We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristin Fraser and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristin, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Perseverance and resilience equally share that role. I started The Grapeseed Co. in my mid 20s. Years ago, people began using those words to describe me and my business in press articles, and I didn’t quite get why… I would read them after the interview and be like, “I just didn’t give up!” When something goes wrong, I’m always thinking of ways to creatively fix the issue and learn from it moving forward. It drives me. If this year has taught me anything, it’s that there is always something to learn, even in the worst situations. The past 6 years I’ve come to understand, accept and cultivate growth through these qualities much more, as I navigated life events like divorce, finding love, becoming a mom, the Thomas Fire and mudflow, and now COVID, all while growing The Grapeseed Co. and starting Seaside Makers. We lost our home to a freak fire back in January 2020, before the pandemic hit the USA. I was home alone when our dryer exploded, and was fortunate to safely get out of my office barefoot, with just my laptop and phone. We have spent the last year rebuilding our home, while navigating the most challenging year ever as a small business owner. I just kept getting out of bed each morning, and putting one foot in front of the other, even on the toughest days. Now that our family is finally back home and business is building back up again, I’m embracing and owning these qualities. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work has evolved over the years, from starting Grapeseed Co. in 2004, to transitioning our brick and mortar retail stores from representing only Grapeseed Co. to Seaside Makers Artisan Gifts & Essential Goods. We carry over 40 local and artisan brands, where you can find the perfect gift for just about anyone, or buy a beautiful piece of original art from our gallery. We have 2 locations in Santa Barbara, and in the quintessential California beach town, Carpinteria, CA.
Grapeseed Co. creates botanical beauty from the byproduct of wine, utilizing red wine waste to create natural, anti-aging skin care. We were hit super hard with COVID, as many of our main wholesale accounts are spas, resorts, boutique hotels and specialty shops that were shut down for most of the pandemic, or never re-opened. We had to pivot. We lost the event side of our business, too, which was the second biggest revenue stream for The Grapeseed Co. We host Scent Bar parties and large corporate and resort events where people can create and name their own apothecary blends. It was devastating, but I centered and re-grouped by going back to what I love to do. I love to create custom scent blends. I love to see others’ eyes spark when they know they’ve created a unique, bespoke blend, that no one else in the world has. We decided to close our Los Olivos store, focus on the 2 local shops our team lived by, and dove into deep design of a mobile Scent Bar that we could use at outdoor events and not be reliant on a resort or indoor space to create an event…
I invested my own savings into building Scent Camp, and we started creating a custom mobile Scent Bar last fall. We are currently putting the final touches on it at our warehouse, and will be out rolling it out for events this summer.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh my gosh, we are so blessed to have so many amazing things to do in this area, and be surrounded by such natural beauty! Ok, my dream (long) weekend with friends?
Hike to Inspiration Point or Hot Springs trail. Happy hour stroll through the Funk Zone, make a custom Aromatherapy Mist at Grapeseed Co. Scent Bar, wine taste at Riverbench then dinner at The Lark.
Walk one of our beautiful beaches: Butterfly Beach, Miramar or Loon Point.
Saturday Farmer’s Market
Rincon Beach Bar brunch – we got married at this event spot on our favorite beach in Carpinteria, where they’ve pivoted to use the grounds as an outdoor beach bar during COVID. The food is spectacular and it’s run by an amazing family.
Grapeseed Co. spa treatment at Ojai Valley Inn while the guys take the kids to the most awesome playground ever in downtown Ojai.
Hot tub, cocktails and homemade pizza in our backyard.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are many… I have a great network of entrepreneur friends I’ve built over the past 17 years of living this lifestyle. Our small but mighty team that runs the Seaside Makers shops and Grapeseed Co. The artists and small business owners we carry at Seaside Makers inspire and motivate me daily. I also love the Indie Business Network for many reasons, I think it’s the longest membership entrepreneur network I’ve ever belonged to – since 2006. All of these people make up my village – we encourage, support, like, comment and do all that for each other. It’s so important to surround yourself with positive people and rise each other up. My husband is also an amazing support, listening ear, and financial advisor. I call him “my anchor”; he keeps me from steering off course.
Instagram: @grapeseedco @seasidemakers @seasidemakersfz
Linkedin: @grapeseedco @kristinfraser
Facebook: @grapeseedco @seasidemakers @seasidemakersfz
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