Katie Christofferson, also known as Kauai’s Trivia Girl, has been the force behind trivia game nights at bars across the island for the past year.
Moving from Montana, Christofferson wasn’t sure how her business venture would take off here, but Kauai residents’ interest in trivia has blown her away.
Not only is she a trivia mastermind, Christofferson is also the creator of kauaieventscalendar.com. She created the site to promote her business, but also to give Kauai a more organized, detailed calendar of events happening on the island.
Christofferson sat down with TGI recently to talk story about the growth of her businesses.
So, you’re Kauai’s Trivia Girl! What’s the story behind that?
I started my trivia business eight years ago. I write trivia questions and sell them to bars. It’s a monthly subscription thing. And since I’m living on Kauai now, I’m going to host trivia nights three times a week. One on Monday in Kapaa at the Makai Lounge in the Courtyard Marriott, Wednesday at Bangkok Happy Bowl in in Poipu, and Thursdays at Rob’s (Good Times Grill).
Why did you start an events calendar?
It’s an events calendar website that I started around a year ago. It’s color-coded for different categories, everything from baseball clinics to beach cleanups, free yoga in Kapaa, different music going on, lots of things.
I moved to Kauai and after I moved here, I was like, ‘Where am I supposed to tell people about this?’ There’s all different types of calendars out there but they’re all over the place. I just thought that Kauai needed one calendar with all of the events.
When I moved to Kauai, I was having a hard time finding what was going on. I started having my own trivias, and I wanted to know how to get the word out about these. The calendars that were out there weren’t really made for just everyday small events that people are having.
My friends back in Montana developed this software that I’m licensing from them. I started using it when I lived back there. That’s where I moved from.
How did you start the calendar? Did you go to businesses for events or did you just start getting submissions from people?
I would just find events when I first started. I have a list of resources how to find events. No. 1 is Facebook. All of the events are there. I go to The Garden Island calendar, I’ve joined so many different mailing lists I’m always finding events. I’m working with a lot of organizations, so I’m already in tune with their events. I also encourage people to make their own. It’s super easy, you just submit an event and choose a category and add a date with one picture. And it’s free to use. If you can post something on Facebook, you can post an event in my calendar.
What’s the web traffic like on your site?
Monthly, in the last 30 days, it got around 3,400 hits. It keeps steadily growing.
How did you start doing trivia nights on a regular basis?
I was bartending at a hotel bar in Missoula, Montana, and we wanted to get more locals in there. So I suggested that we do a trivia night and my manager said it was a good idea and asked if I could do it. I started doing it and everyone was loving it.
Then another bar in town came and asked if I could do it there, so I started doing it two nights a week. Then I was traveling the next summer and this other woman in Montana asked me to help out at her bar, so I started writing trivia for her bar. And now this is their sixth summer, they’re still doing it.
It’s all online, it’s subscription-based. And that’s what made it so easy for me to move over here because I kept all of my accounts, I just moved to a new place.
I didn’t know if Kauai would be cool with trivia, but when I started doing it people were loving it. I’ve been really surprised that Kauai really likes it. I also do it quarterly at the Regency at Puakea and they love it.
Do you have to change up the type of questions for them?
You know, not really because so much of the trivia happened in their lifetime. The historical events, the politics and sports records. I don’t ask questions about Lady Gaga or anything. They know this stuff. Kauai loves their trivia.
Do you do this full-time now?
Yeah, I have for years. But it’s not really that full-time. I had extra time, and that’s why I started the calendar as my side project. It’s really fun for me because I’m a really organized person anyway and I’m always on my computer. The software is fun to use, so I just like to compile the events. And people submit their own events, and that’s the idea. Which makes my job easier.
I get to meet people, too. I joined the chamber (of Commerce), business owners, different organizations on the island, and just to meet them and know them and I get to help promote their events. The (Kauai) Humane Society just had their fundraiser so I was able to get involved with that, which was fun.
How many bars or hotels are subscribing to your trivia game?
Right now, I think there are 15 or 16.
Did you ever envision yourself doing something like this? As a career?
No, not at all. I always knew I wanted to work for myself and to work from anywhere. That’s always been my main goal, to have freedom wherever I’m at … I’m not that good with working for other people. I would’ve never guessed that it would be trivia, like writing a game. It’s really fun, and I get to learn stuff all the time.
Is that the reason why you moved to Kauai? Did you feel like you could just do the trivia business on Kauai?
My friend that I grew up with, Tommy, is a fisherman in Alaska and a surfer. And he goes on trips all over the world. About three years ago, he Instagrammed me and said that he rented a house on the North Shore of Kauai for two months and asked me if I wanted to come. At that time, I was only doing trivia. He said it was all paid for, so I said ‘Heck yeah I’m coming.’
I had already been twice to Kauai as a kid, so I knew I loved Kauai. But when I came here with Tommy, I had no intention of moving here. I thought it was just going to be a fun two months and that was that. But I was inspired to move here. And I thought it would be good for me because this was my goal: To travel and do new things. So it was a good way for me to test the business that I had built. Does it matter if I move away? And it turned out it didn’t at all. My accounts didn’t care that I was living in Hawaii.