Friday, January 13, 2012

One Mom's Winey Idea: Light Your World With Vino D'Light

The following falls under my personal "duh why didn't I think of that?" category. It also solves a winey problem that I have been struggling with.

Ever find a great bottle of wine that, even after it is empty, you just want to keep? Maybe you found it on a wonderful vacation and brought it home as a remembrance. Maybe you got it for a special occasion (like a promotion to Wine Goddess). Or it has a label that just makes you laugh out loud or goes really well with your living room colors. What to do? I keep them on top of a hutch in my kitchen, which puts them nearly out of eye sight and as time goes on, gives each bottle less and less space (and more and more dust) on top of the hutch.

My pal and fellow Ohioan Shelly Dall came up with a way to put those bottles to good use AND add some winey atmosphere to your house: cut 'em down and turn them into candles.

So creative, so green and so ....winey! A simple way to re-purpose your favorite wine memories and keep those bottles out of the dreaded (gulp) recycle bin.
How does one get started on such a winey business? Shelly admits freely and without shame: "I love wine! Everyone knows it." (Isn't she terrific?) And like many moms, she was always "looking for something to do". We've all been there. Kids at school all day. Dog sleeps most of it. You can only clean so much before the fumes get to you. Out of the workforce for a while. So why not turn a passion into a business? Really, it's everyone's dream. Shelly got the idea for her candles from a wine loving friend in another state. She knew she could swing it because in addition to loving wine, she  had married a very handy husband - one who could use a tile cutter without numerous trips to the emergency room. With hubby on board to do the bottle cutting (just a little off the top please), a bulk order of soy wax, wicks and 2 very large double boilers on her stove, Vino D'Light was in business.

Admittedly, it was a slow start. Let's face it, there are a lot of craft shows and bazaars where a vendor can get tons of reading done. Her big big break came when she heard about one specific very popular and well attended local (Cleveland area) holiday bazaar. The show had been booked for the 2010 holiday season already...but she got herself on the list for the 2011 show and from then on, all was winey and waxy and busy. In addition to wanting to memorialize a great bottle of wine, people have asked Shelly to do candles as wedding decor and group gifts.

She has gotten good at it too: Shelly can pour about 25 bottles in 2 hours these days (and hubby has equally honed his cutting skills). The candles sell for  $15-$20 depending on the size of the bottle and yes, they are refillable. You can contact her via Facebook on the Vino D'light page or by searching Vino D'Light.

In my winey but humble opinion, this is one great idea! A mom who started a business that recycles and encourages people to drink wine. Brilliant! I'm sure you all have a bottle or two (or fifty) that you'd like to have her transform. But you'll have to get in line behind me. I have years of wine memories that I want to start burning around my house!

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