Patti Wilcox of Awestruck Ciders

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Meeting Patti in September at The Blogcademy, I was immediately taken by her sweet, spritely demeanor. But it is her badass business chops as founder/purveyor of the fine cider brand Awestruck that is the inspiration behind this week’s segment of Wisdom Wednesday. Since Patti is a busy entrepreneur and a traveler by trade and by passion, we hooked up via email to bring you the pearls you’ll read below. In the spirit of the New Year and in the pursuit of fulfillment professionally, creatively and spiritually, may you find something in the words below that makes you tick.

1. Tell us a bit about your brand, how you became involved and how you see the brand growing.
I am a founder at Awestruck Ciders.  Our brand is really focused on creating those “Wow” moments for adult beverage consumers.  I love when I see a customer’s face light up with surprise and delight, that’s what being Awestruck is all about.
We are currently distributed in only half of NY State and just beginning to break into NYC.  We are also going to begin exporting to Quebec over the coming months.  It’s my dream to build an international brand.

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2. What are the biggest challenges you face day to day as a creative entrepreneur building a brand?
This is such a beautifully personal question.  For me, it has been learning that I am the rule maker.  I have always been a really good rule follower and now I have this brand that I have to set the rules for.  It has taken me a long while to finally realize it’s up to me, and now my task is to make decisions, analyze outcomes, and create policies based on that information.
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3. What are the skills that you’ve cultivated throughout your life that help you in your work?
I think travel is the root of all goodness.  I have spent the past 10 years living for travel.  It taught me to bootstrap and prioritize, it taught me the rewards of hard work,  it taught me the
power of flexibility, and the good-will of the world.    The kindness in the
world is humbling and amazing.  I remember waiting in line at a street kiosk in Morocco to buy some candy (I love weird candies) and the man in line behind me was so overjoyed to see a visitor in his village he insisted on helping me choose the best treat and buying it for me.  It’s such a simple thing, but when we always stay within our comfort zone, we don’t’ have access to those special moments.
So we basically founded Awestruck almost as we would pursue a gap year.  We did our best research before hand and knew we’d have to learn along the way.  We have found the most wonderful mentors and friends on this path.  It brings tears to my eyes to think about the incredibly talented, intelligent people who are helping us grow and build our brand.

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Don’t you love to meet those people who just know themselves?

4. When you’re not working, what are you up to?
I love the feeling of productivity.  So I have serious problems not
working.   I really really like audiobooks, because I can go on a fun jaunt
in my brain while still getting things done.  I think my dream day-off would be to pick a random subways stop in an amazing ethnic neighborhood like Jackson Heights or Flushing and just spend hours getting lost and discovering new drinks, fashions, and cultural habits.  It’s amazing how authentic these communities are even so far from home.

5. What are your words of wisdom for other people on how to chase your dreams?
Start now keeping track of what you like.  Write lists of  things that make you happy.  Spend time thinking about what you enjoy and what comes easy to you.  Amass this information about yourself.  Don’t you love to meet those people who just
know themselves? And only you can do that for yourself.
6. What are the 5 items you can’t live without?
1. My Nokia Lumia 1020.
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/mobile/phone/lumia1020/ Best phone ever.
2. OverDrive App https://www.overdrive.com/  (+ my Brooklyn Public Library Card http://www.bklynlibrary.org/)
3.  My IIID Foundation Palette from Maskcara – It took me forever to buy this, I was wincing at the price, but it is worth every penny, as a business woman on the road a lot, I don’t know how I went so long without it.
4. Credit cards that earn flight miles.  I’m always amazed at how far my Southwest miles go, but be sure to wait for at least a 50,000 point offer https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/southwest/25kPremierR
5. Apples.  I am awe-inspired by apples.  They are a staple produce.
They last for months without chemical preservatives.  They make delicious
alcohol.   They are genetically fascinating – did you know an apple seed
will grow into a tree completely unique unto the world?  They don’t just inherit the traits of their parents, they become their entire own varietal, they can only be exactly reproduced by cloning and grafting.

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For more on Awestruck Ciders, visit www.awestruckciders.com.

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