2014 has been a new year for this gal, a bit of dusting off and relaunching TexaCali Wine Co. within the National and International Markets. Another big focus of our services this year is social media strategy, website creation and communications management.
I’ve also partnered with a design firm “Sketchbook Creative”, Devin the owner and I have the same sensibilities as to why wineries need to care about their online image. Sketchbook provides affordable and super cool website design and development, email marketing, photography and print design.
A recent little Q & A between Devin and myself as we were getting to know each other’s core business…
D: What IS TexaCali Wine Co.? A: We are a sales and marketing consulting firm, always have been, always will be. 2014 has presented a solid mix of client needs from opening national distribution to writing emails to their wine club members. Currently I’m working with a handful of wineries and one importer…oh and there’s the fantastic Zalto (stemware) sales that come along with it too.
D: What isn’t TexaCali Wine Co.? A: Great question, seriously do not come to me with 1000 cases of wine you bottled a few years ago that you didn’t have a sales plan for then…there are people in this business that feed like sharks on others’ misery and mistakes, this is not for me. It’s best to utilize TexaCali Wine Co. in a positive situation, where you want to strengthen your current working plans and/or begin planning for the first time ever.
D: So do you live in Texas? A: Not anymore, I’m basing operations from Marin County (proximity to airports is KEY!) but am always up for a visit to Texas, Germany, NYC – you name it. I basically live behind my Mac and in my car…thank goodness for our view from the deck at home in Marin!
D: Who’s your favorite client? A: Now now, you can’t ask me that, they’re all special in many different ways. My best clients have a focused vision for the business, are organized for me to step-in and lend my strengths and are already implementing “best practices”. First you must be making wine that I love to drink…seriously matters. Oh and don't be an asshole, my #1 rule in life from now on...
D: What do you think your best strengths are then? A: Oh my enthusiasm for the “business of wine” and the art of story telling to make sure anyone I’m reaching out to feels the passion that went into those bottles! I’ve been known to move a few truckloads and containers of wines too…the best part!!
D: Weakness – come on, spill it... A: I loathe projects that are full of time wasting minutia, I love to sell BIG, kills me to wrap my talents around selling a handful of cases at a time for someone, I’m not very good at staying on target with that task. Make me work for a solid BTG placement and for a special feature any-day! Oh and I wish I was a Master of Excel, I blame it on my age, but man I'm such a Excel dummy.
D: Describe a perfect day in the life of TexaCali Wine Co. A: Easily begins with a handful of Purchase Orders from Wholesalers, news of a big weekend of wine club/mailing list purchases right up there with hearing from buyers and sales reps throughout the day about how the wines are working for them. Getting text messages from my Inner Circle makes my day! My day starts early, the East Coast is rockin’ by 8am Cali time, so is my email/iPhone by that first cup of coffee in the morning. The rest of my perfect day is tooo long to finish in this Q&A…but meeting folks in the vineyards and/or wineries are my very favorite part of the job! I dream of ending each day at Three Dog Yoga in Santa Rosa for a 90 minute class…but haven’t made that happen in a couple of years now. Le sigh.
D: How do you see this new partnership with Sketchbook Creative working for TexaCali Wine Co.? A: Oh, you guys bring such valuable expertise and resources that I can not provide technically. I was the project manager of a website in 1998 and I’ve hardly stopped with my online focus since. I code just enough to mess things up, but have clear and precise ideas that Sketchbook can easily help to execute for my clients. I’ve been spoiled in my roles prior to TexaCali Wine Co. to have a creative resource team within arms-reach, so shazzam, now I do finally in 2014!
D: What’s on tap for Fall 2014 for you then? A: Besides having my clients in active distribution across the USA for the big OND season, the www.texacaliwinetours.com division will be in full-swing with wine country visitors and then there’s a new project I’m working on with my husband Eric www.smithstorywinecellars.com that’s ramping up this Harvest 2014. I hope to walk the dog (Lord Sandwich) a few times inbetween my market travel and vineyard visits too.
D: Speaking of Dogs…isn’t that how we met on Instagram? A: Oh yeah, you follow @sandwichthedoodle then the “Dog Gods” connected us with @thedogsofwine ...that’s business done the right way, love it. I'm really excited to be lending my expertise to Sketchbook and watch all of our dog-loving (we do like cats to) clients grow with our help.
Cheers to the Art of Wine, indeed Devin!