Preview of our 10th Vintage Blanc de Cabernet Franc label.
2019 was an enormous year for me and my family. Giving birth to my first child was the biggest blessing of my life. And yet I wasn’t prepared for the many challenges that would come along with my long and painful recovery. I was unable to properly manage several aspects of my life and my business suffered the most – so much so that I nearly lost it.
I feel like I was under a veil of brain fog, depression and anxiety for the first half of the year. Pain was at the center. My family was far away and I felt the agonizing isolation that so many new mothers feel. I was a deer in headlights and I had no idea how to get things back on track. So I just focused on taking care of my baby while healing and trying to regain my strength – and I hoped that would be enough until I could manage the rest of my life.
I knew I needed more support. Eventually, I hired a part-time nanny. I then hired a marketing consultant to help me get organized. I then hired someone to help me in the cellar to get me through harvest. I had no idea how I would afford all of this help when, for so long, I managed to do the majority of my work by myself. There was never a budget for staff. My business is not yet profitable so I need to reserve all net sales for the cost of production. There’s no line of credit and no current investor – no real financing. Up until now I managed to make it work.
Becoming a mother changes everything. Until you find yourself in it – you really have no idea what that means. Beyond the shock of the injury, recovery and postpartum depression that came at the beginning of my mother journey, I had to reevaluate how I would continue to work as a mom and how I would develop into a mompreneur.
As soon as harvest completed and I had time to process my life and my work – it became abundantly clear that I needed to address my challenges on a deeper level. I bought a bunch of books that tackled the struggles of a new mom. One especially helpful book, The Empowered Mama: How to Reclaim Your Time and Yourself While Raising a Happy, Healthy Family by Lisa Druxman, gave me exercises to do some important self work and self care.
One of the first assignments was to come up with your top ten values picked from an extensive list of empowering words; from there you narrow it down to your top three values, and then finally your number one value. I put my complete list of top ten values up on my wall in my office, highlighting the top three.
My top three values were easy to identify:
Resilience to me often manifests as simple “reframing” from a negative situation or outcome. It means your place in that negative situation or outcome is not permanent. You have the power to change your experience. It is a skill that I believe I have cultivated over many years. I needed this skill now more than ever.
As I began to explore my new identity as mompreneur I considered all of the challenges that have come my way since I brought my son into the world and looked deeper into my experiences in relation to those challenges.
I love winter. It allows for the quiet needed to self reflect. I worked diligently in my home office and discovered some new truths about me and my business. I explored the dread and resentments I felt regarding my business. It was time to get real.
A little bit of self reflective work opened up the gates to the visionary work I was meant to do. I had been stuck in the minutia. Deep breathing and a little more kindness to myself helped.
I am proud of my business. I am proud of the wine I make. But there’s so much more that I want to do!
I’m not going into all of those details here and now. It’s a work in progress. But I am excited about the vision I have for my business, for myself. I am working on the framework of that vision. I am more centered and focused on the ethos of my work – what is really important to me to put out into the world? We should always explore our gifts and reflect on how we can best use our gifts to make the world a better place. We should also be inspired, impassioned and empowered to do the real work we are meant to do.
For a little preview – I am evolving the wine business. It will have a cosmic make over with an exciting plan that will be cutting edge and will make for a lasting legacy for our grape growing and winemaking plans. It will be epic! I am manifesting everything I need right now to transform this business into something that better reflects my values, curiosity and big picture vision.
I will also be working on some other projects that tie into my nutrition background and interest in lifestyle and wellness – and motherhood. Big and exciting work to be done! Not to mention some amazing collaborations that have me so inspired and ready to roll up my sleeves and get to this important work!
As for my wine business – 2020 could not be more auspicious! I’m launching a celebration for my 10th Vintage – that’s right! 2020 will be my tenth vintage! 20/20 is perfect vision and I am just about to launch a campaign to honor this incredible milestone. The whimsical girl on my label holds a telescope and looks into the cosmos. It is foreshadowing…
Fans can order special 10th Vintage t-shirts with this anniversary edition design (see above) on charcoal gray. Stay tuned!
What a way to wrap up 2019 – a year full of blessings and challenges and a vintage that most certainly closed the decade in a memorable way! This might be the best vintage on the books for Southern Oregon. I can’t wait to release these wines and hold on to many of them in future celebration of my son’s birth year.
So we’re looking ahead to 2020 with hope and faith in the many miracles that can and we believe will happen. It will be a game changer year and vintage – I can feel it!