Women in Business Spotlight: Tracie Eakin and Christine Spencer

September is Women’s Small Business Month. Female entrepreneurship is on the rise across the country and across our community. Check out these five surprising facts about female entrepreneurs that were gathered from a Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship study.

1. Average age of women starting their own business: 40

2. Less than 1% came from extremely rich or extremely poor backgrounds

3. 70% were married when they launched their first business

4. 60% had at least one child when they launched their first business (44% had two or more children)

5. 75% worked as employees for other companies for more than six years before launching their own business

This week’s featured female entrepreneurs from our county are Tracie Eakin and Christine Spencer.

Eakin and Spencer are co-owners of The Front 9, 6730 TR 69, in Kansas. The business features a restaurant, bar, event center and nine-hole golf course. The course is in the former space of Nature Trails Golf Course. Eakin and Spencer are sisters from the Bettsville area, how teamed up to purchase the property and spruce it up with a fresh coat of paint.

The sisters added a patio, replaced the entire roof, revamped the parking lot and made several other upgrades before opening their doors to the public. The restaurant portion of the business offers American Food “with a spin.” Although the sisters say they have made many upgrades, they plan to continue to improve the property. In the future, outdoor events and concerts could be hosted. The golf course portion of the business will feature a nine-hole golf course. 

Eakin said the Front 9 is a community-oriented, family business.

“I live right around the corner from the place, and most of my family is here: my sister co-owns the place with me, my mom and niece help out, my husband works during the day, Christine’s wife works here when she can and my 21-year-old son will come home on the weekends to help tend bar.

“We’re definitely dedicated to making The Front 9 a place that’s going to be here in the long run, and we always want people to have a good time here,” Eakin said.

The sisters had advice for other women interested in starting a business.

“Go for it! It’s not easy, and it takes a lot to balance work and family, but the pay off will be amazing! We are not afraid to ask questions and we are very driven and determined women. These traits have helped us along the way!”

For more information about The Front 9, visit this website

Some of the information gathered for this article was obtained from an Advertiser-Tribune article.