I once read a quote from Sandra Day O’Connor that went something like this:

“In order to understand the complexity of a problem, you have to have started at the bottom.”

I’m paraphrasing, but not by much. I needed this quote, as I was forced to start my PR career all over again, after 11 stellar years in radio broadcasting. In radio PR, two of my greatest achievements were creating two community gardens (one on each side of the Veterans Memorial bridge in Lewiston and Auburn, Maine), and creating two scholarships through the English as a Second Language program at the University of Southern Maine. These scholarships were for immigrants and refugees who couldn’t get into the university system without a small amount of money to get them “into” the system. Once they were in, they could apply for grants and scholarships, but not before that initial fee was covered. I worked for two years, convincing all of the members of my Portland, Maine Rotary club, one at a time, that this was a worthy cause. Each project took two years.

When I landed in wine country, my past meant nothing. I was out of New England and into the Wild West.

Now, when someone comes to me launching a new career or product, I can’t do to them what was done to me; i.e., laugh them out of my office because I already have my career and don’t care about anything else.

I’m reminded of all that history, because I was asked by Brian Zablocki of wearyourbeer.com, to help his t-shirt company. They’re launching a line of wine related T-shirts, and I thought to myself and also told Brian, “Sure… Looks like fun and I can always use fun….”

“Why not?” I thought to myself.

What Brian said to me is so revealing for my lead in, when he responded to me: “Its so great to know there are still some nice people out there :)”

Ah, yes, I remember it well.

He sent six t-shirts to me, one of each of their new line. They’re sassy, irreverent, and have a Millennial appeal. They take the snobbery out of wine, with messages that are beginning to show up and allow a younger group of wine enthusiasts to speak out that they count, too, in the marketing mix. I lived and loved in the 60s and 70s. I remember my parents thinking we had all gone to hell in a hand basket, with the things wore, what we did, and how we did it. Now, here we all are, running everything that needs competent leaders.

These t-shirts replace our “Give Peace a Chance” and “Black is Beautiful” shirts. Our shirts were a sign of the times, just as these shirts are, as it relates to wine. Slogans include, “You Had Me At Merlot,” “Screw it” (cork screw image with the words), “Wine-O,” “Wine a bit… You’ll feel Better,” “Group Therapy” (wine and mixed beverages), and I “Go Both Ways” (two glasses of wine, red and white).

For anyone wanting to buck the system and tear down the old provincial ways of enjoying wine, these shirts are for you. They’re 100 percent cotton and are per-shrunk, a very important feature for cotton, said she after seriously working with fabrics for 11 years. The quality of the stitching is very good. They’re well constructed.

The women’s shirts have a slight inseam that snugly shapes to the body, instead of being boxy and masculine. Although boxy style t-shirts can be comfortable for sleeping for women, I don’t enjoy wearing them for everyday, because they’re too masculine looking. These shirts are flattering for a female figure. (Good thinking, guys!)

If you enjoy wine in a non threatening way and are willing to put that message out there, these shirts are campy. Different colors, different messages, I’ve already begun to see these shirts pop up out there, and made mental notes when I saw them of, “How cute.”

WearYourBeer has expanded to WearYourWine, and this is one doesn’t find me whiny about it. I say, “Go have fun!”




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