Today’s wedding vendor interview is with Jacki of ThirstyNest (New York, NY) a brilliant wedding registry focused on wine and spirits! Enjoy:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
I actually grew up in the wine industry so I’ve known the right glassware to use since I was ten years old. That lead to me falling in love with the wine world and inevitably working in it for many years to come. I eventually received my advanced degree from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust and spent over a decade working in various facets over the years.
Read the full interview after the cut!
I got engaged when I was almost 30 living with my fiancé in a shoebox in Manhattan. When we were tasked with setting up our gift registry we ran into a huge issue: we didn’t need anything else! We already had all the essential housewares and no tolerance for extra items that would collect dust in such a small apartment.
We really only spent our money on experiences rather than things so the whole concept seemed foreign to us. The only items we bought were consumables (read: food and booze.) That’s when it hit me – why can’t we register for the most giftable consumable of all – wine and spirits! The lightbulb went off and ThirstyNest – the first wine and spirits registry for the modern couple – was born.
How did you get into the business?
I’m very lucky to be apart of a family business. In the late 70s my parents started Wine Enthusiast Companies out of their attic. The catalog has now grown into the largest wine accessories and wine lifestyle provider today. Additionally, Wine Enthusiast magazine is one of the ultimate authorities in the wine and spirits industry. Seeing my parents turn their dream into a reality inspired me to be an entrepreneur. When I had the idea for ThirstyNest I felt like I had incredible role models and resources in my parents to follow.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part is seeing what wonderful things people like to fill their registry with. You can really learn a lot about a couple based on what they like to drink. I also love hearing from our users and their experiences. They come from are all different walks of life. Some couples are similar to my husband and I and needed more alternative options. Many are just incredibly passionate about wine and food.
If you could pick one unique product or service offering, which would be your favorite, and why?
My favorite offering is our 1-Click-Registry capability. Wine, spirits & drinkware can be intimidating, especially setting up your entire home bar from scratch. We offer a wide selection of pre-selected registries curated by experts. In one mouse tap you can add the entire selection to your registry and be done!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to others just getting started in your field?
Be genuinely excited about what you’re doing. That sounds like a given but if you don’t believe in your idea, who will? It’s a labor of love and you want to be thrilled to get up and get to work on it every day. I also found networking with other entrepreneurs to be more valuable than I ever expected. You can really learn from each other and it helps you feel like you have a great support group of other folks who are just as excited and terrified as you are.
What are your hobbies or non-work-related activities?
I’m absolutely food obsessed! I cook most nights of the week and when I’m not cooking I’m reading about cooking. It’s my favorite thing to do when I need a break. It also helps to give me inspiration for my work since it’s sort of wine and spirits adjacent. My new favorite food to learn about is Indian. I love discovering dozens of new spices, dishes and techniques that create incredible flavors I couldn’t find anywhere else.
Any great stories from working with a client?
I’ve loved hearing from a few brides before they’re even engaged! They’re so excited by the idea and by the idea of getting married they start planning way in advance. I find it incredibly charming and I love hearing about what little hints their fiancé has dropped to let them know…it’s coming.
What makes you different from others in your field?
Quite frankly, there isn’t anybody else doing exactly what we’re doing right now! That said as far as registries go in general we like to keep it as simple and refreshing as possible. The design of our site is set up in a way that feels fun to shop and extremely easy to use. Additionally, we have a very strong brand-voice that feels more like you’re getting amazing advice from a snarky friend rather than creating barriers and confusion around the items we’re selling. We want wine and spirits to be accessible and fun!
Are there any trends that you absolutely love or would love to see brides leave behind?
The trend I absolutely love is the new obsession with dry rosé. It used to be a wine in exile based on the common misconceptions that it was cloyingly sweet. These days everyone and their mother is making it the dry way and that means an incredible wealth of quality and options! They’re not only lovely, gorgeous wines for a Summer day they’re also amazing food wines which they don’t typically get credit for. They’re perfect for both the Wedding Day and Tues-Day.
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are in the midst of planning their big day
The planning can become overwhelming but I always tell my friends and clients to take it one day at a time. Try to remember what it’s all about and when you really can’t deal with the stress take a night – or hell even a week – off from the planning. Sit down with your fiancé, open up a bottle of wine or shake up a drink and toast to what matters – each other.