54 episodes

Are you ready to open up about all things business!? I’m Crystal Vilkaits, a curious entrepreneur who LOVES talking about business, especially over a glass of wine. I started Crystal Uncorked to share open and honest conversations about my journey, and talk to other entrepreneurs about their experiences. We pull back the curtain and talk about the highs…AND the lows. Wine isn’t required, but is recommended. This is Crystal Uncorked.🍷

Crystal Uncorked Crystal Vilkaitis

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 18 Ratings

Are you ready to open up about all things business!? I’m Crystal Vilkaits, a curious entrepreneur who LOVES talking about business, especially over a glass of wine. I started Crystal Uncorked to share open and honest conversations about my journey, and talk to other entrepreneurs about their experiences. We pull back the curtain and talk about the highs…AND the lows. Wine isn’t required, but is recommended. This is Crystal Uncorked.🍷

    Photography Insights with Christina Gressianu

    Photography Insights with Christina Gressianu

    If you're a listener or a follower of mine, you have probably had the chance to see some of Christina Gressianu’s work. Christina is a dear friend of mine, whom I met on Twitter nearly 15 years ago! Today, she is joining me on the show from her photography studio in Loveland, Colorado. I am so happy to finally be close by and continue to work with her often. In this episode she shares some insights she has on photography, being a photographer, and even being photographed.

    Christina makes this really beautiful statement, “A photograph is just a slice of life.” This is so true, it's really just a small peak at a moment, and many times clients can get worried, concerned, and at times displeased with how they look. As a photographer, Christina’s focus is truly about making her clients and subjects feel comfortable. One of her cardinal rules is to never let a client become the butt of a joke, she loves to crack jokes but they will always be at her expense to get her clients laughing, having fun, and feeling good during a session. She calls it a “human experience”.

    Behind the camera, photographing her clients, is where Christina feels the most in the zone. For her, sales and marketing is nerve wracking and her most difficult feat in her business. She is so genuine and wants the experience to be exactly what the client needs and can afford. She talks a bit about what it's like as a photographer making sales, and the investment good photography is for someone. We even chat about a big ticket conversation: iPhone versus professional photography.

    Whether you're an adult or a child, showing up to a photography session can really feel like the pressure is on. Christina shares some stories about how she helps lighten the pressure and some tidbits of advice to make your next shoot go in the desired direction.

    Check out Christina Gressianu’s portfolio and social media to see some of her work!

    What’s Inside:
    How should you prepare for a professional photography session?iPhone versus Professional Photography, which is better?How to loosen the pressure during a photography shoot?The importance of honesty and authenticity as a photographer.A photographer's cardinal rule for keeping clients comfortable.Mentioned In This Episode:

    Christina Gressianu Photographer
    Christina Gressianu (@photocg) • Instagram photos and videos
    Christina Gressianu Photographer - Home | Facebook
    EVOLVE 2023 in Denver, CO - Crystal Media

    Crystal Media
    Connect with Crystal
    Crystal on YouTube
    Crystal on Instagram
    Crystal on Facebook
    Crystal on TikTok 

    • 33 min
    Innovation in the Pet Industry with Sarah Goldberger

    Innovation in the Pet Industry with Sarah Goldberger

    My guest Sarah Goldberger, CEO and Founder of Lord Jameson: Organic Dog Treats, joins me today with some really great advice for those in the pet industry but also for business owners in general. We talk about the importance of mentorship, embracing failure and uncertainty, and SuperZoo, an incredible conference for pet retailers and others in the pet industry.

    Sarah so eloquently phrases her Zone of Genius, as the ability to “find the inner center”. When it comes to products, market voids, and even employees Sarah has a unique talent to guide with intuition. I know personally, I got where I am today because of influential mentors and guides along the way. Sarah and I really believe it’s your duty as a leader to pay it forward and guide and mentor those special people you encounter in your business journey.

    We also talk about the F-Word: Failure. A lot of business owners and entrepreneurs are scared of that word. Sarah and I talk about what it really means to fail and all of the beauty, learning, innovation, and even success that can come when you accept failure as a step along the way.

    Unusual for Crystal Uncorked, I have never actually met Sarah. But we are slated to meet at SuperZoo in August. If you haven’t heard of SuperZoo and you’re in the pet industry, it is the spot to be. With over 700 products, 70 big-name buyers, and 1000+ exhibitors, it is the largest and most comprehensive trade show in North America. 

    This episode is such a treat, literally! Sarah even gives us a special Crystal Uncorked secret in her new favorite, unreleased flavor for the upcoming season! She also shares about a  great resource for pet retailers that Crystal Media actually partners with, WPA365. Check out Lord Jameson on their social media channels to learn more about Sarah and her incredible products!

    What’s Inside:
    Tips, tricks, and advice for leaders in the pet industry.The other F-word: FailureThe importance of mentorship.The new and secret flavor for Lord Jameson’s upcoming seasonal treat.All about SuperZoo, the largest and most comprehensive trade show in North America.
    Mentioned In This Episode:

    Lord Jameson
    Lord Jameson (@lordjameson) • Instagram photos and videos
    Lord Jameson - Home | Facebook
    SuperZoo Conference August 22-25 SuperZoo
    Why WPA365 - World Pet Association
    EVOLVE 2023 in Denver, CO - Crystal Media
    Crystal Media
    Connect with Crystal
    Crystal on YouTube
    Crystal on Instagram
    Crystal on Facebook
    Crystal on TikTok 

    • 25 min
    Don’t Even Worry About It with Janel Dickin

    Don’t Even Worry About It with Janel Dickin

    Janel Dickin is a former client who left her retail business to become a retail consultant. She works with Management One to help independent retailers operate more efficiently through merchandise planning. She has been a colleague and friend and a big inspiration for me getting started with Crystal Uncorked, the entire conversation over this episode is fun and funny and full of amazing tips and insights for business owners.

    “Don’t even worry about it”, is Janel’s catchphrase as she calls it. She is such a light and encouragement to her clients and everyone who knows her. When it comes to working in an arena she is fit for, Janel describes her Zone of Genius as a love for business, retail, and helping people. As a retail consultant, she is doing just that. She uses her staple phrase to remind business owners that they are the biggest priority when it comes to operating their business, and putting themselves first will only increase their success. 

    As Janel and I talked today, we really break down something we all experience. Chronic Guilt. So what is Chronic Guilt, the chronic illness you never knew about? When we’re at home spending time with our family… we’re feeling guilty. When we’re at work, zoned in on the business, we’re feeling guilty for missing something at home. It doesn’t matter where we are or what we're doing, there is this never ending guilt engrained deep within us. So what do you do and how do you fix that?

    Janel shares several incredible tips to set boundaries and operate with priorities to recharge and combat that chronic guilt.
    Email Hack #1: “Out of Office” Queue up that out of office message, so you don’t feel obligated to reply when you’re not working. Draft an automatic message that lets people know you’ll get to it when you’re available.Email Hack #2: “Send Later” Most email applications have a send later function that allows you to type and prepare an email to get it off your to do list but send it at a later day or time to either 1. Be courteous of emailing others on their weekends or 2. Not set the expectation that you’re available during “off time”. The Fake Employee: Create a fake persona to answer emails, customer service replies, social media comments, head up departments etc. This sets a filter for responses as the business owner AND makes your business appear bigger and more organized.Recharge: Whether it's an hour a day or an entire month, whatever getting away looks like for you, do it. You will always come back with new ideas and more energy. Prioritize: You only have one life and limited opportunities to spend time with the people you love, make time for them when necessary and don’t feel guilty about it.If there is anybody in the world that wants to see you succeed, it’s Janel Dickin. She will celebrate you and encourage you for the smallest of things. If you want to learn more about Janel you can find her online, through Management One or through her firm Authentic Consulting Group.
    What’s Inside:
    What can a retail consultant do to improve business for independent retailers?What is chronic guilt and how can you manage its effects?Prioritizing yourself and your personal needs to drive your professional success.Hot tips for setting boundaries via email and online interactions. Mentioned In This Episode:
    Janel Dickin — Management One Inventory Planning
    Mindfulness and Business Success with Bob Negen of WhizBang! Retail Training 
    EVOLVE 2023 in Denver, CO - Crystal Media 

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Trusting your Inner Knowing with Jennifer Conn

    Trusting your Inner Knowing with Jennifer Conn

    I recently had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Conn and our souls just connected. Jennifer is a spiritual educator and offers mediumship and clarity readings, retreats, and other amazing spirit work through her business, The Medium Experience.

    As Jennifer has come into her space as a Medium, she comes from a place of urging both herself and others to trust themselves. Spirit is all about energy, frequency, and your inner work. She shares some beautiful insight into choosing yourself as you heal yourself and dig into the deep work.

    When constantly pouring into others in acts of service, recharging is important. For Jennifer, she finds balance and grounding in being in the water, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise, and journaling. Many can be intimidated about starting a journaling routine, I have found myself specifically in a rut regarding what to write during my morning journaling. Jennifer’s advice: Ask questions, lots of questions. You don’t have to always find the answers but seek thought and curiosity in giving yourself permission to admit what you do not know.

    Jennifer embodies the human experience and the medium experience as one. If you want to stay connected and see beautiful things, be sure to follow The Medium Experience on Instagram where she does live Champagne Channeling every Friday. You can also find her on her website to book readings or learn about future events like her upcoming retreat,  Je Vois. Jennifer also recently launched The Medium Experience podcast available on all platforms.

    I cannot wait to dive into all of this beautiful advice, resources, and recommendations.

    What’s Inside:


    Allowing yourself to trust in yourself and the universe.How the Medium Experience can help you find clarity.Can spiritual work be luxurious?Tips for doing inner work through journaling.The importance of recharging and choosing you.How to stay connected with Jennifer Conn at The Medium Experience.Mentioned In This Episode:

    The Medium Experience
    @themediumexperience on Instagram
    The Medium Experience on Apple Podcasts
    Je Vois - The Medium Experience
    Signs: The Secret Language of the Universe Paperback
    How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self: LePera, Dr. Nicole
    Discover Your Dharma: A Vedic Guide to Finding Your Purpose Hardcover
    Discovering the Inner Mother: A Guide to Healing the Mother Wound and Claiming Your Personal Power: Webster, Bethany
    Amazon - Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards: Virtue, Doreen
    Amazon - Woodland Wardens: A 52-Card Oracle Deck & Guidebook: Roux, Jessica
    EVOLVE 2023 in Denver, CO - Crystal Media
    Crystal Media
    Connect with Crystal
    Crystal on YouTube
    Crystal on Facebook

    • 42 min
    Innovating and Finding Inspiration in Difficult Times with Ada Deferrari

    Innovating and Finding Inspiration in Difficult Times with Ada Deferrari

    Ada Deferrari is a great friend of mine, and the owner of ADA Collection, the leading belt retailer in the United States. For 16 years Ada has been a design and style educator, teaching women to choose style over fashion.

    ADA Collection has an unlikely origin story beginning with Ada’s completion of law school. During a stay in Argentina to learn about international law, she discovered and fell in love with their leather products. The beautiful handbags she brought back to her friends caught her eyes and she knew she was onto something.  This is where her imagined career switched from international law to international business. After meeting with a factory, holding trunk shows, and selling to small boutiques her business grew. Even with economic setbacks along the way, Ada continued shifting her business from main handbags to an even more desired clothing accessory: Belts. 

    COVID changed the landscape of business for all entrepreneurs and while many have had hard times and setbacks, a lot of businesses have found success through innovation. During a time when stores were closed, orders were canceled, and ADA Collection was facing uncertain times, Ada branched out into Online Styling Courses. This really shifted the way they did business, putting a face, name, and style to “their girl”. This new avenue for business brought a human-to-human connection to a previously only business-to-business company. 

    As a veteran entrepreneur Ada shares 3 Key lessons that remain important to her in her day to day business: 
    You can’t do it alone.Culture is king. Have faith.These little nuggets of inspiration mold and shape the way Ada does business and can be really valuable when you’re just getting started too!’

    When it comes to not doing it alone, aside from expanding and building your desired team. Take Advice. Some of Ada’s best advice has been about staying hungry for more by learning, growing, and feeding her inspiration. Ada does this by building a Sunday habit of listening to her favorite entrepreneurial podcasts, like Crystal Uncorked! She also swears by the advice she was given to monitor her metrics and scoreboards. If you don’t know this yet… You NEED to know your numbers.

    I love talking book recommendations and Ada has one she raves about. The Road Less Stupid by Keith J. Cunningham. Ada gave this book a big thumbs up and I cannot wait to read it this weekend. My recent recommendation for books is $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi. Definitely check these two books out and let me know what you think!

    Ada shares a ton of relatable tips and inspiration including her very special made-it-moment story about her first big sale. Be sure to check out ADA Collection on social media and shop their belts online just in time for the Summer 2022 belt trend!

    What’s Inside:
    ADA Collection: How it all started.How entrepreneurs can innovate and shift their business even in difficult times like COVID.3 Lessons in business that can translate to any business or entrepreneur. What is Ada Deferrari’s latest book recommendation?Mentioned In This Episode:

    ADA Collection
    ADA COLLECTION on Instagram
    ADA Collection - YouTube
    The Road Less Stupid: Keith J. Cunningham - Books
    $100M Offers: How To Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No eBook : Hormozi, Alex: Kindle Store
    EVOLVE 2023 in Denver, CO - Crystal Media 

    • 42 min
    Finding Freedom for Entrepreneurs with Pete Mohr

    Finding Freedom for Entrepreneurs with Pete Mohr

    The episode is jam-packed full of tips and good content for entrepreneurs and their businesses. Pete Mohr is an experienced entrepreneur, coach, and business expert. With Simplifying Entrepreneurship, he helps business owners understand the process and systems needed in their business to turn their frustrations into freedom and stop letting their business own them.

    Pete is in the process of writing a book on the “5 Ps”, a premise on which he guides all his entrepreneurs as they create needed systems and processes. 
    PromiseProduct ProcessPeopleProfitThe promise is based on how you can best help your client's biggest problem. Followed by an alignment of product, process, and people. Finally, the outcome is profit and by following the previous Ps, this is where freedom is enjoyed.

    We discuss some tips based on something I struggle with, and I am sure many other business owners do as well. Working on the business versus working in the business and how you’re spending time. For me, there are so many things I love about working that when I do get those systems in place and I am having that “freedom”, I can feel a little lost. Pete talks about his “Love it or Leave it” thinking game for entrepreneurs, where they really sort out the parts of the business they love doing and want more time to do and the parts they don’t like and can delegate to gain and actually enjoy the freedom.

    It’s this system that gives Pete his name for “Zone of Genius” as his “Love It Zone”. Pete’s “Love It Zone” is talking business with other entrepreneurs. If it’s sharing ideas, discovering processes, and figuring out systems, Pete wants to talk about it. Speaking of talking, Pete shares his favorite business tool. Loom. Loom is set up to record and link videos into the email. Pete doesn’t like typing out long, drawn-out, over-detailed messages where the tone gets lost in translation. With Loom, he can talk it out with the recipient, share his screen, and really get his intended tone across.

    I loved this conversation with Pete because we are a lot alike, we love to talk about all things business. You can find out more about him by checking out his websites and be sure to listen to my appearance on Pete’s podcast, Simplifying Entrepreneurship.

    What’s Inside:
    What are the 5 P’s and how can they bring clarity to your business?Why you need to create systems and processes for your businessesHow can entrepreneurs turn their frustrations into freedoms?Pete’s tool for the perfect email.Mentioned In This Episode:

    Simplifying Entrepreneurship
    Shoetopia
    Loom
    My Business Report — Assessment
    Crystal and Pete’s Simplifying Entrepreneurship podcast episode

    EVOLVE 2023 - Crystal Media
    Crystal Media
    Connect with Crystal
    Crystal on YouTube
    Crystal on Instagram
    Crystal on Facebook
    Crystal on TikTok 

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

RobinGoesTo ,

Transformative episode alert!

Yup, #teammindblown over here! Where has Stacey Murphy been all my life? Thank you for showcasing this approachable big-thinker and gentle soul. Her episode was transformative for me on multiple levels. She said something I really needed to hear that actually brought me to tears! Thank you CU for delivering meaningful content and finding ways to push me out of my comfort zone.

Sugarchick64 ,

It’s a happy show!

Even us non-drinkers enjoy listening to Crystal’s insights and learn from her extensive business experience.

CourtneyT 25 ,

Wonderfully Relatable

I love listening to this! Crystal’s vulnerability is refreshing and inspiring. While I am not a huge wine drinker (though the tips and suggestions given make me rethink that), the stories and relatable moments keep me coming back for more episodes!

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