Everyone has a story for how they got started in their business…and there’s always a catalyst that pushes us to start that business now. My catalyst was the untimely death of my friend, Brett Elliott.
Brett was the type of guy everyone loved to be around, and everyone considered Brett their “best friend.” He was a master wordsmith, music lover, lover of life, and friend to all. He’s one of the funniest, kindest, and most generous people I’ve ever met. He lived life to the fullest, and certainly inspired me to do the same.
Brett was a copywriter at an ad agency I worked with several years ago, and we became friends. We shared many common interests — music, wine, and trivia, to name a few. We really bonded the weekend my grandfather passed away, just a few short months after Brett lost his father. We went to the “Sans Halen” concert (David Lee Roth & Sammy Hagar) in his “soccer mom” minivan (only Brett could make a minivan look cool!), listened to some great music, enjoyed PLENTY of cocktails, and had a good cry together over the loss of our loved ones.
The two of us, and my account manager — also named Stacy — would often go to La Vista, a local BYOB restaurant, for dinner. And when I say “dinner” I mean we got there when the restaurant opened…and didn’t leave until it closed. I can’t tell you how many times we almost got thrown out for being too rowdy!
We called our little group the Buena La Vista Social Club – a combination of the restaurant, La Vista, and a musical reference to the Buena Vista Social Club. Music was ALWAYS a topic of conversation at our table…and sometimes the neighboring tables, too! And sometimes the party moved to the parking lot, with the Rolling Stones’ Honky Tonk Women blaring out of the minivan while we finished off our bottle of wine in the “Asphalt Lounge.”
The restaurant had the typical small (aka “pissant”) wine glasses, so we always brought our own. Then one evening Brett surprised “The Stacys” with new — customized — glassware: Riedel glasses engraved with Buena La Vista Social Club and our name. These glasses were treasured gifts from our beloved friend, brought out of the cabinet about every six weeks for BLVSC nights.
After several years of use, Brett broke his glass. His new glass read:
Buena La Vista Social Club
Only Brett would think of that!
Today would have been Brett’s 56th birthday, and I have raised many glasses in his honor. Unfortunately, I just broke MY special glass, and I know it was Brett telling me to move on to my 2nd Vintage.
I love and miss you my friend.
Peace. Love. Brett.