores and in stores around the country. You can also buy her products in large quantities and apply your label.

Despite this expansive growth, Kristin and her team still make every single product in their California studios, and each one is still infused with grapeseed extracts that are manually extracted by Kristin and her team. (Yes, you can sometimes see Kristin working with the grapes herself. Check this out.

Meet Kristin!

You can enjoy personal conversation and Masterminding with Kristin on Indie Cruise, but if you cannot do that, you can at least get a more personal introduction to her in this episode of the Indie Business Podcast.

Check out Kristin website, and follow her on Instagram, on Facebook.

Learning + Implementation

Not only will you hear from Kristin, but you'll also enjoy some peer-inspired confidence building activities that will help you feel more comfortable as you move your business to a new level of success on your own terms. Yes! That's right — Indie Cruise is not only about storytelling. It's about embracing the mindset to take the right actions that get the right things done!

Snorkeling and Sunshine

Come snorkel and learn with us!

Kristin and I are ready to roll out the red carpet for you. And while you're waiting to join us, take a virtual whiff of the Grapeseed Company's Daily Facial Moisturizer, with chamomile, azulene, pink grapefruit, red wine, and grape seeds.

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See you in Ixtapa, Mexico!


Are you in the Expand Phase of your business? How do you define “expansion?” Is it more money? More clients? A bigger physical location? How about more money with fewer clients? You hold the key, and can make it whatever you want it to be. What are you looking forward to learning from Kristin on Indie Cruise? Please do share thoughts and experiences in the comments below, or share on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.