Thanks to Traveling Vineyard® for sponsoring this conversation.
I’m a mom of a toddler, so I am beginning to understand why so many moms love wine.
Seriously, though, there are a ton of different types of wine ranging in colors and flavors and appearance. Unless you’re already an expert and have sampled a wide array of options, you might not yet know what you like. I know I have a preference for sweet wines, and I have to stay away from reds due to getting headaches, but there is so much more to wine than that.
The side-hustle I am sharing with you is a fantastic opportunity to not only educate yourself on wines but be able to share it with others. The job involves being a Wine Guide with Traveling Vineyard® as a direct selling representative.
What is a Wine Guide?
A Wine Guide is an ambassador that is showing the wines and Wine Guide experience to people at tasting events. Customers buy wine directly through the Traveling Vineyard® mobile app at the tasting.
Becoming a Traveling Vineyard® Wine Guide allows you to host free, in-home wine tastings. When a host schedules a tasting, a Wine Guide helps with the event preparations, leading the tasting and teaching the guests about wine, food pairings, and more. A Guide then logs the orders and receives his or her commission (up to 35% of your orders on a sliding scale).
Traveling Vineyard® provides support and training for new guides to help them grow. No prior experience is needed, and there are no monthly minimums, allowing the full flexibility of a work from home business.
Benefits of a Wine Guide Side Hustle
Schedule a fun event with your friends, whether it’s a girl’s night in or held on a lovely weekend afternoon. Taste various flavors of wine paired with different foods, and enjoy each other’s company – always a good reason to get together.
Stress-Free Wine Tasting
Going to a tasting event with a huge crowd can get a bit complicated. But a small tasting with a local Wine Guide is everything a public wine tasting is not. It is quiet and relaxed in the comfort of someone’s home. No stuffy connoisseurs looking down their nose at you, but a comfortable experience to learn and ask questions.
Work, on Your Terms
One aspect of being part of a direct selling company that attracts so many people is the flexibility to work based on your schedule and on your own terms. Plus, since wine is a consumable product, people will want more. That means repeat business!
The benefit of a business model like this is that it provides a flexible option for everyone– including women that want to start a family and spend time at home, while still making an income and having a career. Wine Guides have the option of hosting tastings as often—or as infrequently—as they want based on their schedules and financial goals. Wine Guides can expect to earn between $80-$100 per tasting.
Interview with a Wine Guide
I interviewed Lomisa Talbot, Wine Guide for Traveling Vineyard®. You can check out her profile – and if you are in the San Antonio area, schedule a tasting event with her – here: wineguide.biz/lomisa.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business. What made you pick becoming a Wine Guide?
I started my wine business in February of 2015. I had been a full-time career woman until my first child was born in 2010. Child number two came along in 2013. By the end of 2014, I had toyed with the idea of going back to work full time, but the cost of daycare nearly negated the extra income. I had to get creative and think of ways I could make income without putting my kids in daycare. I had been invited to an in-home jewelry party, and it dawned on me direct sales may be an option, though I was not interested in selling jewelry, makeup or candles. That night I went home and did a search on the Direct Sellers Association website and found Traveling Vineyard. Wine was a product I had never thought was an option for direct sales. It sounded like so much fun that I couldn’t resist.
How does someone go about attending or hosting a tasting?
Wine tastings are held by private residents in-home by invitation only. Think of it as a Pampered Chef party, but with wine. I bring 5 free bottles of wine for the host for twelve to eighteen guests to sample. The only thing the host has to provide is food pairings for the wines. The most common pairings are cheese and crackers or light appetizers. We talk about how to pair food and wines in a relaxed environment. The majority of my future tastings are guests booking to have their own tasting event because they enjoyed it so much.
What are some of your favorite things about being a Wine Guide?
I am in control of my schedule and work when I want to. After leaving the full-time workforce to start a family, I found you don’t meet as many people being at home. I really missed the social aspect of working. Being a Wine Guide gives me the opportunity to meet new people from all different walks of life. I’ve had many of my hosts and guests turn into friends.
What are some challenges of this business?
It can be a challenge to balance your calendar. When I initially started my business, I would hold a tasting on any day the host wanted. I didn’t want to turn away anyone interested in hosting. This started to affect my work/life balance. I never knew when I was going to be working! After getting a steady amount of bookings, I started to limit which days I would have tastings. This allowed me to achieve the balance I wanted.
Can you tell a prospective new guide what to expect as far as earning potential and effort?
Our base commission is 15 percent of our personal volume with the potential to earn up to 35 percent. You also can receive management bonuses for training new team members as well as earn additional commission on your team’s sales. We have no inventory to keep (orders are placed ‘just in time’) therefore I earned back my initial investment within two tastings.
As far as effort, as with any business, you get out of it what you put in. Our focus is to coach our hosts on how to have a successful event, therefore, it is beneficial for the host as well as for me. Our hosts earn rewards, which include a percent off their order as well as the potential for free bottles of wine, the day of their event.
What does it take for someone to get started with their own side hustle as a Wine Guide under Traveling Vineyard?
The starter kit, which provides you with all the supplies needed to have tastings, including wine for your first two tastings is $189 plus shipping and applicable sales tax. As soon as you sign up, you are able to start selling through your website, and your starter kit comes in 5-10 business days. A new Wine Guide can be up and running for their first tasting in less than two weeks!
How to sign up as a Wine Guide?
The company has over 5,000 wine Guides across the country who are enjoying a fulfilling and flexible side-hustle and sharing their love of wine with new friends. The company also has a great product: award-winning wines that are sourced from grapes all over the world and blended to perfection by their expert winemakers.
To sign up as a Wine Guide, you will need to purchase your Traveling Vineyard® Success Kit, which includes all your training materials and product for your first two tastings. After that, you will need to replenish your supplies for the tastings but you can earn free tasting sets with each successful tasting event you host. You will also get a personalized Wine Guide website, for which there are monthly fees after your first three months.
Part of the Success Kit is the Sommology kit, which teaches the basics of wine tasting, food and wine pairings, and about Traveling Vineyard® wines specifically. You will also be paired with a mentor for training and support. You can check out their Sommology Tool to see the different wines and suggested wine pairings.
If you’re interested in becoming a Wine Guide, or to find a tasting near you, visit TravelingVineyard.com.
Over to you – what do you think about this side hustle option? Show of hands, who’s ready to host a tasting?