2006 - 2013
As Co-Founder of Haut Group, Derrick Robert Grahn is often recognized as the Publisher of Cabo Social Magazine (March 2006 - 2012), along with creating the adjacent brands Hautter.com, TheCaboStore.com, HAUTCARD™ and Grahn Productions.
During his term as Publisher, Mr. Grahn was responsible for establishing the vision, Art Direction and strategy of all Haut Group print publications, websites and brands. From conception and start-up, to exponential growth, Haut Group’s publications attracted hundreds of thousands of print readers and website visitors —helping shape the world’s overall perception of the Los Cabos (Mexico) social, leisure, luxury and cultural milieu of the lustrum.
Prior to Derrick’s arrival in Los Cabos, the multi-talented Las Vegas-born entrepreneur attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where Derrick majored in sculpture while pursuing a career in the arts. His sculptural prowess led him to design his first VIP room in a major downtown Chicago nightclub, at which point he began to submerge himself in the early 1990’s Chicago nightlife and event scenes. He quickly became one of the city’s most known nightclub and restaurant designers and, notably, one of the first promoters to introduce rave parties to the Windy City, a distinction that landed him a 10-page cover story in the Chicago Tribune Magazine. The article won the Tribune’s 1995 reader’s choice award as the best cover story of 1994.
Grahn’s success spurred him to continue promoting nightclub and underground events throughout the 90’s, while also running an independent ad agency called Grahn Creative Group Inc. This led to a stint as Art Director at Strictly Hype Recordings, a Chicago record label, and a series of entrepreneurial pursuits, too; including several nightclubs, restaurants and a record and clothing store.
In 2001, Derrick began writing movie screenplays, including one commissioned by Bader Brothers. The commissioned script, “Street Thief,” was independently filmed and produced, and soon after created a huge stir with its cinéma vérité style, netting several major independent film awards before being picked up for distribution and airing by A&E. Related press: wikipedia.org
Testing his talent and skill as a marketer, Derrick was recruited by Miracle Homes, a Milwaukee based home building company in 2003. As Marketing Director, Mr. Grahn assisted in restructuring, repositioning and redesigning the marketing, advertising and public image of Miracle Homes. In less than one year, Derrick's efforts converted Miracle Homes' sales from an average of 30 new home contracts per month, to over 300 new home contracts each month —an accomplishment which propelled Miracle Homes’ ranking as Wisconsin’s second largest home builder, while creating over “$42 million of home sales in 2004” —Milwaukee Magazine.
With 16 successful Midwest years under his belt, Derrick longed for a change of scenery (and climate). After two decades of vacationing in Los Cabos, several of which were summers spent driving with down the Baja with his father, Derrick eventually chose to relocate to Cabo San Lucas, in 2005.
In Cabo, Derrick opened Hangout Cafe, a small, urban-style eatery specializing in wood-fired pizza, Derrick and then-girlfriend, Anastasia Snider, and founded Noche Magazine in order to promote small businesses like their own.
Noche Magazine achieved unprecedented overnight success, due in part to its practical pocket-fitting size, nightlife photography and emphasis on special events. Between 2006 and 2011, Noche Magazine evolved from a basic horizontal pocket-zine, to a slightly larger vertical version called Cabo Noche and finally to a much more sophisticated and full-sized luxury version called Cabo Social Magazine.
Celebrities and Nightlife
As Cabo Social Magazine matured, Derrick began to draw from his history as one of Chicago’s premier promoters; and began promoting world-class entertainment, celebrity and nightlife events to Los Cabos in earnest.
In 2006, Derrick promoted his first nightlife event in Los Cabos, a three-night electronic music festival featuring events in San Jose del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas and even a mobile party bus which transported partygoers from city to city.
Between 2006 and 2013, Derrick and associates, including his partner and wife Anastasia (neé Snider) Grahn, produced over 50 successful special events, charity fundraisers and exclusive galas in Los Cabos, many of which drew crowds of well over 1,000 people.
Derrick was a pioneer in bringing world-famous nightlife entertainers to Cabo, introducing Cabo to Tommy Lee (of Mötley Crüe), DJ Aero, Felix Da Housecat, Green Velvet (aka Cajmere and Curtis Jones), Mark Farina, Derrick Carter, Miguel Migs, Miss Honey Dijon, Gene Farris, Surreal Fxxx (Portia Surreal and Darius FXXX), D:Fuse, Ricky Stone, Stacey Pullen and more.
In 2007, Derrick was appointed CEO of Cabo’s annual Pimp N’ Ho® Costume Ball, an event promotion and production firm originally founded by Brian Balsley in 1998. At that time, the event took place annually on the weekend before Halloween and on the same night as the Awards Celebration of the Bisbee’s Black & Blue millionaires fishing tournament. Under the direction of Grahn (2007 - 2011), the Cabo Pimp N’ Ho® literally devoured the nightlife of Cabo San Lucas. The attendees of the sexy, yet upscale and hedonistic ceremony were a who’s who of the infamous, notorious and famous; like a page torn from a guest list of a Playboy Mansion Party. Sean Combs (aka P. Diddy), film producer Peter Safran, professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., baseball superstar Pat Burrell, motocross icon Carey Hart, professional wrestling valet SoCal Val, MTV’s Mark Long, Dennis Hoff and the Bunny Ranch girls, burlesque DJ Portia Surreal and a long list of Playboy Playmates and models, including Jayde Nicole, Hiromi Oshima, Ciara Price, Amanda Cerny, Shannon James, Christy Hemme, Leticia Cline are just some of many celebrities who attended the Cabo Pimp N’ Ho® while Grahn was at the reins. Grahn and Balsley licensed the brand in 2012 and 2013 and eventually sold all rights of the Cabo Pimp N’ Ho® brand in 2014.
Grahn was also attributed for organizing numerous celebrity visits to Los Cabos also, including Paris Hilton, Tommy Lee, LeAnn Rimes, Eddie Cibrian, Natasha Henstridge, Dave Foley, NBA icons Josh Powell, Brian Shaw and Ronnie Lester, UK recording artist Darius Danesh, Cirque du Soleil performer Felix Cane and many others.
The nightlife entertainers and celebrities which Derrick brokered were sometimes featured within and on the covers of Grahn's publications, and as entertainment or hosts of Derrick’s special events.
In 2012, the Grahn's strategically sold the majority equity of Haut Group’s top brands (to a venture capitalist group). The planned sale was arranged to guide the brands to new and higher levels, and to allow Derrick to pursue the following:
The Grahn's Haut Group currently owns and operates the marketing and sales arm of a new and specialized boutique luxury real estate offerings, the Culinary Cottages and Hillside Haylofts at the world-famous culinary destination, Flora Farms. Willfully, yet contrary to nearly all second home real estate developments in Los Cabos, the Culinary Cottages and Hillside Haylofts are not on the ocean, do not feature ocean views and are not connected to standard opulent amenities, such as golf or luxury exchange programs. Instead, the primary experiences of the Flora Farms communities revolve around hand-manicured and fully functioning organic farms and gardens.
Without the expected ocean and golf driven luxuries tritely connected to most Los Cabos real estate, industry insiders quickly dismissed the potential and viability of the real estate offering at Flora Farms. But fascinated with Flora’s concept and eager for yet another new and inspiring challenge, Derrick took on the venture with the same vigor he delivered to all of his preceding achievements. In its launch, Grahn quickly produced eye-raising sales results as the Sales and Marketing Director of the Culinary Cottages.
Within the first several months of officially launching sales in 2013, Derrick single-handedly sold over 25% of the Culinary Cottages’ inventory, while achieving monthly closing percentages up to 70% and monthly sales volumes over $1 million. In 2013, the Cottages were expected to sell out by 2017, less than half the time than initially thought. In 2015, the cottages were closed to the general public. The remaining Culinary Cottages remained for sale, but only to those who received a Private Invitation.
Body Care: Derrick and wife/life/business partner, Anastasia Grahn, founded, own, operate and continually expand Santo Cabo. The brainchild of Anastasia, Santo Cabo is an all-natural body care company specializing in low batch, safe, non-toxic and useful body care products. Santo Cabo's line is individually handcrafted at a crafting lab in Cabo San Lucas. The company operates several brick and mortar locations; one at The Shops at Flora Farms, one in San Jose del Cabo's Historic Art District, and another inside of a boutique located within the all new Outpost in downtown Cabo San Lucas, plus one online store based in the USA and another in Mexico.
Flora Farms Real Estate: Only 10% of Culinary Cottages inventory remains. Due to the success of the cottages, Flora Farms and Grahn have launched and begun successfully selling the Hillside Haylofts, a second low density community at Flora Farms. As of August 2018, the Haylofts are over 80% sold.
Outpost: August 2017, Derrick and Anastasia opened the Outpost in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The authentic blind pig experience is custom-tailored for its unique patrons who enjoy its atmosphere, cocktails, wine, food, music and goods. Outpost features amuse-bouche cuisine served on handmade plates made from slices of large steel i-beams, handcrafted cocktail menus including a section of Flora Farms favorites, and extensive wine and spirits lists. Once more, the venue is home to a boutique showcasing Santo Cabo skin care products.
Developing: Moving forward, Derrick R Grahn is currently in the process of co- developing several new and unique oceanside Los Cabos communities.