Meet the Founder: Samantha Rose of GIR

GIR stands for Get It Right. That’s the ethos that guided founder Samantha Rose as she reimagined everyday kitchen tools. It all started with a vision for a better spatula and crowdfunding from thousands of home chefs. Today, GIR offers a line of 50+ products that have changed the cooking world.

Always driven and never satisfied, Samantha has even more irons in the fire. Our recent chat with her left us feeling inspired and excited about what’s to come.

GIR spatulas with mint chip ice cream
GIR blue spatulas with cinnamon rolls.

01 Why did you start GIR?

I started GIR in 2012 with a drawer full of lousy spatulas. After breaking one while cooking and seeing the sorry state of the rest, I scoured the internet for alternatives.

I wanted a one-piece spatula with a handle as indestructible as the blade. I wanted a spatula that got it right. But I couldn’t find anything like what I was looking for. So I carved a mold, made a silicone prototype, and started calling factories.

What was supposed to be a 10-piece order (Christmas gifts for the family) turned into a 10,000-piece run to meet the factory’s minimums. One Kickstarter campaign later, and after calls from magazines, retailers, and Top Chef winners looking to place orders, I knew that one spatula was just the beginning.

GIR founder, Samantha Rose

02 What obstacles did you face along the way?

At first, material science and manufacturing was one of our greatest obstacles. It took a ton of research and self-education to find the best materials. To part the sea of bogus marketing claims about silicone heat resistance, for example, I tracked down a former NASA rocket scientist who had done pioneering research on silicone in the ’80s. He was instrumental in helping me choose the right silicone to stand up to the rigors of the kitchen, at a time when silicone was still in early adoption as a home goods material.

Since then, we’ve faced obstacles in every aspect of the business, from industrial design and manufacturing disasters to building strength in HR and operations. We have to be open to challenges of every sort — but for me, solving for all that is the fun part.

GIR straws in hot chocolate

03 What lessons do you have for other entrepreneurs?

As you’re thinking of turning your passion project into an entrepreneurial venture, do this gut check: Am I into solving all sorts of problems, beyond whatever it is I’m solving here? (In our case, we were solving for the perfect spatula.)

Entrepreneurship is an adventure in problem solving. Starting a company is going to have you solving problems in logistics, team dynamics, productivity, IT, customer service… the list goes on. And, how you solve those problems will enter the DNA of your company culture. Because you won’t be able to do it all alone, and you shouldn’t want to, or have to.

With that said, my second gut check is: Am I into building a team of people who want to solve problems with me? If the answer to those two questions is yes, then you’ll have a great time being an entrepreneur. In fact, it might just be the ride of a lifetime.

GIR founder, Samantha Rose holding a red spatula

04 What’s on the horizon for GIR?

As we continue to build and grow GIR, we’ve put a few other irons in the fire. We’ve launched a smart coffee brand, Voltaire, whose first product is a portable, high-performance coffee grinder that aims to reinvent the way users make and purchase coffee.

We’ve developed patent-pending technology to monitor bean freshness, track usage patterns and user preferences, and automatically reorder beans when they run low or get stale. We’re also using Voltaire’s technology stack and GIR’s logistics capabilities to launch an operational intelligence business called Manifest. There’s a lot going on here, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Two boys licking a whisk with cookie dough

05 How do you keep work/life balance? What drives/inspires you?

Here’s the trick for me: work and life aren’t in competition with each other. I don’t separate the two in my head, so there aren’t boundaries to draw or balances to strike. And, I got very lucky along the way – my husband is my business partner, we work with amazing teammates and friends, and all of our kids are our best products testers.

I’m not trying to get away from work to live my life, and I’m not trying to cut life short to get back to work. It’s all part of one big adventure, a game of chess that I get to live and play every day. The game is what drives me. When work is play, it brings you joy.