Having to reinvent is one of the hardest things anyone has to do… I did it from radio PR to wine PR, and the story is filled with lots of pain, hard work, and laughter along the way.
Yes, Virginia, there is a real… way to get into the wine business…
This story begins with the simple request of a link exchange from someone who’s also made the journey.
Many people who query me can tell you that I spend more time communicating with them than the average bear, but that’s because I’m hyper curious. I learn a lot in the process about what’s going on in the world around me. While my kids roll their eyes at my over communication, others don’t know me well enough yet, so it’s a fun audience. (Being born on a lunar eclipse, for those of you into biodynamics, should explain a lot.)
Being queried for a link exchange is how I learned about Jeff Gould. He wrote asking for a link to The Wine Rack Company. I checked out his site first, like always, and felt that he’d fit in my “Supplies, Amenities, Services” category. I created the link, and then let him know.
We went back and forth a couple of times, then he shared his great story. [This image is borrowed from The Wine Rack Company site.]
Almost 5 Years ago I started The Wine Rack Company mostly by accident. I’m a General Contractor and I used to do a lot of deck work. That being the case I used to have a lot of scrap decks lying around. It was getting pretty close to X-Mas, and this was about the time that the housing market started to die. I needed gifts for my in-laws and I was short on cash. I started milling up the old deck lumber until I got some clean usable wood. My father-in-law likes wine and has a small collection. I decided that I could make a wine rack with the material I made.
The first one was a lot different than what I make now; I had to cart it down to Sacramento as a fully assembled unit. My wife suggested I try selling one on eBay, and sure enough someone bought one. Once I designed a model that could be shipped easily, I knew I was onto something.
Things were slow at first, both sales and building. I got a phone call one day about starting a website with the first three months free, so I did it. A few weeks later I got a $2000 job via the website, and I decided the website was a keeper. I had to build a special saw so I could increase my production. The next big client allowed me to purchase an industrial saw that increased production 850 percent. The rest is history as they say.
For the last two years all I have done is build custom wine cellars all around the country. I worked from home until I had to find a shop location last January. Everything has worked out with my customers over the phone and through email. I get all the specs and details from the client, and then I draw up a design, mostly by hand, usually within 24 hours, but sometimes the build requires my architect.
I have had to learn how to be manufacturer, architect/designer, website designer, SEO tech, writer, and much more than I ever expected when I started.
This is a fun story to share, because it’s from someone who had a paradigm shift from the downturn of the economy, and he just got busy. I love when that happens. And, it does happen all the time, I know… we just don’t hear about it very much, as the news continues to focus on the salacious.