“My grandma said that I was her last big project.”
Kyle Kinsey learned glasswork from his grandmother. A professor at Green River Community College, she took her grandson under her wing and demanded hard work in return. “I was working like crazy, doing 60-hour weeks,” said Kyle, who took her technical advice and began to sell glass bracelets at Pike Place. Kyle kept at it and eventually was able to start his own business. “My grandma said that I was her last big project, and that was a huge gift,” said Kyle, “I was at the market for a year when she passed. So, she got to see me succeed. She was so excited.”
“COVID was a real good chance to slow down and reassess what’s important.”
Even though he had started his business on his own, Kyle knew he needed to learn more to keep up with the quickly changing business environment in Seattle. He connected with Ventures and found a business coach who he could turn to with questions about digital sales and breaking his product into the wholesale market.`
When COVID hit this year, Kyle reacted quickly. With in-person retail outlets closed, Kyle needed to refinance his business while looking for ways to stay afloat. He used the time to diversify his product base, creating higher end products that incorporated metal smiting to make his work more attractive to online shoppers.
“The Ventures store was consistently the best, most reliable account I had.”
Now that the Ventures Marketplace is re-opening on November 13, Kyle is excited to share his work with customers in person. “It’s hard to get the effect of the glass on the internet,” said Kyle. He has sold products at Pike Place for a decade and always enjoyed incorporating feedback from his customers.
Kyle hopes his work to optimize his products for the online audience will pay dividends as in-person retail opportunities begin to open back up. For him, small business ownership has defined his life and allowed him to combine his artistic ambitions with financial stability.
When asked what owning a business and the re-opening of the Ventures Marketplace means to him, Kyle said, “self-determination is one of the first words that comes to mind. I like that I get to determine my path and determine my vision. I like that my efforts have a direct correlation to my reward.”
You can find Kyle’s Fusion in Glass jewelry and home design products at the re-opening of Ventures Marketplace. Pre-book a socially distant shopping appointment today:
In Incubation, Incubation Spotlight, Our Entrepreneurs, Success Spotlight, Uncategorized