Let’s Get Up to Speed

Hello everyone! My name is Carissa and  I am starting this blog to document the journey my husband and I will be going through to start our own business.  Blogging is very new to me so please bare with me.

Let me give you some background:

Me:  I am a certified public accountant working as a financial analyst at United Technologies Corporation.  What this means is that I tend to list things and categorize and organize items and thoughts rather than elegantly compose them into works of art.  This is something I am working on and I think this blog will help with that. It also means that I love to crunch the numbers and create spreadsheets for everything! And it means that I can’t spell to save my life and grammar is not my strong suit (sorry for those grammar police that may be annoyed by my posts) On the other hand, I have a creative side. I have danced for the last 26 years, I make jewelry, wine charms, hair pieces, paintings and more for my Etsy account and I have just started dabbling in woodworking.


My husband:  Joel is a mental health counselor who does in-home family counseling. He has worked with families that have had problems with child protective services, people who have been told they can either go to counseling or jail and people struggling with addiction and/or personality disorders.  What this means is that he is a wonderful human being who works with people while they are in some of the lowest lows of their lives. He is compassionate and brilliant when it comes to understanding human beings and our behaviors. He also happens to be an excellent writer so maybe we can get some guest entries from him along the way.


Our relationship: Joel and I met in graduate school at SUNY Oswego about 8 years ago and have been married 3 years next week. After graduating we went to work in very different fields. Over the years we have tried very hard to understand the other’s positions but sometimes that can be hard.


Our Goal: One thing that has remained the same in our relationship is this very strong desire to work as a team.  We do this all the time in our personal lives whether it is planning trips, taking care of our amazing fur family or simple housework.  But that just doesn’t seem like enough. Every Monday when I head back to the office I am reminded that I want to work with my husband for a living. I don’t want to just see him in the evenings to catch up on our days and have dinner. I want to spend the days with him. I want to brainstorm, problem solve, and grow with him. I want to share a mutual passion with him that we can also share with others.  And I want to do this while still affording to live.

Our Plan(s): So we dream… I started the dream of owning a wedding venue about 4 or 5 years ago. I wanted an old beautiful barn with a meandering lawn that I could turn into English gardens that lead down to a lake/pond/creek. I was right on target with the barn wedding boom… and then I never did anything. I was too scared. I didn’t want to fail. I didn’t want to risk all the capital. I wasn’t ready. Next idea. We love beer! Let’s start brewing our own beer. It’s cheaper, it’s a lot of fun and we could turn it into a brewery.  Well…. there were a lot of people ahead of us in that market and… it turns out that I am not that good at brewing beer. 🙂 So, we keep thinking. And while we are thinking, we take another trip down to North Carolina to visit our good friends and fellow beer lovers. Each time we go down to visit them we know to bring a couple hundred bucks just for beer.  They live near Durham NC and have the most amazing bottles shops all around them. We find all sorts of new beers from the crazy Kitten Snuggle and Unicorn Tears to local brews from Bond Brothers Beer Company or Fortnight Brewing Company. We all get so excited to try them together, talk about them and rate them on our Untapped app.  We have met new friends who share this excitement and we make an event of it! Each time we say we are going to stock up and bring some home to share with our New York friends and each time we underestimate how much we need to buy and end up with one or two that actually make it home.  Inevitably, at the end of the trip we talk about how sad it is that we don’t have more of that in Syracuse NY.  It is such an effort to find unique beers in our area and everyone is really missing out. DING! Light bulb. THIS IS WHAT WE NEED TO DO! It is a passion that Joel and I share. It is a passion that we want to share with so many other people!! And there is a real need for it in the market in central NY.

What Now: This time I am ready! I have taken a small business course at our local college. I have a burning drive within me to chase this dream. I have a little more capital.  I feel more comfortable with our financial situation.  I am not afraid of failure (OK, maybe a little but I am braver now). I have started the business plan and I have reached out to bottle shops in near by cities for advice (they are not close enough to really compete but close enough to make a day trip and meet up with them to pick their brains). We have a mission statement! IT’S GO TIME!

OK, it really is go time. Back to the business plan.

Thank you for embarking on this journey with me. And I hope you enjoy the ride as much as we will!



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