Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kris Mathis, Founder of Raise A Glass Tours, located in Grand Rapids, MI, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business is called Raise A Glass Wine Tours. We are the only upscale wine tour experience in Michigan. Our customers are foodies, wine lovers, and those who are new to both but want to learn more.

Tell us about yourself

My wife and I took a wine tour in Northern Michigan. After speaking with some of the staff and learning more about the business, I asked myself, "I wonder if we could do this in Grand Rapids (two hours south)? I got back to town, and I began working on my idea. I shared it with my Marketing Director, and she loved the idea, so we went to work! A few months later, Raise A Glass Wine Tours was born and ready to be shared with the world!

What keeps me motivated is sharing our passion for wine, food, and culture with people from all over the world who have taken our tours. I love getting creative with our team and coming up with new and unique ways to share wine with others.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I'd say my biggest accomplishment is seeing people enjoy the things that my team and I create. I'm very passionate about serving people with products and services that will help their lives and businesses. When I see and hear the stories of those we serve, it makes all of the hard work worth it! I get to celebrate this every day that people frequent our business!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Honestly, I think one of the hardest things that come with this for me is believing that I can do it. My growing up in poverty and other challenges don't match the life I lead today. When I look back at my journey, I've learned that believing that I could do this one day simply didn't match the life I was living. It was hard to find the belief that one day all of this can change, and I can become the businessman that I envisioned in my head.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. You must believe that you can reach your goals and dreams.
  2. It's hard! There's nothing easy about building a business, and you're going to work!
  3. The growth that you have will make all of the work so worth it! You'll be thankful you stuck with it.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Thank you for this opportunity to share a little about my journey and passion for business. I hope others are inspired to pursue their goals and dreams the same way I was when I first started.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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