“How is the wine business? “People keep asking me, sometimes probably hoping for a reply that will let them indulge in a bit of Schadenfreude. I feel OK writing this here because those are not the people who read my blog.
How is the wine business? Well, It’s the end of October so it’s the end of Sober for October and Christmas is in sight so, although it has been quiet recently (and not just for me according to WSTA), my diary tells me that the next couple of months are going to be really busy.
That’s because in the run up to Christmas my product is a desirable one. People stock up on nice Christmas wines, firms who want something special for their loyal clients appreciate the fact that my wines are nicely packaged and not from ubiquitous brands but from relatively small producers; they do make lovely Christmas presents. People who are planning to have vegetarians and vegans at their’s for the festive season like to make sure they have wines that are suitable for them. The build up to Christmas is also a great time for parties. And I love parties. I love hosting them, and I love selecting wines for them and talking about those wines. To me, every wine I sell has a story behind it and I love telling stories.
Partying is all what people seem to think my organic wine business is about. I can’t blame them as it is probably how it looks on my twitter feed or on Facebook. But of course it’s not. Like with any other business, there is a lot of paperwork involved. And even more since it is alcohol I sell. HMRC, Excise and Duty and licensing forms are really boring. And loading boxes into your car at 6am on cold December Sunday mornings before going to a fair is neither enjoyable nor glamorous. And if you ask me how the wine business is in January, I probably will reply with just a faint smile. People don’t look for something special in January but the online shop, the business insurance, the licensing fees still cost the same.
It’s not Christmas or food festivals season all year round and, to give you an element of answer, the wine business is definitely not earning me a living yet.
Still, my ideas have been good enough to get me noticed and selected by Jacqueline Gold’s #Wow and Theo Paphitis’s #SBS . That really has helped keep me going. And also the thought that it took my dad years to get me interested in wine when I was much younger. But he persevered and he definitely got results in the end since I am now more passionate about it than he could ever have dreamt. I’m sure he thinks that the time he spent trying to educate me has been worthwhile and, since then, I have willingly spent a lot of my spare time studying for wine qualifications. Like him, I will persevere and hopefully the business will keep growing little by little. When you can’t afford to take big risks, you need to be patient. But I also need to make a few important changes to Mimi’s Organic Wines. Christmas or not, most of my orders come through emails or texts so all the costs related to the shopping cart facility on my website are unjustified and I think I’ll have to close it after Christmas. I will of course make sure that there’s an up to date wine list on mimisorganicwines.com so that people can still order organic wine from me.
So, I am really glad that it’s half-term. Ah, yes, in case you didn’t know, I still am a (part-time) teacher. Because I can’t afford to let go of the day job yet and because I actually also enjoy it. During my half-term, I am really looking forward to being able to do some analysis and business planning and I will be updating my website. I hope that I will be able to give people a clearer answer as to how the wine business is after that. In the meantime, whilst the online shop is still here, feel free to visit it. And if you can leave a review about anything you have bought, that would be much appreciated.