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Elliot Wine School

Elliot Wine School aims to provide fun, inclusive, and engaging beverage classes for all stages of your beverage education journey.

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pledged of$10,000 goal
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Project Description

Elliot Wine School aims to be a supportive, inclusive environment for all people to seek beverage education. I hope to create an environment where all students, especially BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and female students can thrive and be their authentic selves in the beverage world. Elliot Wine School offers classes and educational opportunities for everyone from beverage consumer to beverage professional. Elliot Wine School was founded by me, Miranda Elliot, an Advanced Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and WSET Level 3 certified wine professional. I also hold Certified Sake Sommelier and Certified Sake Educator certification through the Sake Sommelier Association, WSET Sake Level 1 Certification, WSET Spirits Level 2 Certification, and am a Certified Beer Server. I started my wine career on the restaurant side as a sommelier working at some of the best restaurants in Chicago, including Moto, Les Nomades, Maple & Ash, Oceanique, and Del Frisco’s. Later, I moved into wine distribution and education as Education Director for Connoisseur Wines and Illinois Sales Manager for Martine’s Wines. I am passionate about making wine fun and accessible for a wider audience. The wine world is often viewed as an exclusive place. Often, the people we see at the top of the wine world, owning their own companies and directing the vision for the future of wine are white, straight, cisgender men. In June, many Black wine professionals came forward with stories of bias and harassment in the wine world that they had not often felt comfortable sharing before, or were simply not listened to when they tried to share their stories. And then in November, there was a New York Times article that detailed sexual harassment and abuse by high-profile male wine industry professionals, making it clear that we have sexual harassment and assault issues that are not often addressed. The wine world clearly has serious bias, abuse, and lack of equity issues. I want to do my part to try to change this and to bring more people into the wine world, but I want to bring people into a safer and more supportive wine world. By starting a school, I wanted to offer a place for more people, especially BIPOC, female, and LGBTQ+ students to feel comfortable learning about wine, but also to create a place for people to connect. I want to examine the ways in which I have contributed to unequitable structures in the wine world, to provide support in whatever ways I can, and to move our industry forward. There are hundreds of thousands of students in the United States pursuing beverage certifications every year. During COVID-19, I've offered fully virtual classes that can connect with students throughout the USA and also some international students as well. Once the pandemic subsides, I will offer a hybrid model, where I will offer both in-person wine classes and virtual classes to connect with as many students as possible. In Chicago alone, I am the only Chicagoan-owned wine school offering the certifications that I do, and can reach tens of thousands of students. There are also very few, if any, wine schools focusing on making the wine world a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable place. I hope to provide a place for students to learn in a safer, more supportive environment than has existed previously. I offer community-building free events that provide a space for wine community members to gather together and discuss their needs, virtually during the pandemic. One of my ongoing community-building events is an LGBTQ+ Wine Brunch, where LGBTQ+ wine professionals and LGBTQ+ people interested in joining the wine industry gather together virtually to share stories and support. I've also hosted a discussion on wine ethics, which raised questions of ethical concerns in the wine industry that we don't often discuss, as well as potential solutions for moving forward. On my Instagram Live, I hosted a series of discussions called Education Conversations in which I talked to other beverage professionals about how to move the beverage world forward in a more inclusive and equitable way. I am seeking funding because I want to continue to be able to provide the certifications and classes that I do, but they all take money to put on. I have to pay the certifying bodies initial set-up fees to offer their courses, as well as ongoing fees to license and distribute their materials to my students, and annual fees to maintain those offerings. My hope is to continue to expand and market my business, but right now I don't have much money for advertising. Funding would allow me to reach a wider audience through marketing. I also hope to expand my business into a physical location at some point in the future. Currently, I offer my courses from home, virtually via Zoom. After the pandemic has subsided, it is my dream to have a physical location of my own that can serve as a home for Elliot Wine School and a meeting place for a diverse group of wine professionals and those hoping to join the wine industry. I also hope to expand my business to have a retail component as well, so that students can also purchase wine from me to further their studies, and also I can use my wine knowledge and experience to sell wine to wine consumers. Here in Chicago, the process to obtain a liquor license can be lengthy and so often those who apply for a license have to wait many months for approval, during which time they must pay rent on their space because liquor licenses must be tied to a physical location. Essentially, I need funding to support my business during that period in which I'm waiting for approval for my liquor license. I will have to pay for a physical space when I can't bring in as much revenue as I can after receiving my liquor license. Currently, Elliot Wine School is just me, Miranda Elliot! For right now, I can't afford to bring on anyone else as an educator, but I also enjoy figuring out all of the different facets of my business. I also only launched in November and so I hope that my business grows so much in the future that it necessitates bringing in employees to handle the work. My plan is to grow the business so much that I need other instructors for my beverage certifications, as well as employees to run a day-to-day retail shop. Thank you so much for backing this project! Your contribution makes it possible for me to continue to do this work of making the wine world a more fun, inclusive, and equitable place.

Updates

The Campaign FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Do any of these reward levels include alcohol?
    • No, none of the reward levels include alcohol
  • Will Miranda Elliot be the one teaching all of the Zoom classes?
    • Yes! Miranda is a sommelier with over 10 years of experience in the wine industry and is excited to share her knowledge with you.
  • If I receive a private wine class for me and up to four friends, do all four friends have to be in the same place?
    • No, you can join from anywhere. All of you can join the Zoom call at the same time from different locations.
15.00 USD
Mention on Website

For your contribution, Miranda will list you on the Elliot Wine School website as a valued contributor

0 Supporters
None available
25.00 USD
Miranda's Wine Recommendations

Miranda will send you wine recommendations, which include regions and producers that she is especially enjoying right now. Miranda especially focuses on BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and female winemakers. Please note that this does not include alcohol.

You will also be thanked on the Elliot Wine school website for your contribution.

0 Supporters
None available
50.00 USD
Happy Hour Zoom Chat with Miranda

You will be invited to a 60-minute Zoom chat with Miranda, in which you can ask her any questions you have about wine, beer, spirits, or sake. She will also share her experiences as a sommelier, entrepreneur in the wine world, and thoughts on wine regions and producers she is especially excited about. Please note that this does not include alcohol.

You will also receive the $25 level reward of Miranda's wine recommendations that will be sent to you. Additionally, you will be thanked on the Elliot Wine School website as a contributor.

0 Supporters
None available
75.00 USD
Personalized Wine Recommendations

Miranda will send you a questionnaire about your wine tastes and, based on that questionnaire, will send you a list of three wine recommendations tailored to your tastes. Please note that this does not include alcohol.

This also includes an invitation to the $50 level reward, which includes a 60-minute Zoom chat with Miranda, Miranda's general wine recommendations sent to you, and a mention of you on the Elliot Wine School website for your contribution.

0 Supporters
None available
100.00 USD
Hoodie, Personalized Recs, and more!

At the $100 level, you get your very own Elliot Wine School hoodie, as well as all of the rewards of the previous levels! This includes personalized wine recommendations based on a survey of your tastes (please note that this does not include alcohol), an invitation to join a Zoom happy hour with Miranda, general wine recommendations, and a mention on the Elliot Wine School website for your contribution.

0 Supporters
None available
150.00 USD
Private Zoom Chat with Miranda

At the $150 level, you can schedule a 30-minute private Zoom chat with Miranda to ask her any questions you may have about wine, beer, spirits or sake in a one-on-one setting. Please note that this does not include alcohol.

This also includes the previous level rewards, including a hoodie, personalized wine recommendations, a separate group Zoom happy hour, general wine recommendations, and a mention on the Elliot Wine School website for your contribution.

0 Supporters
None available
200.00 USD
Private Group Wine Class With Friends

At the $200 level, you get a private wine class for you and up to four friends. You can choose the topic, which could be: Wine 101, Serving Wines Like a Sommelier, Tasting Wines Like a Sommelier, a specific region or topic, or whatever you'd like! Please note that this does not include alcohol.

You also receive the previous levels as well, including a private Zoom chat with Miranda to discuss any questions you may have one-on-one, an Elliot Wine School hoodie, personalized wine recommendations based on a survey, Happy Hour Zoom chat with Miranda, Miranda's general wine recommendations, and a mention on the Elliot Wine School website for your contribution.

0 Supporters
None available
300.00 USD
Two Private Zoom Classes with Friends

<p>At the $300 level, you get two private wine classes for you and up to four friends. You can choose the topics, which could&nbsp;be: Wine 101, Serving Wines Like a Sommelier, Tasting Wines Like a Sommelier, a specific region or topic, or whatever you'd like! Please note that this does not include alcohol.</p>

<p>You also receive the previous levels as well, including a private Zoom chat with Miranda to discuss any questions you may have one-on-one, an Elliot Wine School hoodie, personalized wine recommendations based on a survey, Happy Hour Zoom chat with Miranda, Miranda's general wine recommendations, and a mention on the <a href="www.elliotwineschool.com">Elliot Wine School website</a> for your contribution.</p>

0 Supporters
None available

Rewards

15.00 USD
Mention on Website

For your contribution, Miranda will list you on the Elliot Wine School website as a valued contributor

0 Supporters
None available
25.00 USD
Miranda's Wine Recommendations

Miranda will send you wine recommendations, which include regions and producers that she is especially enjoying right now. Miranda especially focuses on BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and female winemakers. Please note that this does not include alcohol.

You will also be thanked on the Elliot Wine school website for your contribution.

0 Supporters
None available
50.00 USD
Happy Hour Zoom Chat with Miranda

You will be invited to a 60-minute Zoom chat with Miranda, in which you can ask her any questions you have about wine, beer, spirits, or sake. She will also share her experiences as a sommelier, entrepreneur in the wine world, and thoughts on wine regions and producers she is especially excited about. Please note that this does not include alcohol.

You will also receive the $25 level reward of Miranda's wine recommendations that will be sent to you. Additionally, you will be thanked on the Elliot Wine School website as a contributor.

0 Supporters
None available
75.00 USD
Personalized Wine Recommendations

Miranda will send you a questionnaire about your wine tastes and, based on that questionnaire, will send you a list of three wine recommendations tailored to your tastes. Please note that this does not include alcohol.

This also includes an invitation to the $50 level reward, which includes a 60-minute Zoom chat with Miranda, Miranda's general wine recommendations sent to you, and a mention of you on the Elliot Wine School website for your contribution.

0 Supporters
None available
100.00 USD
Hoodie, Personalized Recs, and more!

At the $100 level, you get your very own Elliot Wine School hoodie, as well as all of the rewards of the previous levels! This includes personalized wine recommendations based on a survey of your tastes (please note that this does not include alcohol), an invitation to join a Zoom happy hour with Miranda, general wine recommendations, and a mention on the Elliot Wine School website for your contribution.

0 Supporters
None available
150.00 USD
Private Zoom Chat with Miranda

At the $150 level, you can schedule a 30-minute private Zoom chat with Miranda to ask her any questions you may have about wine, beer, spirits or sake in a one-on-one setting. Please note that this does not include alcohol.

This also includes the previous level rewards, including a hoodie, personalized wine recommendations, a separate group Zoom happy hour, general wine recommendations, and a mention on the Elliot Wine School website for your contribution.

0 Supporters
None available
200.00 USD
Private Group Wine Class With Friends

At the $200 level, you get a private wine class for you and up to four friends. You can choose the topic, which could be: Wine 101, Serving Wines Like a Sommelier, Tasting Wines Like a Sommelier, a specific region or topic, or whatever you'd like! Please note that this does not include alcohol.

You also receive the previous levels as well, including a private Zoom chat with Miranda to discuss any questions you may have one-on-one, an Elliot Wine School hoodie, personalized wine recommendations based on a survey, Happy Hour Zoom chat with Miranda, Miranda's general wine recommendations, and a mention on the Elliot Wine School website for your contribution.

0 Supporters
None available
300.00 USD
Two Private Zoom Classes with Friends

<p>At the $300 level, you get two private wine classes for you and up to four friends. You can choose the topics, which could&nbsp;be: Wine 101, Serving Wines Like a Sommelier, Tasting Wines Like a Sommelier, a specific region or topic, or whatever you'd like! Please note that this does not include alcohol.</p>

<p>You also receive the previous levels as well, including a private Zoom chat with Miranda to discuss any questions you may have one-on-one, an Elliot Wine School hoodie, personalized wine recommendations based on a survey, Happy Hour Zoom chat with Miranda, Miranda's general wine recommendations, and a mention on the <a href="www.elliotwineschool.com">Elliot Wine School website</a> for your contribution.</p>

0 Supporters
None available