Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Many Wild Walla Walla Wine Women

Yes, you read it right. Women - - plural. You will read how it takes a lot of Walla Walla women who like wine to make one Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman.

A few years back when I was attending the viticulture/enology program, there were a few extra classes that took us out of the vineyards and cellars and into the classroom. One of those classes was Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, taught by Debbie Frazier (Debbie and I were in Junior Club together many moons ago) The most interesting part of the class for me was Chapter 15 - E-commerce (in fact, to this day the text book is still on my desk with a blue Post-it Note marking the chapter). I loved this concept of retailing on the web. During those business classes, instructor/web designer Nanqi You visited our class showing us the importance of good web designs especially wine related. I stored all of this info in the back of my mind. I just knew I would need it some day.

So once my wine blog took off I started getting emails from readers interested in more stuff about the Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman and it got me to thinking - - e-commerce. Last spring I started talking. I talked to Nanqi You and Julia Herres at Walla Walla Web Weavers/Winery Design and told them what was on my mind. They liked my idea. I talked with friends, Anne Hull (Anne, Debbie and I were in Junior Club together many moons ago)and Marie-Eve Gilla at Forgeron Cellars. I told them my idea and what I had in mind. Annie gave me product and shipping advice. Marie-Eve thought Becky Wilson of Chameleon Design could capture the visual that I had for this wild Walla Walla wine woman. And Marie was right. Becky had designed beautiful and distinctive labels for some of the valley's wines.

I met Becky at her "office," a cozy outdoor table at Merchants LTD Deli in downtown Walla Walla to where she asked me questions about the concept of the Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman. What does she look like? Can any woman be a wild Walla Walla wine woman? What color of nail polish does she wear? Does she wear polish on her toe nails? What is her favorite wine? Her breast size??????

Julia at Winery Design was very patient with me and would email me sample colors. How about this one. Nope, too dark. No border. Okay, maybe a little border. Nope, no border. Nope, too brown, not enough red, more yellow please, too orange and...and...can you make the lips bigger?

There were good days of planning and a few bad days. I would moan and groan, but find encouragement and a listening ear from friend and winemaker, Jill Noble (Jill, Anne, Debbie and I were in Junior Club together - - you get the picture. Hey, that's Walla Walla for you). Yes, there were a few days of tears and frustrations and thought I would just forget the idea. Thank goodness my sweetheart, Steve wouldn't let me. A road trip to Montana to camp with Steve and my family helped immensely. With a camping chair attached to my butt and a wine glass attached to my hand, I watched my adorable young granddaughters play with their cousins, along with the fresh air, the lake and gorgeous mountain views; all combined it did wonders for my soul.

Putting this project together to form the Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman was kind of like an old quilting bee where women came together with ideas, designs, and colors. There were no endless reams of paper printed with flow charts, numerous lists of progressive phases, competitive analysis, assessing customer psychographic babble, demographic tech surveys, blah, blah and a big fat blah-bee-blah. I just set some goals, jotted them down on a legal pad so they would be tangible in print, marked each goal off as they were completed and logic told me what I needed to do next and with what person - - and here we are!

Isn't she beautiful - the Walla2 Wine Woman logo? Becky read my mind and put her on canvas and Julia and Nanqi put her into pixel. And now the Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman is the mistress of her own wine shop. Please check "her" out. The Wild Walla2 Wine Woman has a selection of wines from the Walla Walla Valley, gourmet goodies such as local artisan chocolates, and there is more to come! I have just begun to search out the finest that this valley has to offer, besides gifts will be arriving bearing the wonderful Walla Walla Wine Woman logo, so every woman can be identified as a WW2W Woman.

I think the timing is quite appropriate to say, "It takes a village of Walla Walla women to raise a Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman." Many thanks, hugs and smoochies to all of those fabulous Wild Women of Walla Walla!

PS: Thank you to Jill at Domaine 547 (the coolest online wine store in the LA area) for the warm welcome into the internet wine retail world. Under her column of "Wine Jargon" she lists the meaning of "Internet Wine Retailer:" Folks who be crazy!


Sue said...

The label is great Catie and the village of woman that helped produce it! Catie I hope that you can find a source for the "Walla Walla Sweet Onion Salad Vineager" I don't know if you have ever used it but it is great. So far the only source is FT. Walla Walla Museum Gift Shop and they are not open year round. There source doesn't sell to individuals. Anyway just a thought. Best of Luck in this new venture.

Catie said...

Hi Sue,

Thanks for writing and for the nice compliments. I will certainly do some sluthing on this vinegar.


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