Season 3, Episode 7: “Makers on Main Street” with Kristin Fraser [Podcast]

Welcome to Season 3, Episode 7 of the Indie Business Podcast! In this seventh episode of my Makers on Main Street series, you'll meet Kristin Fraser of The Grapeseed Company in Santa Barbara, California. Kristin calls herself a “born entrepreneur,” and with good reason. She was born into a family of people who encouraged her entrepreneurial mindset, and she started her first business, a swim school, when she was 14 years old. Kristin always knew she wanted to own a business as an adult — she just wasn't sure what her business would be.

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Kristin has been a member of the Indie Business Network since 2008.

Then one day, that all changed when she was hanging out in Santa Barbara's wine country and noticed that the wineries were discarding grapeseed extracts, a byproduct of the wine-making process, for trash. She began to wonder if they could be used for skincare, and right after she wondered that — well, you know what happened next. And today, Kristin leads The Grapeseed Company's online retail sales, wholesale sales, and retail store.

Kristin's story highlights the twists and turns of entrepreneurship, and how you can try something and have it not work, and then fiddle with it here and there until it does work. Or you can try something and have it not work, and drop it completely. It's your gig. It's your choice, and I just find so much freedom in that. And so does Kristin. You'll really enjoy hearing from her. Enjoy my interview with Kristin NOW!

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Season 3, Episode 7: Show Notes

Here are few Episode 7 highlights.

  1. How Kristin started her business using what other people considered to be trash. (starting at 2:20)
  2. Why Kristin describes herself as “a born entrepreneur,” and her first business at age 14. (starting at 4:21)
  3. How Kristin left her job in 2008 to pursue her dream of owning and managing the Grapeseed Company full-time. (starting at 8:37) Read my 2008 interview of Kristin here.
  4. How Kristin leveraged her business to become a homeowner in Santa Barbara, one of the most expensive places to own a home in America. (starting at 11:10)
  5. Moving on to hiring employes, leasing space (for free), and picking up bigger spa and private label accounts. (starting at 13:11)
  6. “So, I went out for a walk in the neighborhood on day, and 14 days later, I signed a lease.” (starting at 14:36)
  7. The awesome Maker Movement, and how customers love that they can buy products that they can see are made, from start to finish, on site. (starting at 17:14)
  8. How Kristin has grown her business with very little advertising, lots of viral marketing, and a bit of public relations resulting largely from the fact that she produces not only the products, but also the ingredients in them. (starting at 19:50)
  9. Why outsourcing would not work for Kristin. (starting at 20:44)
  10. How Kristin has grown her business with very little advertising, lots of viral marketing, and a bit of public relations resulting largely from the fact that she produces not only the products, but also the ingredients in them. (starting at 19:50)
  11. What Kristin sells in her store and a bit about how her business model works. (starting at 21:53)
  12. Kristen's advice if you want to open a retail store where you make and sell your products. (starting at 24:00)
  13. Kristen's advice if you want to open a retail store where you make and sell your products. (starting at 24:00)
  14. Why Kristin went from one store to two stores, and then back to one store. (starting at 27:56)
  15. A bit about Kristin's business model and the importance of multiple revenue streams. (starting at 30:37)
  16. Kristin's upcoming classes to teach you how to open your own retail store. (starting at 36:15)

Connet with Kristin

Visit The Grapeseed Company in the historical district of 21 W. Ortega Street, Santa Barbara, California 93101. The phone number there is (805) 456-3655. Check out Kristin at the Grapeseed Company website, and on Facebook, on Twitter and on Instagram.

Listen on iTunes

Go here now to listen to this episode of the Indie Business Podcast on iTunes, and be sure to subscribe there for automatic episodes as they are released. Get excited for a new way to look at online relationships! If you enjoyed this episode of the Indie Business Podcast, you can subscribe and rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out!

What are Your Thoughts and Ideas?

Are you as inspired by Kristin's story as I am? What would you add to her advice about opening a retail store? Please share know your thoughts and feedback 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.