One Wines Inc.
So what is the story behind One Wines, Inc? Well it involves a general contractor, a banker, the economy and overall quality of life. No kidding, please read on for the details.
Greg, who is fluent in German (a fact he won’t tell anyone and I tell everyone), was a counselor who turned general contractor. Huh? Yeah I said that too. Jo, who is me, was a 20 year dedicated corporate banker. Side note… I did not do mortgage loans. The two met in 2002 and were married in 2003. I would say love at first sight except Greg forgot what I looked like on our first date and walked right by me at the end of our date not knowing who I was. Side note… we had just spent 2 hours sitting across from each other over dinner. Huh? Yeah I said that too and a little bit more (use your imagination here).
OK back to the story. In June of 2005 Greg decided it would be a good idea for me to leave my banking career (did I mention a secure career!), join his one man construction company and move to a place called Chelan. Side note… I had no idea where or what a Chelan was. This life changing plan would allow Greg to work in the sunshine versus rain and mud, get me away from the banking industry thus getting him away from enduring my daily banking rants and most importantly provide us with a good life. The last piece of his master plan was to have his brother, who is also a general contractor and lived in Wenatchee at the time, join the “new” company.
We all three decided it was a great plan. We couldn’t wait to get started. We all worked hard to grow the company. After all this was our retirement fund our 401K. There was excitement everywhere!
Well, grow it did! The new company went from 0 employees to 25+ employees. We were all extremely busy and extremely stressed. Side note… the most stressed any of us had ever been and a component to our new careers that we were not counting on. Then it happened, the economy pretty much stopped and went into recession. Statements like “this is worse than the Great Depression,” “almost 10% unemployment rate,” and the most encouraging yet “we are going to be in this for years to come” were thrown around in everyday conversations and as the only story that existed on the ever chipper news shows. Any idea what industry was the hardest hit? You guessed it the construction industry also known to us as our retirement fund.
Greg and I sat down and had another one of those famous life altering discussions. Side note… we both thought we would not ever be having this type of conversation again since we just had it and did it 5 years ago! It needs to be noted that the atmosphere around this discussion was not excitement, energy and optimism like the first time around but more panic, exhaustion and oh I must not forget plenty of stress. Thank goodness we had good wine to drink so we could make it through the discussion.
The conversation started with questions like “what to do,” “what can we do” and “where will we be doing it at?” It ended with “what did we really want out of life?” Our answer was pretty simple, especially after one bottle of wine was already gone, we want to enjoy our lives, reduce our stress and pay our bills. OK we wanted a couple more things, Greg wants to continue to play golf and I want to continue to get a pair of shoes here and there. We thought we were brilliant! What a concept, enjoy life, enjoy work… WOW what an idea! Side note… the second bottle of wine is now gone.
Now that we knew what we wanted to get out of life it was back to the hard questions, how do we get it and what are we good at? Side note… third bottle of wine was opened. Answer, we looked at each other and said we are damn good at drinking great wine, gulp!
One banking 401K later and One Wines, Inc was born. Well, that’s our story, our true story. Cheers!
Greg and Jo Cowell