“Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of havin´ my own things about me. My spinet…over there, and the table here, and… my own chairs to rest upon. And… and the dresser over there in that corner. And… my own china and pewter shinin’ about me. And now…” -Excerpt from The Quiet Man.
Tina and GUY, partners of PROTOCOL wine studio threw a party in June. We called it Transiency and Transcendentalism. Our intension was to offer our gratitude to all the family, friends and mentors who’ve help us as we’ve formed this enterprise. So we served Persian food, popped bottles of Cremant, a Greek red and smoky Fie Gris. And it all went down in my empty San Diego house.
Why an empty house you ask? Well, being a startup wine business, we’re all about the bootstrap mentality. Thus, it seemed like perfect timing that the house was temporarily vacant and the business is moving closer to its official opening. So let’s have a party and spend most of the budget on food and wine—as it should be!
Our concept was simple, yet experimental: a bare house, not many chairs, no personal items in the space at all—quite the transient feel about the place. And while the concept was simple, the questions we asked ourselves about the event were diverse:
How do we adapt to a new situation?
Does spending time in a bare house heighten our intuitiveness?
Do we become, even for a short time, more in tune with our senses in an empty space?
Are we approaching a cultural precipice that begs the question: What’s your cultural evolution?
Or for us wine geeks, what is your cultural evolution in wine?
And finally can a bare space somehow inspire us in a more pure fashion?
While all of these questions are fascinating to us, it turns out the truly monumental evolution of this event came in its planning and a conflict we experienced. GUY embodies incredible vision. Me, I’m more of a, if it feels good let’s do it, kinda girl. While those differing attitudes can work extremely well, complimentary even, sometimes we find ourselves at odds.
We both were stressed–I felt displaced and GUY was edgy about the event as a whole. I wanted to keep it simple and GUY had more complex visions. So we had our first big “discussion,” ok, phone fight.
I found myself hunkered down in the upstairs master walk-in closet, raising my voice and using not-so-ladylike words to my business partner. At the time it was awful, but as we discussed it afterward, the whole experience was necessary and even cathartic.
I’m reminded again that I’m not a good relationship communicator (my husband has been telling me this for years—why he stays is beyond me.) And perhaps that’s just me. You can’t completely sum me up on this point alone, there’s far more. We are all parts of a whole. And full circle, that’s what we’ve been saying about wine—we are more than what is in our glasses. We are more than what a package says about us.
So as a business we ask, what exactly gives us a sense of who we are, how do we describe our sense of place? We suspect that the answer is that it’s the whole experience, who we’re with, the conversation, the music, the artwork…and by arriving at these conclusions, are we transcending?
Oddly enough, while writing this post, I realized that although GUY and I called the evening somewhat of an experiment, it occurs to me that we were just as much experimental participants as our guests. How psychologically fitting!
That big fight I talked about–many business partners could have parted ways, but we worked through it, identified what exactly was going on within each of our personal lives and figured a way to deal with it. It was an incredible learning experience for me, both professionally and personally and I hope I become the better person for it. And perhaps in the end it prepares us for facing the really big decisions down the road.
As GUY once said: “Evolved thinking is the power within one’s self and the potential to overcome adversity.” (the visionary bastard) 😉
Tina and Guy
Partners, PROTOCOL wine studio