We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyle Seip and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kyle, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process was a series of stages that continued to out-do each other. From a young age I learned the value of a good yard sale/flea market and enjoyed going to them with my mom and siblings. That progressed into finding things that myself and others found value in. Before I knew it, I started growing a small clientele which consisted of family, friends and local collectors. They would give me very specific items to try and find and I loved to treasure hunt for them. While the hunt continued, my focus gravitated towards the kitchen. (cast iron specifically). Now cast iron has been the focus for over ten years and I’m fully immersed and mystified by the rich history and quality craftsmanship of days past. I know 1% of all of it but 100% of what I know I will always be excited to share. So currently my business has progressed to the sales of vintage, unique and historic cast iron pieces that people all over the country can love and enjoy. It is my true feeling that one of the best ways to show love is through a well thought out meal so If my work can be the vessel for said meal, I’ll sleep well tonight.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My work involves finding pieces that need love and restoration. Knowing exactly what pieces to focus on and specific identification is what I believe sets me apart from others. I’m most proud and excited when I find a specific piece for a client to complete a collection or when I restore a piece that hasn’t seen love in decades. It has not been an overnight process to be where I am now and the advice I could give to those that want to set themselves apart in small business is to listen, be consistent and kind. Listen to what your customers want and understand their needs. consistency is important because when Someone buys/Commissions a piece through me, they know exactly what they can count on. Being kind will always be the best way to interact with ANYONE….Client, customer, supplier or stranger.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would wake up early grab a corner store coffee and hit a flea market to stroll through, talk about life and talk with the old timers that have been selling cool stuff since the 70s. maybe we would find a cool piece to cook on! We would do this until Trenton Farmers Market opens. In the market there’s a butcher with fresh meat, a European deli for the fresh breads/sliced meats/cheeses, six different farms selling all kinds of vegetables and a winery. You walk in with a clean slate and walk out with a whole menu in mind. We would then venture back home and cook our delicious bounty together. grill some meat, get the fresh bread out and make a charcuterie, get a veggie or two cooking and pour the wine. Insert laughter and a good hug here…..
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My Dad, Brad Leone, Eduardo Garcia and Julia Child all played a part of my growth. -My Dad had various hobbies throughout his life and when ever he wanted to learn or understand something, he did it to 110%. He never did half of anything. I credit him with inspiring me to dig in and learn.
-Brad believed in me and welcomed my work into his kitchen and helped other people in the food world get a look at what I was doing through various forms of media.
-Eduardo trusted me with a special family heirloom restoration job and showed his following what I accomplished
-Julia Child made me feel like I could cook anything in a domestic kitchen if I messed up enough times to get it right. I truly credit her warm educational cooking shows with making me excited to learn a new recipe.
Photo Credit goes to my brother Tyler Seip. Thank you for making what I do look nice.