It’s been what my kids might call a pretty ‘heckers’ week this week as we have watched on in horror at the downfall of a so called ‘cancer survivor’ who, strictly through the use of social media and the impressionable fans that follow, has made a name for themselves as a nutritional guru – able to heal cancer with a single kale chip (or lemon in a glass of warm water works wonders too apparently didn’t you know?)
While we know all to well about the power of an image – Est is built on curating and creating inspiring, beautiful imagery of interior design and beautiful spaces after all – we are also keenly aware of there being very little substance behind a lot of what we see on social media today. In short people will literally say anything and contort themselves into any shape to be noticed…or to be paid.
So while at times for me it feels like Est can be a lot of hard work without the highest paying rewards, I am adamant that Est, the very idea that co-founder Lynda Evans and I created, is about the designers, the creatives, the real game changers who inspire me – and hopefully you too. Est is not about selling out to the highest bidder nor is it about we as individuals trying to make a name for ourselves in the world.
And while I struggle each month to work out how the hell I am going to pay my kids school fees and the copious amounts of sporting clubs that they want to play for (or even the groceries sometimes to be honest – 3 boys cost a freakin’ fortune in food) I know that Est is truly a reflection of me. This is why we can not accept advertising money from brands that I just can not hand-on-my- heart endorse…or promote products that I would never have in my own home. Ever. And I can’t tell you then how honoured I am, and how humble I feel that you support me – that you you are still here for the ride and that you like what it is that I see.
When it comes to putting your faith in people, in choosing who to follow, or what to believe, as as my friend Caroline C pointed out today – ‘sometimes you just have a gut feeling’. And to that I say – Go with it. ALWAYS.
So…I was pretty excited to come across someone that was able to lift me up to see the wood for the trees – at an ecommerce and digital marketing conference in Melbourne this week I met a guy who I was convinced was speaking directly to me in a crowd of 100’s – his life story of ups and downs and battling to make a go of something he was passionate about was my story. But he didn’t know me. And I am ashamed to say I had never even heard of his cool wine buying site VinoMofo (as in Wine Mother [email protected]) – as I like to think I am across everything (clearly am not – despite the fact that I drink copious amounts of the stuff) – but after hearing first hand what the company and its founders stand for and after witnessing their genuine love for their tribe of wine drinking fans, I now just know that I can put my trust in VinoMofo and wine drinker/reviewer/expert André Eikmeier and his team. And no, we are not being paid to say that!
In wanting to set up a wine buying site to sell the wines that they truly loved, Andre and his brother-in-law Justin Dry (aka JD) found they were soon being squashed by the wine buying giants (think of two of the biggest supermarket chains in Australia and you get the picture). Overcoming this, the team at VinoMofo picked themselves up and looked to a backer to support them then managed to grow the business, then buy back the business and now continue to grow the business on their terms. For a much better recount of the story – read all about it here.
I asked Andre, co-founder of VinoMofo and all round straight up great guy, to share with us just 3 little things that shape him.
TOP 3 WITH ANDRÉ EIKMEIER
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My kids, usually. In honesty, I absolutely frickin’ love my job, I love getting stuck into it. I’m pretty happy with life in general.
Best piece of advice you have been given?
Biggest challenge you have ever faced?
Personal – I lost the girl I loved to cancer in my early 20’s
Professional – Pulling off the buy-back of the company in 2013.