And so it begins...Start-up Mode.

In all honesty, we are scared to death during these beginning months of building the foundation for Smith Story Wine Cellars.  Besides our years in the wine business, both Eric and I have been working full-time before we were old enough to legally drive - so we know our work ethic and drive at the very least will make this happen. What we are scared to death about the most is:
  1. Keeping our first years of marriage stress-free 
  2. Fees and business areas that are foreign to us while in start-up mode 
  3. Taking on investors
One: Smith Story Wine Cellars is sorta like our newborn, this little bundle comes complete with feelings of joy and sleep deprivation from worry. Well, thank goodness we have plenty of wine to help relax us and a million-dollar view from our rental home in San Rafael as we will be taking staycations for a long while.  So #1 we aren't too worried about. Plus Lord Sandwich (our giant Goldendoodle provides us with hourly laughs).  And we love each other so much it may sicken others.

Two: As for getting into the real art of understanding new business licenses, to LLC or to INC, setting up bank accounts, reporting taxes  (um yeah, we won't be selling anything for awhile), paying experts to help us swim through all this with either wine trade, dog sitting, baked goods /BBQ ribs, wine sales or hard cash is also part of the plan.  Holy %#!@ this is hard, confusing, and crazy stressful part of starting a new business.  We just want to do it right from the beginning.  Breath, just breath. I also find my self praying a little more each week, God give us strength and the insight to make right decisions each day. Seriously. Don't sweat the small stuff.  I repeat.

It's truly when Eric and I are in the vineyards, talking to our winemaking team, tasting wines that excite us is what exactly keeps us filled with courage and pressing on to make this happen and become sustainable. We are determined.

Three: We are not starting with a small fortune, we are starting with our sleeves rolled up ready to rock this business plan. Neither one of us come from money or cashed out from Silicon Valley lucky-cards and we've hardly borrowed a dime before.  We've worked for everything we have, memories and material things alike.  A handful of folks have reached out in asking how they can invest (seems that Eric & I are a live-and-in-person solid business plan together).

All that we know is that investors are crucial for us in the first few years of building.  We are listening with great intent and are overwhelmed by the amount of support and generosity that MAY happen.  Making an investment in Smith Story Wine Cellars is long-term and according to our massive forecasts will be a safe place (unless Acts of God happen) for our investors - plus they'll have plenty of great wine along the way.

This scary new frontier will soon pass, the vines are already singing for an incredible 2014 Harvest ahead and by this time next year with all our might & hope  -  our first wine offerings will be released and sold-out.   There's a reason the words "Start-up Mode" is a part of the new business process and I can not wait to look back and smile at all that we've accomplished on day... sooner than later!

This is Our Story. 

 - Ali

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