Now, these are not just any ceramic tile murals - they are hand painted in Spain!
You might wonder how in the world a grape growing girl, transplanted from Alabama to Texas, came to be an importer of ceramic tile murals that are hand painted in Spain. Well...
In our former life, when John had a "real" job, he was a chemist for a Swiss owned chemical company. We had the opportunity to transfer to Switzerland and live there for four years. As you might imagine, it was a wonderful experience. In fact, it was so wonderful, I didn't want to leave! And, I still miss the slow paced lifestyle of most that enabled mid-morning coffee times with the neighbors. It was just a different world!
During that four year period, we traveled throughout Europe. We did a lot of sightseeing and shopping - I did the shopping! I can not tell you how many books John read aloud to the children while I went in another store!
Funny thing was though, when we returned home to our little village, Wölflinsvil, between Basel and Zurich, people wanted to know where I bought that and that and that....
So, we began an import business right then and there! We imported Polish Pottery (which is why you see so much of it in my food photos!), German pewter pieces, Italian stone tables and ceramic tile murals from Spain. It was fun and profitable but we sold the business when we left Switzerland and returned to Alabama.
Once back in the good 'ol USA, we decided to begin importing again. The business name was "Dina-Marie's European Flair". While it was a family business, my name was on it, after all, how many women would be drawn to a business named "John's European Flair"!
Our main avenue of sales was a website and Junior League Christmas Markets. We traveled around the east coast and even went as far west as El Paso, Texas.
Then, came our opportunity to begin the vineyard - and we jumped!
Once again, we closed the doors on the imports.
Life does have a way of changing doesn't it? With our lifestyle change, we have certainly changed! While there are murals of flowers, fruits and barnyards, there are also many scenes with grapes, vineyards and wineries - it totally fits our life and the outlets we have open to us now!
All of the murals come ready to hang just as you would a picture. You also have the option of removing the tiles from the backing and using them in tile work. As we begin the upstairs of our vineyard house, the plan is to have one behind the commercial oven in the main kitchen!
Last week we exhibited in a wholesale show - the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association - it is easier to say TWGGA. The ceramic tile murals were very well received and we are looking forward to a couple of other wholesale shows this year. You can see our booth set up in the photo below.
There are many exciting opportunities that await this new venture - I look forward to sharing them with you!