We invite you into the life and times of our CEO and Founder, Callie Murray. This diary-style entry from Callie chronicles our relationship (The NotWedding) with Ferrari Wines while giving you a little insight into why we choose to work with and support businesses who stand for things that we believe in. Read more about Callie’s trip to Italy and her top five takeaways about life, history, business and (of course) Ferrari. Ciao!
If you’ve been to a NotWedding in the past few years, chances are you have had a glass (or two) of Ferrari sparkling wine. If you’ve been to my house in the past year or two, chances are you’ve had the same. All of us at The NotWedding have become huge Ferrari fans (the wine, not the car!), and we’ve been grateful for the chance to share their wine with thousands of guests over the course of our relationship.
Recently, the US Ambassador for Ferrari, Jamie, invited me to a “camp” at their vineyards in Trentino, Italy for a week of truly learning about and experiencing the brand first hand. We would meet the family behind this family-run business, learn about their town and their wines, and become mini-experts on their products through a number of tastings. This was particularly amusing for a few reasons:
#1. I am not a fancy sommelier or beverage manager or hotel director or journalist (like the other guests that attended). I am a planner of fake weddings.
#2. I am five months pregnant.
I very humbly and gratefully (and almost embarrassingly) accepted the invitation, and Jamie’s response was as follows:
The gift is in the giving Callie. For all its majesty, Ferrari is still a family owned, family run company, built from the ground up on a bedrock of dreams and ambition. For the Lunelli family, leadership has always been an action, not a title. Our investment in you comes from a desire to see you be successful, and your company flourish. The world needs dreamers Callie, and it needs people who believe in them. It is sincerely my pleasure.
So this very pregnant small business-owner from Georgia spent a week in the mountains of Northern Italy last week
trying to crash George Clooney’s wedding, and I’d love to report my Top Five Takeaways about life, history, business and (of course) Ferrari below:
#1. Being large doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the small feel. Our culture and our generation loves to “Buy Local,” and we enjoy getting behind family-owned homegrown businesses we can believe in. While Ferrari is definitely no longer a small-time operation, it is dedicated to the city (Trentino) where the company was born, and it is still family-owned and operated; everything about the way they operate feels local and intentional. The original owner, Giulio Ferrari, sold the company to a local winemaker name Bruno Lunelli, and the third generation of the Lunelli family is now operating the company. This group of four cousins spent most of the trip with us, and I couldn’t have been more impressed with their humilty and their ability to be so down-to-earth and fun.
The top few photos are of the city where we stayed and where Ferrari is headquartered: Trentino. The bottom two photos show some of the Lunnelli family teaching us about their brand.
#2. It’s worth making business plans and decisions that are right and good and enduring, even if they aren’t quick and easy and cheap. Ferrari does everything with excellence and an accute attention to quality. From the way they they farm their grapes on mountain vineyards to the way they tackle their PR strategies with long-term people-focused vision, their dedication to quality was a huge inspiration to me as a business-owner.
#3. Relationships (both personally and professionally) are key. Ferrari used this “camp” as a way to create relationships with people from around the world who would return to their cities and share the name of Ferrari because they were now personally connected to the company. I didn’t just see a viral video on YouTube or like an Instagram post about Ferrari to make me a walking brand ambassador for the company, but I built a relationship with the brand based on standing on their soil, talking to their executives, and tasting their grapes. This relationship will have a much wider and deeper reach because of the experiences it was founded upon.
#4. History started long before I was born. We have a tendency to be so me-focused, but there’s nothing like standing in a 17th century hotel or flying over a medieval castle to remind you that billions of humans have experienced life before you. This was my first time to visit Europe, and the history of it all overwhelmed me!
#5. You don’t have to be George Clooney to have crazy experiences in life. I never would have imagined that I would have been able to experience a trip like this, and I especially never would have imagined that it would have been my business of creating fake weddings that would have granted me such a thing. Life is funny, and life is good.