Peace and Harmony in Wine Country


Wine, wine country, romance, harmonyI’ve talked a lot about transitioning into this business and the related challenges, but there is another side…the fun of being involved in a productive endeavor with my wife and partner.

You have read about my color blindness and should infer some challenges marketing to women.

Someone said “No I haven’t heard about your colorblindness… so here goes a thumbnail: You all know how into color Mary is. As newlyweds I was not (and still am not) aware of color. As a child in grade school, every year I was tested with color perception plates along with my friends. As far as I was concerned it was all pretty silly since all those plates were completely BLANK! It wasn’t until well into our marriage that I had an opportunity to see the key to the color plates. Even with the key – they are completely blank! The silver lining is that Mary and I no longer fight over color 🙂

So read now about how cool it is to work different ends of the same gig. In business we’ve found that we each gravitate to areas in which we have a comfort level. Mary does all the design and manages initial contacts and sales. I handle some of the installation, trouble-shooting, logistics, and finances.  We share marketing and development.

Even in my gig there was much to learn. Years ago, when Mary was first getting started, she set up in our living room. Shortly, she rented a commercial spot.  When she told me of the selected site – upstairs from a hair salon – I advised that an upstairs location might not be the best for traffic! She offered the hair stylists (downstairs) a break on any merchandise they wanted for personal use if they would send their clients upstairs to her shop while their “do’s” were drying. Instant traffic! (Sadly, I never figured out a way to use that model in the hospital business).

Since then, Mary has consistently demonstrated an understanding of marketing and promotion which has allowed her to develop an outstanding business model.

Now, with her acumen and my abilities at installation and troubleshooting we make a good team! On top of that, how many couples figure out how to work AND live together all (mostly) in harmony?

What I think will be interesting is how we will react to each other as we head off on vacation this week. I predict a little tension. The vacation part will be fine but we’ll also be working part of the time – working the wine market in southern CA for my new wine business. Mary will, of course, be everywhere with me and offering her perceptions on everything. It remains to be seen whether I’ve grown enough to accept all her comments with good grace!!

What do you folks think? Should a husband and wife that work in her business together, go off on a working vacation and then work his business together?

Send your thoughts, and when we get back, I’ll share how we made out.


Categories : Paul's Rants


  1. Mary says:

    Thanks, Joyce. We’ll look for Brent!

  2. Joyce Walker says:

    Hope you all have a good trip. Go our son’s bar ( The Parlor ) if you have time. He is only part owner; hence, he’s not there all the time. It’s great knowing our sons are in the same town. His name is Brent Walker….hope you run into him.
    Have a great trip!

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