Hi, I’m Kristina.
I founded a fruit and vegetable co-op called Farmers Market Baskets and ran it for about 15 years before transitioning to the software industry. It started with friends coming to pick up their produce in my garage every week, back before anyone thought of selling subscriptions to boxes of food. I think I was the first person to do this, but if I wasn’t it was still an original idea that I didn’t get from anyone else. It quickly outgrew my garage and I moved into a 2000 square foot warehouse which also became too small so we moved into a 10,000 square foot warehouse with retail space, walk-in coolers, and a refrigerated box truck. We had thousands of customers, delivered to dozens of places in Atlanta and had hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in sales.
But I knew that I didn’t want to be in the retail industry forever, especially selling such a perishable product. Running a produce business is intense. I decided to close down the business and get a job in technology. One of the things I discovered while running a business, was how much I enjoyed the technical part of the work. I liked doing the website. I liked the spreadsheets. I liked the data analysis. All of that. I had always known I liked the people, and the technology part was something new.
I feel like I was born an entrepreneur. Both of my parents were and I remember selling things I had made door-to-door with my friend while still in elementary school. I earned money for my first year of college by selling t-shirts. Earning money through your own efforts is a creative endeavor and I enjoy it. So walking away from an entity I had created was hard to do. But it had served its purpose. It was time to move on to a new endeavor.
That’s how I wound up at Automattic. They acquired some software that I used and I looked into them and thought that would be a great place to work someday. I had learned so much through my experiences and I wanted to bring that perspective into the software world and help develop products that other entrepreneur’s would use. Now I am leading a team of software developers that are building an improved version of one of the features I used when I ran my business. It has come full circle and I couldn’t be happier.
Even though I am now an employee, I still have an entrepreneurial mindset. I know how hard it is to make money and how easy it is to spend it. It’s essential to make money, or at least have positive cash flow. I know the weight of that responsibility and the drive to ensure that happens, so you can continue to provide value to the world in your business’s own unique way.