Arriving at the Gaiser Bee Co. farm in Monfort Heights feels like entering a portal to a more peaceful place than the one you just left. Krystle Gaiser is the co-founder and manager of the bee farm. A true entrepreneur, Krystle also works as the production coordinator for the Westside Market, and she manages a new company called New Body Aesthetics. In her spare time, she invests in real estate and most importantly, she cares for her 2-1/2-year-old son, Cory (aka “Little Buddy”).
The Gaiser team
Krystle seems to take her busy workload in stride, perhaps because she combines efforts with her husband and partner, Dr. Cory Gaiser. Together this dynamic couple are making their mark on the Queen City. What follows is a short version of the fascinating journey that brought them to Cincinnati and as a bonus, a brief lesson on life.
The journey begins
Hailing from a small town of around 2,600 people in central Michigan, Krystle met Cory when they were both in college. She majored in photography and he was in pre-med. While Cory was still in med school, they moved to NYC. Being poor at the time, Krystle relied on her resourcefulness to find a way to make ends meet by scouring Craigslist to find items in the city that were free. She would pick them up and sell them back, again through Craigslist, to make enough money to help buy food and pay rent. “And this,” she says, “is where I learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life. I call it the Craigslist Theory.”
Craigslist theory – a lesson on life
The Craigslist theory goes something like this. You know when you have something advertised for sale on Craigslist and you get the calls from the well-intended buyers, but they don’t show up for the sale? It might be wise at that point to realize it’s probably not going to happen, no matter how many times the “buyers” insist they will be there. It simply is not meant to be, and maybe you should let it go and move on. Now, when you apply that same theory to other aspects of life, it can be very liberating. Krystle believes, “life is about having good things happen, so if it doesn’t fit, don’t force it. Teach yourself to stop once in a while, physically and emotionally to assess whether something is really meant to be and be prepared to let it go. In other words, is the juice worth the squeeze?”
Friends at the mall
Interviews for residency brought Krystle and Cory to Cincinnati in 2012 and while Cory was in his interview, Krystle walked the mall at Kenwood. “I actually made friends with people while I was shopping at the mall, waiting for Cory to get out of his interview,” she says. “We originally intended to stay in Cincinnati for a year, but we really liked the people here and fell in love with the city.”
Home in Cincinnati
“Coming to Cincinnati was a series of amazing events. We moved here the day after we got married, June 22, 2013. The manager at Michael Kohrs in Kenwood Mall had already called to offer me a job. She was one of the friends I had made the day of Cory’s interview. Things really came together for us. We bought a house in Golf Manor, started the bee farm and began building our life here. I remember feeling like this is the place that we are supposed to be. Now, 6 years later, I know that we belong here!”
Just for fun:
Q: Why bees?
A: Cory and I are both from small farming towns and we wanted our kids to have hands-on experience with nature.
Q: What prepared you to run the Bee Co.?
A: My job at Michael Kohrs taught me how to merchandise, manage and market product– their training process is fabulous, and I learned a lot from them. I brought those learnings into our bee business.
Q: Who are the young people that are here helping you?
A: These young people are interns from the University of Cincinnati’s Design Art & Architecture Studio (DAAP). Our current intern, Annie is on her second semester here.
Q: What does a design student do here?
A: The interns work together on creative approaches to market our product, and they also get to see how a small business works. They learn that there is nothing “small” in an effort to run a small business. We work long hard hours to make things happen here. That is why I always ask them if they want to run their own business, because to work here is to see how involved it is. I want to give an opportunity the kids that are open for that lesson.
Q: How is that working out?
A: Great! Annie is a Product Development major and is working on merchandise and rebranding our product to advance our brand, our packaging and our online presence. She is also researching how to create skin care products out of bee’s wax and natural products.
Q: Do things seem to work out for you?
A: Yes, more often than not. Remember the Craigslist Theory? Here is an example of how I think things should flow: We were outgrowing our property in Golf manor and we were thinking of moving closer to Mercy West Hospital where Cory was working. So, we put it out there and one day the current farm property popped up. It was over 5 acres, in our price range and the property was titled “Hunter’s Paradise”. We really liked it, so I put my house up on “Make-Me-Move” on Zillow. The next morning, I got a call from a realtor who had a client who wanted to look at my house. We had an accepted offer on our house the same day we put an offer on Hunter’s Paradise. The day we closed on this house is the day we found out we were pregnant with our son.
Q: That is so cool, do you have another example?
A: Yep. One time a few years ago, I had a vision in my head of a very distinct large turquoise ring. I’m not sure why, but I knew it was out there somewhere. One summer, on a trip out west with Cory, I found THE RING in a mining store in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was quite remarkable, because there was no doubt that it was the ring in my vision. Of course, I bought it and wear it today. As if that wasn’t enough, the store clerk told me that my purchase qualified me for a chance to win a “prize”. I somehow knew right then I was going to win, and I said so. The store clerk seemed amused and told me that my chances were very slim. Good chance or not, several weeks later the phone rang and I was told I won the prize but had to return to Scottsdale on a designated weekend, which happened to be the ONLY weekend that we were not committed to something else. The prize, it turns out was a helicopter ride to the gem mines in the mountains above the shop. We were escorted to the mine by the owner, who it turns out is a billionaire entrepreneur. Anytime I meet super successful people I ask them for advice. This time my takeaway was that you have to own stuff to be successful – like monopoly.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Cincinnati? What do you love there?
A: Cancun Mexico, but the one in Monfort Heights is best. I love the Margaritas.
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in your community? Who would you like to see nominated as a Face of Cincinnati?
A: Amanda and Jeremiah Griffin. They were our very first bee customers and now are our best friends here. They are so talented and passionate about history and vintage items and they never seem to stop. They recently started their own business is the called Carpenter Bee, LLC.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now where would it be, and why?
A: Cory and I want to rent a camper and travel the west coast; go to redwood forest and Yellowstone and national parks.
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: Never give up on what you want to do because you never know what is possible unless you try.
Q: What 3 bands, living or dead, would you like to see?
A: Queen, The Beatles, Metallica
Q: What current / former local business makes you the most nostalgic about Cincinnati?
A: Cloud 9 Sushi at Kenwood Mall because that is where we ate when Cory interviewed here.
Q: Aside from your relatives, what current figure would you choose to have lunch with?
A: My friend Nick. He died 10 years ago. It was a life-changing event for me, and I would like him to see me now.
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about your community?
A: Small businesses are what keeps Cincy thriving.
Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: Family first, relaxing and comfort.
Q: What do you do for you?
A: I get pedicures.
Q: Why are you doing all this?
A: I am appreciative of the opportunities I have here. This was never possible back home in Clio, Michigan and if I do not take advantage of then what a waste. Really, shouldn’t you make a statement before you leave?
Because they both come from small farm towns, Krystle and Cory prioritize the importance of nature and natural products in their lives. Now, they are working with nature to fulfill an ambition of generating products and services that improve the quality of life for our community.