Hey there and welcome to another week on the Girl Means Business podcast. This week I am chatting with Elizabeth Hill of Burklee Hill Vinyards in Lubbock Texas. She is not only a winery owner, but is a legal expert and she is sharing her best tips and legal advice with us.
So she and I chatted about setting up your LLC creating contracts and making sure that your business is legit from day one. So before we get started with our interview with Elizabeth I want to remind you about one of our amazing sponsors Quick Books. So talking about legal you can't talk about legal advice not talking a little bit about money as well. And guys quick books makes managing the money in my business so incredibly easy. I have the cookbook self-employed app on my computer as well as on my phone. It tracks my invoices my income my expenses and my favorite part is it tracks my miles.
So I have the quick book apps on my phone and every time I make a trip somewhere a records that trip mileage in the app and all I have to do is go in and swipe left or right to let cookbooks know whether that was a personal trip or a business trip. If it's a business trip I just put in what it was for because it helps me keep track of the little trips I take in my business that I was forgetting to keep track of in the past. Things like running to someone's house to deliver products are going to the post office to mail packages or going to a meeting with a client down the road at Starbucks.
Those types of mileage I was forgetting to put into my quick books account but because the app is tracking it for me it makes it super super easy. And because I know all of you listening want to make your life a lot easier. Cookbooks is offering you half off your membership when you sign up using the girl means business link. So go to Bentley forge slash G M B Quick Books that's b i t dot l y forge slash G M B cookbooks or head over to today's show notes and get the link there.
All right guys let's get to our interview today with the amazing Elizabeth Hill.
Hi Elizabeth. How are you today. I'm great. Kendra How are you. I'm doing whatever thank you so much for being part of the growth means business podcast today. I am really excited to chat with you.
So you run the Berkeley vineyards and that's in Lubbock correct.
Yes we're in Lubbock and a nearby small town called level land.
OK. Awesome. Sorry. My great grandmother is from level 1 level lab I say right. So. OK. Not many people know about but I have connection to so awesome.
Yeah. It's a great little town. We love it.
Awesome. OK. So I want to start off by just having you tell us your story. Tell us a little bit about who you are what you do and how you got to where you are right now.
Sure. Well I have kind of a dual career. I am an attorney and I actually went back to law school as a second career I was a counselor before that. So I've had way too much school. I. When I was about to go to law school I met my husband Chase and he grew wine grapes at the time and he still does today. But he started out as a grower. And so over the years as we got married and he continued to make grow wine grapes and then we wanted to get into the wine making business and so about three years ago we started making wine.
And so now I'm involved in both my own law practice in Berkeley Hill vineyards are winery and vineyard that produces wine here in the Lubbock area.
That's amazing. So was wine grape growing in his family or was it just something he was interested in.
He started doing his own well so it's kind of interesting his family had they have been growers of all different kinds of crops for decades. I think he's like the fifth or sixth generation. It's a really neat deal. So they've had this family land for about a hundred years and they've grown all kinds of crops cotton Cotton's really big in this area. So they've grown cotton they've grown alfalfa peanuts and soybeans I've heard they've even grown cucumbers from McDonald's they've told me never they've never been afraid to grow something new. And back in 2002 a wine grape grower visited the land named Neal Newsome.
He's a grower here in the area that's been growing for over 30 years and he looked at the land and he said wow this would be a great site for a vineyard. That elevation looks good. There's good water and so Chaisson his dad ordered about five acres of vines to try it out and it just went from there and now it's the only crop they grow and they do lease some cotton land to someone else but they love growing wine grapes and really chase has been managing it. He was in college at the time when they planted the first five acres and he got a degree in horticulture so really studied and learned how to grow wine grapes.
Well that's so amazing. Yeah I've always been. I love wine. I'm a. I'm a fan of wine. Can I put that way.
And I love going to vineyards and then there's several I know that Lubbock area. There's a couple here that disappeared of course down the whole country down by Austin. And it's always interesting to me just the process of it all and learning about that world because you know we go and we buy a bottle of wine and we enjoy it. You don't think about all that everything goes into it. So what was that like for you like learning about that world and was it something that you also got interested in with her and we all get it together now or is it still kind of like that's this thing and you just kind of have long.
Well I really do have in wholeheartedly. I'm like you I really enjoy wine when I met him. I was not my palate was not developed or anything like that. I was drinking. I like to joke I was drinking like the big giant mosquito that you could get at Walgreens that's why I'm awesome.
And it's super cheap. And I really didn't have much experience but I started drinking the wine that and their wine grapes produced and other at the time other wineries would buy wine grapes from them.
And so I developed my own palate and learned about the industry. And then as an attorney when I was in law school I even did a paper on the Vineyard industry and just all the different legal implications. So I really don't all in. Now I'm probably the wine kind of sewer in the family.
That's awesome. That's so cool. OK. So going back to your verdict you said you were a counselor and now you went back to law school and hire a lawyer and also run the Vineyard. So kind of walk me through that journey.
Well yes. So I just kind of reached a point in my life. I was a single mom trying to decide what I wanted to do. And I had always really enjoyed the law I'd worked in law practice whenever I was in college and I decided you know I've always had that in the back of my mind wanting to do that. And you know this is the time. And so I went back to law school.
Luckily Lubbock has an excellent law school in Texas Tech University. And so luckily they took me and I had an incredible experience and I knew from the first week of classes that I was in the right place and I was meant to be an attorney so it was the best decision it was hard to do at the time because I had three small children but I was able to do it and it was the best decision.
Yes that sounds right. But so one of my best friends actually went to law school attacks. I know they have a great law school she practices here in Dallas now but I. Yeah. I think that's so inspiring that you did that while having your three kids because a lot of people would have looked at their circumstances and thought it's too late for me you know. And I think a lot of people a lot of moms especially once they have kids and they start thinking like they're in their 30s or even like early 40s they're like oh it's too late for me to make that career shift too late for me to try something new.
But I love that you just jumped in. I was like No I'm going to make this happen I'm going to do it anyway and I'm gonna make it work and whether it's hard is difficult it's trying it's it's obviously what you were meant to do and that's so amazing.
Well thank you. You know it's really interesting because I think that honestly to go back a little bit later gives you some advantages and I believe that I probably did better as a nontraditional student than I would have if I'd come straight out of undergrad. And so I think there are some real advantages to going back at that time. So obviously it's a challenge but you've got some life experience that really aids you.
Yeah. No I agree I think you know definitely I've had this kind of dilemma and this is getting a little off track but with just college and literally no I went the traditional rather I went straight from high school to college but then I didn't go back and get my master's until several years later I was in my late 20s and even still fairly young. I did see a huge difference in how I did school. Actually you know I was more dedicated I was more committed. I was there for the right reasons I guess and not just because it was the next step in my journey and I can definitely see how you know when you ask an 18 year old to say what do you want to do for the rest of your life and then spend the next four years doing that.
It's a big job and it's a lot to ask someone that young. When you may get into your 30s late 20s 30s 40s and then finally at that point realize this is what I want to be when I grow up.
So it's so true. You don't really know. I mean at least I did it. I didn't know I wanted to be whenever I graduated from undergrad at 21. So I was really young and high. You know I just honestly had not developed in to the person that I was going to be.
Yeah. And I don't think you have enough life experience that I used to even know really what it is you want to do in life. You know I think that when you're 18 19 20 and you are given kind of these basic options of you know I want to be a teacher or a lawyer a doctor an engineer or whatever it might be. You don't even know what other options are out there because you don't have enough life experience.
That's so true. And I really think that some of my life experiences seeing other attorneys and learning from them inspired me and so that definitely led to who I am now.
Yeah. So you're practicing law full time correct.
I am. Yes. And what kind of law do you do do you do like. Mostly for the wineries and things like that or do they're more like family.
Smaller stuff. Well I do some wine law and this area in Texas is really growing as far as winery goes. It's actually we grow 80 to 85 percent of the fruit for wine throughout the state of Texas. And so it really has conditions similar to Napa Valley here because we're dry. So this area is developing in wine law and I have been setting up wineries permits for them and I really enjoy that. But the bulk of my business is still business law. So I work with small businesses and we do anything from setting up entities drafting contracts.
We discuss employment issues. And I also do litigation which means lawsuits. And so I do some collection matters and contract disputes. And so pretty much anything a business needs except I don't give tax advice.
Good to know. OK. So yes. So I wanted to kind of jump into some of the legal stuff and dominance circle back around later and I would talk a little bit more about the winery and how I kind of got that off the ground. I think that's really interesting is something different and unique. We haven't had on the show before so let's talk a little bit about the legal side of things. So a lot of listeners that are tuning into this show are kind of new to business just starting out small business.
A lot of them are moms who are starting a business on the side with dealing you know growing. Raising a family maybe even working full time. So what would you say is kind of a first step if you're starting a business is beginning to be a legal business. I think a lot of people start things kind of as a hobby and then they don't know when to make that leap into full fledged let's set this up as an actual business.
Well I always say it's easy to do. It's not difficult.
You should set up an entity so for example either a corporation or a limited liability company which we call LLC which is the bulk of the majority of people choose an LLC and it keeps your finances separate from your personal and your business. And we are obligated to do that for tax reasons. And so it's smart. Even if it's gonna be a small side gig to keep it separate from the beginning because you never know where it will go and setting up an entity allows you to keep your finances separate for liability reasons as well and as an attorney that's usually my primary concern.
So let me ask you a question with the LLC. So the LLC from what I understand it is can be kind of a spray like umbrella because let's say you have somebody I do myself as example so I started off of my business as a photography business. And it grew from there and now I do photography I also have a photo booth company I also have my education side with the podcast and things like that. Now all of that can go under my photography LLC. Is that correct.
It can yes.
There are some advantages to keep it under one and there are some advantages to separate it out OK because I know I've had some people ask me in the past where they say well you know I want to put my LLC under my business name or say for example in photography but what if I branch off and do other things. How would that work. And my understand want to make sure I was clear on that. That's why I was asking it was that it can all kind of go under the one as sort of like separate you know days and business days correct.
Yes absolutely. So an LLC can have multiple DB days and we have that but we also created separate LLC for different locations and mostly that is for liability reasons but also in the winery industry. The regulations pretty much require you to do that.
Gotcha. OK. Good to know. OK so let's talk a little bit about the next step. So once you have said that your entity and most people are probably doing especially in the photography world or small business world LLC is kind of the go to there. So once you have your LLC established what is the next step in setting up legal aspects of your business.
Well if you if you work with an attorney and I know that it's expensive but I do recommend trying to work with an attorney initially the attorney can help you set up your bylaws or regulations which will govern your business and it will determine things like your tax status. And I always recommend having an accountant on hand someone that you can ask recommendations as far as what you should set up as your tax status. And so I really do think that using an attorney is important. I understand a lot of people do it on their own and do just fine.
But that way you can have all of the formalities that the law requires like laws and regulations and initial minutes and election of officers and things like that.
Yeah I think that's one of things that's really tricky when you're starting I know for me when I was first starting my business I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing. I was kind of just winging it. I was like OK. So I started this business and now what I was it was me having to Google things or hearing people and other like Facebook groups or networking groups. I was making comments I was like oh I don't know what that means. I had to go like look it up.
Are there any resources you recommend for people where they can kind of get. I guess maybe like a step by step guide or something that kind of tells them like when you set up a business. Here are some of the things that you need to start with. Because I just think that the lack of knowledge I think people don't know. OK I need to set up as an LLC or I need to get these things in order. So what do you recommend I make use of going with an attorney. But even if they don't know to do that is there someplace you would send them or something you recommend they can go and check out.
As far as this is the steps you need to take.
That's a good question. In Texas for example and I know a lot of a lot of states have this. The secretary of state does have some good resources on their website.
You can also go to the Small Business Administration's Web site the SBA. I know they have some incredible resources for new small businesses and a lot of areas have local offices and so I know people have gone in and met with counselors there that advise them on developing a business plan. And so how would the SBA or the Small Business Administration would be your best bet.
OK. Awesome. I'm desperate I will work that up I'm I will get the phone out to some people can kind of find that or know to look for it in their area. Perfect yeah. OK. So I know for me one of the first things I really drove into setting up my business was contracts getting contracts some place working with clients working with other vendors. So for when I was shooting weddings you know having something in place for any other vendors that I worked with or if I'm working with a hair makeup artist things like that.
Are there any tips you have for when it comes to creating contracts. I think a lot of people just kind of go to Google once again and they don't really know what needs to be in there how to protect themselves and their client. So what tips you have on that. That's right.
Well and I know this sounds like self promotion but I've just seen it so many times. I do recommend using an attorney for a contract. I will say that those legal zoom kind of sites or sites where you can find your own contracts. The issue is that those are often written for all 50 states and every state has different laws and contract laws typically governed by state law. And so that's kind of an issue there. But I would really try to think about what ifs. So when you're developing a contract you think about all the possible what ifs.
What if this happens. What if they don't pay on time what's going to happen then what if something happens some catastrophe.
How are you all going to handle that. Is there going to be a refund. And so for example with wine grape contracts I like to see them being pretty specific as far as what happens if the crop is damaged by weather. What happens if the bricks which is the sugar levels are not as high as you hoped they would be. And so contracts really need to address what happens in all of the different scenarios that could possibly happen. And so in your individual industry when you're developing your business plan I would say kind of list out what are all the things you think might happen or you've heard might happen.
Because sometimes it's just you know trial and error and learning what possibly could happen that really defining terms defining what happens in the what ifs.
That's the most important part in a contract and I think that's scary for some people because that means you have to sit down and kind of create your list of worst case scenario.
So yeah I mean think about it's not but it's so it's so good to have in place.
I think a lot of times people starting out they think oh I'm just working with family and friends or Oh I'm not big enough. Yes I worry about that. But you never know when it's going to come back to bite you. And so you want to make sure you're covered from day one as much as you can be. So let's say someone gets into a situation where a client is unhappy with a product or service. And what tips do you have for the business owner going from that point of you like if they have someone who is maybe either threatening legal issue or is unhappy with what they received.
Well you can always try to work it out yourself. And sometimes that does work well. But I I help my clients with that. For example just because you hire an attorney does not mean you're go into court. Sometimes it helps to remove you from an emotional situation. For example if it's become kind of a source of bitterness or frustration then getting attorneys involved can sometimes help with that. But I've also seen clients be able to work it out face to face or or sit down with the other party another option and you can put this in your contract is that you would be required to use mediation before any type of legal action in courts will enforce that.
So for example if you're track says you have to go to mediation first and someone files suit then the court will say hey look you agreed to go to mediation. I'm going to abate or stop this case until you go to mediation to try to work this out. You can also add an arbitration provision which arbitration is kind of interesting it's where a person that is not a judge decides your your matter. So arbitration can be considered a little risky sometimes but it's usually faster and less expensive than the court system and going through you know an 18 to 24 month case as it can be.
So there's a lot of good options that you can put in your contracts not always recommend some type of alternative dispute resolution like mediation. Yeah. One thing you said that made me think of something is I think that it's when you own your business as a small business like a lot of the women listening to this episode.
It's hard to separate the business from the personal. And so I know for me when I've had. A client come back and be unhappy with something or kind of push back a little bit on the contract or question something I take it very personally and I internalize it. And it's it's hard for me to separate the two. So I think that that's a really good reason to have a lawyer that you can go to and say I need somebody that can help me kind of step in and separate the personal from the business.
Yeah. And it really I think a lot of times it allows the resolution to come more quickly because you do have kind of that go between middle person to buffer some of that emotional and personal offense that's been taken as is always the case in those situations.
So if someone were looking for a lawyer to work with. What do you suggest looking for when. Kind of researching lawyers and I used to work with a lot of small businesses or businesses in general so that would be a good person to go to and I'll definitely link all of your contact info on the show that's there I want to reach out to you. But let's say that somebody is in a different state or and need somebody in their area locally. What do you recommend kind of asking what questions to ask what to look for when trying to find a way to work with your business.
I would ask if that lawyer practices in business law specifically and if they have experience in business litigation and the reason that you might want to have someone that cannot reach litigation if necessary is that away you don't have to change lawyers.
If something does happen where you end up in a lawsuit and obviously that is the last thing that any business owner wants. But I've learned from the beginning of practicing law that sometimes it's just part of operating a business especially as you grow as you get bigger sometimes there are disputes that come up. And so finding a lawyer that can take it all the way through if there is going to be litigation would be important but also someone who has good knowledge of entity development contract formation the ins and outs of just day to day operation as well you know lawyering is kind of kind of like practicing medicine.
There's so many different areas. And so I for example I do not know anything about criminal law. Thank goodness. And I don't practice in family law so I've never taken either one of those kinds of cases because I just don't know that area at the law like I do business. And so you want to make sure you have someone who specifically knows business law and that's great.
Yeah. Who gets hurt. You know we get this a lot. As a photographer if people will contact you and say Hey do you do like for me I'll say Hey do you do newborn photos I'm like No I don't. That's not my specialty. I don't. Feel comfortable with it. I don't know the ins and outs of that if you ask asking about wedding photography I'm all over it. And but then we get frustrated when people don't understand that we have a specialty but then we try and do the same thing with other industries are like oh you're a lawyer you're going to help me with this.
And you pay attention to the fact that not every lawyer works in every aspect of the law. So no.
Yeah. You know it's just like anything you can specialize and be really really good at something and when you try to do everything sometimes you just don't know enough about each area to be really good at any of them.
Yeah and especially in your field you need to be really good at what you agreed on. Ok so next question I had was. If someone's looking for a lawyer I know that it's really overwhelming sometimes with just a legal jargon and not understanding the terms.
A weird feeling I guess intimidated by the whole process and I think I talked about this when I did the interview with a financial planner and I would say that I was like You know it's refreshing to see a kind of female face and female voice on the other side of it because a lot of times we think of financial planners and we think of lawyers as kind of a stuffy old men in suits and these big leather offices and it's intimidating for you know a woman and a mom who's just kind of starting this little small business.
So what advice do you have for the people who kind of feel a little bit overwhelmed or intimidated by the whole legal aspect of business and what can they do to kind of work through that and not let it overwhelm them or intimidate them.
Well I would say do your research and really get to know potential lawyers that you might be hiring. If someone does just kind of bombard you with legal jargon that you don't understand and they don't make the effort to help you understand then they may not be the right person for you because really it should be a conversation where you can both understand each other and I try to do that. I know sometimes we as lawyers we have so many terms that we use but it was funny when my first year of law school I didn't have much experience.
I worked in law a law office like maybe 10 years before. And so anytime I heard a term I was Googling I was giggling so many terms but really you should your lawyer should help you with that. And so if you meet someone and they just don't make you feel comfortable I'd say just keep looking. You can also talk to friends other people that you know I know a lot of Facebook groups pop up in industries for people starting out and ask them if they know anybody in the area or your friends and a lot of time.
That's how I get most of my referrals for my law practice is through word of mouth. And I think it's because it is such a personal relationship it's a fiduciary relationship. And so it's important that you feel comfortable through Sure.
Yeah I completely agree. So before we move into talking a little bit more about your wider business. Is there any other advice you have for ladies out there that are starting a business or are thinking about starting a business when it comes to making sure everything is in place legally.
Well I'd make sure that you really research and know what you're required to do. If you do things like online sales for example because every county has a different sales tax rate and I know there's some good software out there to make sure that you get all your taxes done correctly but make sure that you do the things that you're supposed to do. Like it's a sales tax I.D. obviously with Comptroller's office your bank usually requires you to get a federal employment identification number or an employer identification number. And so make sure you go through all the steps and talk to somebody whether it be the small business administration or your attorney about what other steps you might need to be taking just to make sure that you avoid headaches later down the road.
Gotcha. OK. I thought of one more question before I move on. So let's say that there's someone who is starting a business and that requires them to hire employees. So the example I'm thinking of is you know the hair makeup artist who is hiring other girls to go and help them do services what do they need to have in place legally when. Now it's no longer just you. You now have people working with you for you. How do you protect them and protect yourself going forward.
Well you have to make sure in Texas and most states there's some type of Workforce Commission. So you have to register with the workforce commission. You have to and they have some really good resources on their website that let you know what you should and shouldn't be doing.
Anytime you hire a new employee there are some forms they do need to fill out for taxes and you need to make sure that you are paying those taxes and I've seen businesses get into major trouble thinking oh well I'll catch up on those later at the end of the quarter the end of the year. They've got a bill that's very difficult to pay. And that's one of those kinds of bills that they will figure out a way to get that money from you. So you've got to make sure you keep up with that.
The other thing that I see that I would say be very careful of is a lot of people try to contract labor instead of having employees and you can do that but you just have to make sure that they are genuinely a contract laborer and what that means is that person provides their own equipment. They have a particular expertise that they are providing and you're contracting with them for them to come and do what they are an expert at. For example I have a photographer that I sometimes use here in Lubbock. He's actually my cousin but he's a real photographer.
He does a great job and so I contract with him to do photographs. He comes on his own schedule sets it up piece the expert he brings his own equipment. He is genuinely contract labor someone who comes when you tell them to uses your equipment and is under your direction. That is an employee. And so you have to be really really careful between the two and making sure that you're not calling someone a contract laborer. That's really an employee because you'll end up getting taxed on that and that's no fun.
Yeah. Now that's good to know that stuff. I think there's kind of a blurred line and some of that paint those cases especially when. You know. The first example like when you're shooting weddings you always have a second photographer. To me that's contract because they're using their equipment they're using their talent. You are just hiring for that one job whereas if you had an assistant or a team that went with you to every single day and you provided everything for them and they just so that did the work and less then that would be a completely different situation.
So thank you for clarifying that. I think that that's something people are get a little confused about sometimes. Now going back to the contract thing when it comes to. Employees and contract labor. Do you recommend obviously having different contracts for each of those. Everyone has to be under a contract. Correct.
Yes and you can put together a real simple employment contract or you can have a labor contract and a lot of times if someone is an expert like photographers for example they will have their own contract and you can negotiate it. I don't necessarily suggest always just signing someone else's contract because it's often written to favor the other side. And so you should definitely scrutinize it first. But yes I I'm a big proponent for having it in writing stuff will come up and you need to know the what ifs of when it comes up.
What do we do next.
That's good to know. Yeah. Because I think you know I see it way too many times and it makes me so nervous when someone will contact me to do it to work with them on a project to work with them on a wedding shoot over and then there's no contract and a lot of times because we're friends or we've worked together before and it feels awkward something somebody this formal contract. But it really does help cover your rear end and the covers there's too because you want to make sure that you all both have the same agreement of what's expected of each other.
The same understanding of you know first pay involved the same understanding of what's you're going to provide versus what they're going to provide and all that stuff and it doesn't have to be some you know huge thing is it needs to be a written agreement. I think that both of you come to terms on it that you have an understanding about.
Absolutely and sometimes it does feel a little awkward if you're working with a friend or someone that you know really well. But in the end it will benefit both of you so much just to have it in writing so you know what to do and what to expect. That's.
Awesome. OK. So I want to move on and talk a little bit about your wider business. So tell me a little bit about what you are doing right now. Do you have. Like an actual winery. People come in and do tastings. Do you have a tasting where he was at the vineyard. How is that working for ya.
Well so it's really interesting. The winery industry has developed a way to get into the winery industry without having to buy all of this just incredibly cost prohibitive equipment.
So we've been over the last few years gathering it gradually. So right now obviously we grow our own wine grapes when we pick those we sell some of the wine grapes to other wineries and then we keep some for ourselves and up until this year we've been doing custom crush meaning that there's another facility in the area that assist us I we can come in and using their equipment and so we've been doing that. It's been a great experience. We've made some really good wine we're involved in the entire process that we're able to lease that equipment.
This year we are starting to make some of our own wine and we're still kind of sharing a facility with someone else that we've bought some of our own bins and barrels and tanks and equipment. And so it's really fun we're having a good time. And then from there once we get the wine in the bottle we do have a tasting room. Well you're about to have two. Right now we have the original tasting room and level land the little town I was telling you about. And then we're gonna be opening a tasting room and Levick hopefully by the end of 2019 both at the tasting rooms are in historic Old buildings.
And so it's really fun. It's just been an incredible challenge with the new tasting room in Lubbock is in the Cross building and if you've ever heard of the crest department stores they were built in the 20s and 30s all across America and they were all just architecturally stunning. And so a lot of these old crest buildings have been renovated and turned into new businesses because the crest department stores went away about 30 years ago. And so we've had so much fun but it's taken a lot to get a 90 year old building up to code.
Oh my God. Imagine that.
And we've really void that model we've enjoyed the tasting room. We also serve food because we think that you know wine is best paired with food and friends. And so that's the way we're doing it right now. We're hoping to gradually have our own facility we'd love to have everything at the same location but right now the tasting rooms are both in downtown's living land and love.
That's so amazing. I love. I'm excited because that's what I love I love old buildings. It's just there's some charm to those that you don't get when you have all these new builds. There's new places going in that it definitely adds have it ambience to it. You know when you go in for a wine tasting. You don't want to walk into some place that builds society and new always you want to have to have that like cozy comfy.
Feel to it. That's really really cool.
It is the old building that we're in and level land was actually owned by my husband's grandparents and his grandmother. Joe Beth is still with us and they operated lots of businesses on the downtown square so it's really neat has some great history. It has exposed brick original ceiling tiles and it's really kind of fun because you can see where it's such an old building. One part of the ceiling kind of is at an angle and it's just kind of you could tell that oh this is a you know nearly a hundred year old building but that character is what is so special.
Yeah. And I'm I I so bad that might be the most Texans they have ever heard.
I love it. Oh yes. Well we actually said we in addition to naming Berkeley after my husband's grandfathers.
Their names were Bert and Eddie Lee and Eddie Lee was married to Jo Beth and we name our wine after family members too. So I've got another one for you that may even be more Texas. My great grandmother's name was Fanny Sue. Oh my God. A and A and say we named to one of our white wines A.U..
So I am sorry.
No I love it and I am a fan of the types of names you know. I mean I think that's. It's so like both my girls have middle names and call them me that Bradley may and say okay. Yeah I love those southern names. They're so fun. So that's amazing. So getting into the wine business I mean that's definitely a competitive market to kind of jump in to. And I know that in every business that people are started there's always the conversation around. Well it is just so saturated.
So many other people doing the same thing that I'm doing and you know how am I going to stand out. So what have you all done jumping into that world to kind of help get your name out there and get some brand recognition and kind of get some momentum going behind your your business and your brand name.
Yeah well you know it it is competitive. Luckily wine drinkers especially in Texas are just multiplying by the numbers constantly we're excited because it seems to be an industry that more and more people are opening themselves up to trying. And so we from the beginning it was very important to me that we have a good brand and that we let people know who we are as people not just as a product. And so we try. Any chance we can to tell our story to let people know about the family history and our passion for growing not only on the land but then developing the product into a beautiful glass of wine.
And so from the beginning it was really important to me to tell that story. So I was listening to one of your episodes a few weeks back and you talked about having a blog and being active on social media and that was something I actually started before we ever had our first bottle of wine available and really wanting to tell that story and let people know who we are. And so like leave I mean I know a lot of industries can be different but in the wine industry so many people are interested and they want to try new wines and people are giving Texas wine a chance and not just assuming Oh California wine or or Oregon wine or somewhere like that is better Texas wine is really making a name for itself and showing that we can produce incredible wine right here.
Yes. Now I think that's right and I love that you have such a great story to tell. I think that's you know people here have heard me say a lot that one of the biggest marketing tips is that like no and trust factor they need to know who you are they until like you and they need to trust that you're going to give them a great product or service and you have all that kind of built in because the history and the story behind your brand is so strong. I think people really connect with that especially and not just that other places don't but you know here in Texas people love the stories of families that go back generations and you know it's different than to say oh we just decided to start a winery and it's brand new.
The fact that this is something that you know you come from a family of growers and locals. That area. You didn't move into the area and start something. And being able to kind of play up on that and share that with people makes them feel connected to the wine makes them want to buy more drink more and then you add in the fact that you have all this expertise to share because I know like for me personally I love wine and I love going to the wineries and learning different things. I don't know enough about it that I could carry on like a real in-depth conversation about it but I love learning about it and so the fact that you have this platform to share so much information expertise that's a huge marketing tool for your business.
It really is. And you know not everyone might have the long family history that we have but you can tell your story in some way. I mean we really have tried to not only tell our story history but develop our story as we go. And so we've really enjoyed finding ways that we can connect to the heritage like naming the wines after family members which is in a lot of fun. It also makes it easier when you're trying to pick names as to who's next. But we really have tried to develop that story and to tie it in as much as we can to who we are and what we're communicating to people not only in person but on social media as well.
That's awesome. So last question I have for you before I let you go. I always ask this in the very interview What advice would you give if you had a friend who was coming to you and say OK I'm getting ready to start this business I have this idea of this product of this service I want to get out there what would you say is your number one piece of advice to someone who is new to business.
Well I would develop relationships and I really do believe that our relationships with other wine growers and other wineries even when you're in competition it's so important to develop those relationships because people want to help their friends. And I really think that we are where we are today because we have been able to rely on the years of expertise and guidance of other wine growers and wineries. I mentioned before that it was another wine grower that inspired us to plant the vineyard and it seems like you can develop a community even when you're in competition.
I cannot tell you how many times we've had someone walk into the winery and say oh we were just at so and so's winery 20 miles down the road and they said to come to y'all next. And so word of mouth a lot of my referrals even in my own law practice are from other attorneys. And so get to know people in your industry build a community you are all better if you build each other up and help each other.
I love that that is so true and I think it's easy to get caught up in that competition or like I said that feeling like that there's so many other people doing things out there and that you can community over competition you can have several people like you said Lubbock is becoming a popular wine country area and there's a lot of you out there doing the same thing you all are doing but you're doing it your own way and that's what is going to set you apart and then maybe save us from you mentioned like people something other get are clients of theirs to yours winery.
There is a winery not far from where I live but my mom and I are members that and we'll drive out there it's about 45 minutes outside of. The. Gainesville area. And we'll go out there on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and there's about three other wineries around there and it never fails. Even though we're members at this one winery every time I go and we start chatting with the people that are there someone always says you know a friend that works at the Y. Oh you all need to head over to this place.
They have this going on right now or you know they've got lives music playing next weekend actually go check it out then come over here when you're done or whatever and they you can see that community within that little area just those couple little wineries right there they all are lifting each other up because they realize that if it benefits them it's going to benefit somebody else it's going to benefit them as well.
So that's great advice. Great advice.
It really is because for us in lots of industries are this way but the more people that are trying wine and giving it a chance the more wine drinkers you're going to have. So as a community we can really try to spread the word together and it really is community over competition.
Yeah. I love it. So you also mentioned that you have a special offer for our listeners. You're offering a 10 percent discount on online orders correct.
Yes we are. And right now as of today we can only ship to Texas and New Mexico. But we are actively working on adding other states the alcohol industry is very regulatory and so we have to go through a process with each and every state that we go into. So we promise we're working hard to get in other states. But yes if you're in Texas or New Mexico we'd love to ship wine to you if you hear you know months from now. Check out our Web site. You see we're all we're now.
And I will link to all of that the show notes. I'll have. All of your Web site information on how they can get a hold of you. Follow you on social media and then I'll link to that 10 percent discount as well. So. Thank you so much for coming on. I was so excited talk with you. I think you have such great advice not only legally but just with the wine industry and it's something unique and different where people listening who might find a little bit of their business in your business can take some little nuggets of information from.
So thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to chat with us.
Thank you. GINGER It was my pleasure and I really enjoyed it. Awesome. We'll have a great day and we'll talk to you soon.
Thank you wow that episode and interview was so helpful. Elizabeth is so knowledgeable and I appreciate her taking the time out of her busy schedule to chat with us and share her legal tips and advice. I hope that you got a lot of information out that. If you want to follow Elizabeth there winery or learn more about how she can help you in your business. I'm going to link to all of her contact info in the show notes. That's also where you can find that 10 percent off coupon code. So go get you some of their wine.
It's delicious. You can also find the link to the Quick Books discount code that I mentioned at the beginning of the episode. So make sure you head over to grow means business dot.com EPA's forward slash Episode 30 to get all of the show nuts and one thing that I'm adding to the show notes page now is you can now download or read through the transcripts of every episode. So I know some of you love listening and just keeping notes as you go or coming back to these episodes and jotting down ideas if you're the type of person that wants to actually print something off or have the words in front of you to make notes and highlight underlying things.
Now you can do that. So when you go to that show notes page at Grauman's business dot.com forward slash Episode 30. Scroll down to the bottom. There will be a button where you can go to the script the transcripts. Now you'll be able to see word for word where Elizabeth and I talked about in our interview as well as all the helpful tips that she shared. So again head over to the show notes today at Goldman's business dot com forward slash Episode 30 get all of the amazing links for your 10 percent off your wine your quick book discount code and then head over and check out the transcript for all of today's great tips.
All right guys thanks again for tuning in this week. I hope you have an amazing week. And I will talk to you again next week same time same place.
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