Sheri Cecchini: Creating Memories with Trail Beadz™

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Carving out her own path, Sheri Cecchini, owner of Trail Beadz™, has developed a business concept that boosts tourism and promotes local hot spots in Central Valley, most notably, the Lodi wine region.

“The best part about Lodi is that there are many fun, unique wineries in a small geographical area,” said Sheri. “Locals and tourists alike can enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting and collect signature beads by following the Trail Beadz Lodi map.” 

The Idea
“I was traveling abroad and out wine tasting, and I noticed that people were collecting beads and talking about where they were going next, which was another winery, so they could get another bead for their bracelets,” said Sheri. She noted that wineries were using this concept to create mementos that would draw people to their locations. 

“I thought it was such a great idea, and it dawned on me that it would be a great business idea, especially for the Lodi area, because of all the wineries” shared Sheri. “The idea that these beads could influence which wineries people went to was really the foundation for Trail Beadz,” said Sheri. “Plus, the beads were such a cute idea and unique memento that I was able to bring home from my trip.” 

Sheri’s entrepreneurial idea formed during a time when her career wasn’t as fulfilling as she wanted it to be. “I wasn’t having any fun. The commute was extremely long, and I felt I needed something different. I believe that when opportunities are presented to us we have be open to recognizing them. I watched all of these people having so much fun showing off their bracelets with the beads they had collected at the wineries. Before I knew it, I was busy planning a business model around the concept, and I launched it in November 2017,” she affirmed. 

Telling A Story
Every great moment begins with an experience and ends with a story. The mission of Trail Beadz is to help businesses tell their stories by connecting with customers on a personal level. “One of our wineries on the Lodi Trail has a tasting room that used to be a barn. It’s unique and cute. We worked together to find the perfect bead for them, and they chose a bead in the shape of a barn, which is a perfect representation for their winery. When people purchase a bead from them, they will always have a special reminder and a story about where the bead came from,” said Sheri. 

Trail Beadz partners can take advantage of extensive social media campaigns and an exclusive spot on the Lodi Trail map to further share their stories. Maps are online; printed copies can be found at any business partner location. Additional benefits include a listing on the Trail Beadz website with information about following the trails. Visitors purchase a bracelet for $14.99 at a participating business, and then collect the unique beads for $6.99 each. Spacer beads are available for $8.99. 

The Lodi Trail
The Lodi Trail is a unique combination of wineries and local businesses that have partnered with Trail Beadz. “One of the things I found while researching the wineries in the Lodi region was that there are a lot of wineries, around 85 to choose from; someone who isn’t from the area might not know where to begin. The Trail Beadz map is one way to guide people to unique locations and events while providing them a fun, memorable experience,” said Sheri. 

Currently, the Lodi Trail has 17 partner locations. “Each business that wants to participate in Trail Beadz receives a custom display, printed maps for customers, a signature bead and additional marketing through the Trail Beadz website,” noted Sheri. The bead choice is important to her, and she strives to help each business select the perfect one. “I work with each of the Trail Beadz partners to choose a bead that best represents their winery or business. There are a lot to choose from, and they’re very affordable. I provide a small display where people can find maps and purchase the beads and bracelets from those specific locations listed on the map.” 

Partnering for a Purpose
Working with the community is a passion for Sheri as she grows Trail Beadz. Partnering with Wags to Riches, Sheri donated cat- and dog-shaped beads that can be purchased at the shelter; proceeds go toward a new animal shelter. “I thought it was such a great way to help raise money, and I’m such an animal lover,” shared Sheri. 

“Trail Beadz and our business partners can help visitors to Lodi tell a unique story about their experience,” Sherri affirmed. “They’re affordable, fun, and each bracelet is one-of-a-kind!” 

For information about Trail Beadz destinations or to become a business partner, visit trailbeadz.com or call Sheri Cecchini at 608-438-7025. 

New company charts its own path through Lodi’s wine country

By Danielle Vaughn/News-Sentinel Staff Writer | Posted: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 11:00 am

Trail Beadz, a new and unique way to boost tourism and promote wine country destinations and local businesses, launched in Lodi last week. Trail Beadz has partnered with 10 Lodi wineries and businesses, each of which has chosen a signature bead that represents their personal story and is for sale at their location, Trail Beadz founder Sheri Cecchini said. Locals and tourists can follow the Trail Beadz Lodi Trail map, and collect the beads at each location. Lodi is the first location at which Trail Beadz has launched this program.

Cecchini learned about the program while wine tasting abroad.

“It was actually being done in this country, and I got kind of caught up in it. It clearly influenced the businesses and the wineries that I decided to go to and it was super fun,” she said.

The idea stuck with Cecchini, and a couple of years later she decided to give the program a try. “I decided to take the program and kind of expand it and adapt it a little bit to the United States and we hope to make it a little bit more fun and engaging,” she said.

After doing a lot of research about the different wine areas in California, she came across Lodi and the rest is history.

“One of the great things about Lodi is tha  there are a lot of different winery choices within a very small geographical area,” Cecchini said. “Because there was a lot of opportunity in a small  area and coupled with the fact I had come up and visited the town and you’ve got the opportunity do so much more
there … to me it just seemed like a really great place to start the program and promote it.”

Cecchini was able to partner with seven wineries including Van Ruiten Family Winery, Watts Winery, Sorelle Winery, Goodmills Family Winery, LVVR Sparkling Cellars, Lone Grape Winery and Toasted Toad Cellars as well as two Downtown businesses, Prêt and French At Heart.

“Goodmills Family Winery, their tasting room is actually in this very cute little barn and so we had a barn that resembles their tasting room barn created for their bead. LVVR Sparkling Cellars, we have a cute little champagne bottle with a cute little pink heart on it, so that blends very nicely into what they produce and their logo,” Cecchini said.

Laura Werter, owner of the Toasted Toad, said she chose a toad holding a heart for their bead because it matched their logo and their brand. “We were hoping to get more people in the door, and we know that ladies love jewelry and women tend to be the number one buyers of wine. We thought it was a perfect fit,” Werter said, adding that Trail Beadz will help expose people to new businesses. Prêt’s Judy Peterson agreed. “It’s just a souvenir of Lodi businesses and other business will join in so it will be a collectors item,” said Peterson, who chose a little black dress for her bead, because she said black dresses are fashionable.

Cecchini also partnered with Wags To Riches and the purchase of their cat and dog beads will go towards the completion of the new Lodi Animal Shelter.

Those interested in hitting the trail and collecting the beads can purchase the Trail Beadz bracelet ($14.99) from any participating business, and then collect the signature beads ($6.99) at each location. Spacer beads ($8.99) are also available.

In addition to the 10 businesses and wineries, Cecchini is also in negotiation with an additional winery as well as an olive oil shop and the Lodi Chamber of Commerce to have their beads made. Cecchini is looking to launch Trail Beadz to other wine regions.

“Very shortly we’ll start reaching out to other wine areas, and we’re really going to focus on some of the under appreciated regions and lesser known regions first,” she said. Cecchini also plans to do a lot of social media campaigning and will be targeting wine consumers to make them more aware of the wine regions in California.