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Constructing the Should-See Vacation spot for Artwork and Wine Lovers

On this ongoing sequence, we’re sharing recommendation, ideas and insights from actual entrepreneurs who’re on the market doing enterprise battle every day. (Solutions have been edited and condensed for readability.)

Who’re you and what’s your enterprise?

Serge Sorokko: I have been an artwork supplier and gallery proprietor for over 30 years. I at the moment personal a gallery in San Francisco, and lately partnered with Courtney Benham, proprietor of Martin Ray Vineyards, to open a brand new type of enterprise within the coronary heart of Napa that, to my shock, hadn’t been performed earlier than: a recent artwork gallery with a wine bar inside. The Serge Sorokko Gallery + Martin Ray Tasting Room merges artwork, wine and design in a completely new manner. It options a gorgeous indoor-outdoor house designed by award-winning architect Craig Steely and the gallery showcases critically-acclaimed artists comparable to Donald Sultan, Ross Bleckner, Hunt Slonem, and Isabelle de Borchgrave. My spouse Tatiana Sorokko will curate trend, pictures and jewellery exhibitions in addition to pop-ups and unique collaborations.

What impressed you to create this enterprise?

SS: Our wives, who’re superb associates, got here up with the preliminary idea. Each have a shared ardour for artwork and wine, and their aha second was throughout an informal dialog, over wine after all, the place they realized the 2 hadn’t been actually and equally mixed as a enterprise earlier than. Onerous Rock Cafe mixed meals and music in a brand new manner, Planet Hollywood mixed meals and flicks. So why hasn’t anybody merged artwork and wine? After they introduced the concept to me and Courtney, it appeared like a no brainer, and we determined to go for it.

Courtney Benham: For me, it was a giant “aha second” mixed with the popularity over time that Napa could be a terrific location for a satellite tv for pc tasting room for our wines, particularly those who carry the Napa Valley AVA. However as somebody who loves amassing and experiencing artwork, the chance for our wines to be skilled inside an artwork gallery that options a number of the best-known artists of our time was a dream come true.

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What was your greatest enterprise problem and the way did you pivot to beat it?

CB: Discovering the fitting location and house for our three way partnership has been the largest problem. We regarded in St. Helena first pondering that this may be a great location however shortly pivoted to downtown Napa once we noticed how the town has remodeled into an unimaginable meals and wine scene. After which we realized no up to date artwork gallery existed there but. We regarded for one and a half years in Napa Valley earlier than we discovered our current house. It wasn’t simple however it was definitely worth the wait.

Credit score: Bruce Damonte

SS: Fortunately, an area opened adjoining to the Andaz Lodge, and we jumped at it. Our subsequent problem was determining create an expertise by way of the design of the inside that represented our shared values and imaginative and prescient whereas celebrating our distinctive industries – artwork and wine. As an alternative of going backwards and forwards, we determined to present full inventive freedom to an architect we each knew and revered, Craig Steely. His design not solely needed to merge two separate experiences, however wanted to be recent, thrilling, and timeless to talk to a extra trendy Napa. It needed to have a degree of quiet sophistication that may by no means exit of trend.

What recommendation would you give to entrepreneurs seeking to open a brick-and-mortar enterprise proper now?

SS: One of many issues I can not stress sufficient is that that you must be sure your enterprise could have robust assist from the town or city earlier than signing a lease. Get that first earlier than transferring ahead.

CB: Brick and mortar is not for everybody, as we have seen extra clearly over the previous few years. So be sure that, if that is the route you need to go, it is smart not only for the enterprise you are opening or increasing, however for you as an individual. A digital storefront may very well be a greater method to go for a lot of manufacturers.

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What does the phrase “entrepreneur” imply to you?

CB: An entrepreneur takes dangers and is rarely complacent. An entrepreneur is pushed and able to swerve. As a result of client preferences change so shortly, an entrepreneur have to be keen to regulate the marketing strategy and be capable of pivot at even the least optimum time.

SS: An entrepreneur is any individual who’s adventurous, brave, and visionary. However who you encompass your self with is equally as necessary. You may’t be the previous with out having good, supportive individuals by your facet that imagine in you, make you higher and are not afraid to let you know the reality. An entrepreneur attracts like-minded individuals who can straight contribute to their success.

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