“Front and Center,” supplied by the Women’s International Music Network (The WiMN) is a bimonthly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists and everyone in between. Want to be featured? Go to thewimn.com/contact.

Kristy Porter is all about business––the music retail business, that is. Since 2001, she’s been a top performer at one of the largest music retailers in the country: Guitar Center. She’s served in a number of roles in the chain’s retail stores and at its Westlake Village CA headquarters, receiving several promotions and distinctions along the way.

A guitarist since age 14, Porter walked into Guitar Center’s Oxnard CA store as a teenager to buy some strings, and she was quickly impressed by the cool vibe and gear in the store. That first impression, combined with her love for music, inspired her to apply to work there. Little did she know that she had begun a journey that, in time, would turn into a full-time career.

Porter has put her experience as a guitarist, as well as her knowledge of pro audio, to use in recognizing customers’ need for an enjoyable, stress-free shopping experience in Guitar Center stores. She has a passion for music and for gear, and she continually learns about new SKUs, thereby benefiting her customers and her company.

In this interview, Porter shares more of her story, as well as some advice for other young women starting out in their careers. Plus, she offers a behind-the-scenes tidbit about life behind the counter at a music retail store.

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