Announcement Party with your cork out! Tees and accessories.
Party with your cork out! Tees and accessories.
The Story Behind The Tease
At a time when businesses are using social media to manage their existing brand identity and advertise products, Sonoma resident and humorist Kim Ficera used web-based technology to create her wine country business from the bottom up. What began as just another persona on Twitter — @corktease — Ficera has turned into a full-fledged brand.
Billing @corktease as a "tequila drinker living in the heart of wine country," Ficera started playfully jabbing at wine snobs and critics in May of 2010 after having a conversation with a friend at a popular local bar.
“We were discussing ways to leverage my humor locally through social media,” she said, “and after watching the people around us consume bottle after bottle of wine, we came to the obvious conclusion: I had to write about wine and wine lovers."
Shortly after that conversation, Ficera opened her @corktease account on Twitter and snarked her way into Twitter's wine-lovers community with tweets such as, "If you can’t pronounce the name of the wine on a list, just say it anyway. Then ask for ice. Really. Sommeliers love that!" and "Before visiting wine country, brush up on your winocabulary so that strangers will think that what you're saying is actually important." She was immediately embraced by those confident enough in their own skin to laugh at themselves.
"Most people enjoy a good play on words, especially if that play has sexual connotations. So the name alone attracted people right out of the gate — especially men," she joked, "who, as everyone knows, think about their corks 24/7."
In her first two weeks on Twitter, Ficera amassed a respectable bevy of followers — a list that grew overnight when barely one month into Twitter @corktease was listed in The Daily Sip's widely-read 'Celebrity Sips' column. “Every wino who is somebody reads that column,” she said. “It drew a lot of attention to the brand.”
The more Ficera tweeted and the more her followers responded, the more she realized that she might be on to something bigger. Her marketing wheels started spinning and she designed a t-shirt with one word on the front — her Twitter name — corktease®. Screen-printed in fairly small type for a t-shirt, the design is a "tease" of its own, given that in order to read the shirt, you have to be somewhat close to the person wearing it.
"I wore it on a Friday night on Sonoma Square and numerous people commented on it. Some asked where they could buy it and everyone thought it was sexy. So the following week I filed for a local business license."
Using social media to create a brand rather than to simply tout one has been done before, but it's rare and often accidental, as it was with corktease®. "Would this have worked if I'd actually planned to create a brand from the outset? I doubt it," she confessed. "Nobody likes a hard sell; no one likes to be manipulated. So if I'd attempted to sell my gear from day one, I don't think people would have responded as well."
But what Ficera knows for sure is that the people who are now potential customers were first online friends. "I've worked hard to build a relationship with my followers. I like and respect them, and hope that when they buy corktease®-branded t-shirts, for example, they wear them with a sense of comraderie, and not just because they think the message will help them get laid," she joked.
In 2010, Sonoma writer and humorist Kim Ficera used Web-based technology to create her wine country business from the bottom up. What began as just another persona on Twitter — @corktease — Ficera turned into a full-fledged brand.
Sonoma, CA, United States
In-Motion has been in the apparel embroidery and screen-printing business for 37 years. Located in Wine Country, they guarantee work quality in all phases of screen printing and embroidery.
Just as every bottle of wine has its own flavor, every wine lover has a unique personality. So, Corktease® offers clothing and gear for wine lovers who enjoy the freedom of fashion expression and who don't take themselves too seriously. All of our products are made of the highest quality materials, our shirts are screen-printed with only the best inks, and each garment is inspected before being shipped.
Accepted payment methods
- Accepts Etsy gift cards
Refunds and Exchanges
In the event that you receive the wrong item, you may return it to us for an exchange or refund, providing you notify us within 5 days of receiving your order and the item is returned in its original packaging.
To request a refund or exchange, send us an email describing the error, and a customer service representative will reply with instructions.
Additional policies and FAQs
Third-party retailers can buy Corktease® products direct at wholesale prices. For more information, email orders [!at] corktease.net. Retailers will be charged for shipping. Shipping charges are determined by the total weight of the order, the shipping destination and the method of delivery preferred.
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