Monday, May 23, 2011

Walking the Vine With Liz

I love Liz's products and her story about her pilgramage to the place she wanted to be. Liz Healy-Kay explains her passion and inspiration for I Walk the Vine. Read about her guiding principle and pet peeves.

Following My Passion!
Name: Liz Healy-Kay

Creator/Owner of I Walk the Vine, LLC an apparel and gift line for wine enthusiasts, with national placement in over 50 wineries throughout Oregon, WA, CA, Napa, Sonoma and Texas.

Inspiration for I Walk the Vine:
I started this line from my own frustration of never finding hip, stylish wine tees when in winery gift shops – you don’t have to wear rhinestones to declare your love for wine!

Professional background:
Over 20 years experience in diverse marketing & management roles, primarily in the recording industry. I launched “I Walk the Vine” three years ago.

Education: BA in Political Science, Stockton State, Pomona, NJ

Residence: Portland, OR

Following Your Passion:
Great ideas can come simply from your gut especially if you are bringing to market something different. Products that “wink” and make people smile set a great foundation for enthusiasm. I knew nothing about developing a gift or t-shirt line, running a full commerce website or selling to the wine industry. I had always worked in a tough, competitive, creative industry where you only survived by being special – that translates in whatever you do.

Best way to keep competitive:
Keep it fresh with new designs & products; find ways to communicate & engage with your fan base

Guiding principle:
Always be moving forward & improving – complacency will never grow your business

Yardstick of success: Continued growth in tough economic times.

Best business decision: Trade-marking “I Walk The Vine”

Toughest business decision: Investing in outside consultants to help me grow

Mentors: Entrepreneurs & risk takers

Word that best describes you: Dedicated

Like best about the job: Autonomy

Like least about the job: Uncertainty

Pet peeves: Bad design and cheap t-shirts

Most important lesson learned: Tap your smart friends for business advice

Most respected competitor: I love the story and the massive success of Johnny Cupcakes t-shirts – not a competitor by any stretch but a product & entrepreneur I respect.

Greatest passions: Wine and cooking for people I love

Favorite wine: Buttery Chardonnays and big reds – bring on the Jam!

First choice for a new career: Launch another great idea!

Favorite quote: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them” – Dr Maya Angelou

Most influential book: The Color of Water

Favorite cause: Big Brothers, Big Sisters – I am a mentor to 8-year old “little sister” Promise

Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction

Favorite music/musician: Johnny Cash, of course! All great singer-songwriters

Most treasured possession: My wedding ring

Favorite food: fresh, local, simple with really good olive oil & herbs

Favorite vacation spot: Equally Mexico & Hawaii

Favorite way to spend free time: Cooking

Posted by Passaggio Wines

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