During our 2-year sailing trip, Peter and I spent 24 hours a day together, many of them in the small confines of our tiny ship. Creativity, dreaming and imagining "what if" occupied many hours at sea. We knew this incredible experience needed to come to an end at some point; our ideas, dreams and "what ifs" turned into where should we go and wouldn't it be amazing if we started our own business?
Where Should We Go?
The second year into our voyage, we made some big decisions that led us back to life as land-lubbers. Thanksgiving day 2001, we were anchored in Tortola. Peter and I were enjoying glass of wine and the beautiful surroundings of the harbor. Before heading ashore to the American Thanksgiving celebration at the Jolly Roger restaurant, Peter dropped onto one knee and proposed. Over the course of the next few months, we made a plan to wrap up this chapter in our lives and return to the USA and start a new one. One day, I asked Peter, "Top 3 places, where do you want to live?" Hmm... after living on a sailboat in the Caribbean, we had some tough requirements: warm weather, good surf, near a large city, a solid graduate program for Pete and a place we could continue to explore and be surrounded by nature. The one place we both picked in our top 3? Santa Barbara, California. By the end of January 2002, we sold our boat, packed our belongings and began our journey back. We took a month long surfing detour to Rincon, Puerto Rico to solidify that living in a warm climate by the sea and surf was for us... and so it was, Santa Barbara it would be.
Wouldn't it be amazing if we started our own business?
During the sailing adventure, we had idea after idea... definitely something that was environmentally friendly, creative and fun. I was fascinated by the multitude of books I had read and studied on aromatherapy and hand making natural bath products. Once we settled in Santa Barbara, I began actually experimenting and creating my own concoctions for fun. During this same time period, Peter developed a passion for wine and studying varietals. He landed a job leading bike tours through wine country while pursuing his graduate degree. I would listen to Pete’s tales of touring the wineries and learn all the obscure facts about the wine making process. One day I read an article about the amazing health benefits of grape seeds. I learned that grape seed oil was a byproduct of the wine making process. The seeds are either tossed after making wine, or can be pressed to create grape seed oil. I did a bit of research and came to find out that grape seed oil has fabulous benefits when applied topically to the skin.
Creativity, ideas and passions collided; this was THE business idea we had been tossing around for years. Upon further examination, it surpassed the requirements we had originally set. We could actually develop an entire skin care line based on grape seed oil. We could utilize local ingredients, formulating a natural product line based on the byproduct of the wine making process. In 2004, with the love, help and support of friends and family, we launched The Grapeseed Company and have been building our family business out of passion and creativity ever since.
LINKS to the full story of how The Grapeseed Company came to be:
part 1 A LIFE LONG ENTREPRENEUR
part 2 LIVING GREEN
part 3 CREATIVITY