Melanie here- I’m the founder of Ghia. You don’t hear from me too much because I strongly believe that a product lives best through the experience of its customers. But in light of a Dry January that feels bigger and more significant than ever, I feel compelled to share a bit more about my personal mission and Ghia’s raison d’être.
The idea of Ghia came to me one afternoon while laughing with friends around a table. If you know me, you know I love to host and “my table,” a space for people to gather, is a very big part of me. I created Ghia with the intent of creating a table where everyone had a seat. Inclusivity is at the forefront of our brand values. We value a diversity of perspectives, opinions, and experiences. This is why you’ll never find us preaching to people to quit “drinking.” The goal has always been to create a great option for the people who choose not to drink (for one night or forever). There’s nothing we love more than hearing about where along their journey our customers found us.
Dry January, coupled with the year we just had, gives us a unique opportunity to open the conversation and re-evaluate our relationship with alcohol. This is the first step in de-stigmatizing the decision not to imbibe. We’re encouraged by the increase in notable people who are proudly sharing their sobriety stories — Brad Pitt broke the internet volunteering at Watts (swoon) a few months ago and sharing stories of sobriety accountability partnership with his buddy Bradley Cooper, making all of us wonder — should I be sober? Most recently, Chrissy Teigen opened up on social media about getting off the sauce — inspired by reading Holly Whitaker’s new book Quit Like a Woman (which I highly recommend). In my circle, more and more people are sharing stories about taking a night off, for a “little break” — have you noticed that too?
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again- we’re all about mindful drinking. So we’re not suggesting you completely stop boozing for 30 days only to find yourself having a full bottle of wine on February 1st. We’re building the habit of being easier on our minds and our bodies.
My wish for the future is to sit at a restaurant, order Ghia, and not have a single person push booze on me. They won’t ask me why I am “opting out” at the dinner table or scanning me to find out if I “have a problem,” am pregnant, or whatever they conceive as “not normal.” For what it’s worth, I’m not “opting out” — not drinking for me is part of my grand plan to live every minute I have to the fullest. Until then, I promise to make the effort to talk more openly and more proudly about choosing to stay away from alcohol. While my relationship with alcohol is not complicated — in the sense that I was never in recovery and have much less trouble saying no to booze than say pasta, it’s not completely simple either. I don’t like to call myself sober because I find the label too permanent and I haven’t committed to never drinking again.
In spite of the decades of marketing dollars spent by big alc companies to make us believe that alcohol is the life of the party, I find myself craving wine the most when feelings of stress or loneliness overwhelm me — not when I feel like celebrating. Alcohol is a proven depressant, and I think now that I have some distance from it, I see that clearly. However, last year, in what some would call the worst of times, there isn’t one morning I woke up watching the sunrise where I wish I had had booze the night before, no matter how deflating the year got.
Ghia is six months old and has 15,000 unique customers, all of whom, for a personal reason, have opted for a non-alcoholic drink this year. And while we never dreamed to launch this brand online, we couldn’t have hoped for a better year of conversation and friendship. So why not introduce everyone digitally until we can gather? Join me for the next 30-or-so days for what we’re calling a Dry-ish January. It’s not a challenge, it’s a focusing tool and an invitation into a safe space for conversation. A digital chatroom to meet the like minded folks that will attend our launch party when we can finally have one.
There will be music, there will be sneak peeks into our next products, there will be new recipes and some special guests. We’ll also talk about the places we miss (restaurants!) and our favorite vintage glassware finds since you’re always asking us about those.
It’s a judgment free zone highlighting all the positive things and people we hope to keep near throughout the year. We hope you’ll find your seat with us.
Happy New Year!
Melanie and the Ghia team