Meet Christine Gustafson, InnLight Marketing
The career path that started me on the road to InnLight Marketing began in newsrooms in Southern California. I was a journalist specializing in feature writing, investigative journalism and breaking news. My clients included a wide range of newspapers, magazines and specialty publications. Overtime, my focus narrowed to entrepreneurial stories – features about super successful individuals who started with an idea … and went on to build it into a worthwhile service or product that benefited dozens to thousands of people.
In the early 1990’s I was inspired to write a book about communication … relationships and marriage. Making connections with others is the primary joy of my life. Researching this book provided the opportunity to meet and interview a wide range of individuals who, to put it simply, loved being in a lasting relationship. They became my teachers as this Los Angeles Times article points out. The book was funded by John & Donna Crean, the founders of Fleetwood RV. They opened the door to not only the creation and publication of the book, but the teaching of evening college classes, TV and radio appearances as well as multiple newspaper and magazine articles.
It was a move to the Monterey area that fostered a shift in my line of work. The newspapers were union and jobs were slim. I had won multiple state-wide first place awards in journalism, so thought that would give me an edge. Though it did not work out that way. Instead, I went to work for Don Martine, the owner of Martine Inn bed and breakfast in Pacific Grove. Transferring my passion for entrepreneurs and my skills as a writer and photographer, I assisted Don with publicity and marketing.
Don Martine is the co-founder of CABBI (the California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns). He rapidly expanded my work to include publicity and marketing for CABBI. The year was 1998 when bed and breakfasts were beginning to evolve from mom and pop operations to professionally run businesses. What was lacking was marketing and Internet knowledge on the part of the innkeepers. So I developed a comprehensive marketing program for CABBI innkeepers that helped them put the marketing building blocks in place. I called it InnLight.
By the year 2000, InnLight had grown dramatically … inside of CABBI. The Executive Director of CABBI at that time was Sandy Hazen. She suggested that I take InnLight out of CABBI and make it an independent business, which I did.
Over the years, I have developed and refined skills in website design, photography, Internet marketing, graphic design and business building. My client list has grown to include many types of owner operated lodging properties, restaurants, chambers of commerce, towns, non profits, and many many more small businesses.
The most rewarding aspect of InnLight Marketing is centered on my clients. I am blessed to have the nicest and most enthusiastic clients possible. Many have been with me from the early years of InnLight Marketing. Nearly all have become friends. Together we brainstorm and build ideas into a profitable business that is able to support my clients and those they love.
– Christine Gustafson, InnLight