Working Women Wednesday wonderful at Water Into Wine

Businesswomen in and around Farragut have an opportunity to connect, network and show their products to other working women in the community at Working Women Wednesday.

Working Women Wednesday takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday in Water Into Wine Bistro & Lounge, 607 N. Campbell Station Road, next to Mellow Mushroom. Women gathered Oct. 18 for one of those sessions in the lounge, located between the restaurant/bar and the restrooms.

Working Women Wednesday, the brainchild of Water Into Wine owner Candace Viox, is not a club or organization. Rather, it is an informal gathering of women in business. They can stop in, share information and business cards and showcase their products.

“We just come in, meet, mingle and exchange business cards,” said Brooke Rayburn, who sells products for Nerium International. “It’s open to everyone in the community. We are here every week.

“We want to support Candace and other women in business. It’s not about what we get, it’s what we give,” Rayburn said.

“I heard about this networking event at another networking event,” said Tiffany Smith, a consultant for WineShop at Home. “This is my fourth time coming.

“I’ve enjoyed it,” Smith said. “I’ve made a lot of connections, which is always productive.”

Rita Thomas of Rita Thomas Photography in Knoxville said the Oct. 18 event was her first time attending.

“I really like it a lot,” Thomas said. “I love the setting. I got to have some wine and dinner before [WWW] and Candace is fabulous.”

Attendance for Working Women Wednesday usually runs about 25, Viox said.

“And, I have such an amazing group of ladies that support it every single Wednesday,” she added.

“There’s a pretty regular core group, but there’s always a few new ones who come in,” Alison Pruitt of HealthMarkets Insurance Agency said. “They hear about it from Facebook or from a friend.”

“I have made dozens of new friends and valuable business connections,” Amy Huckwell, SendOutCards, said.

“This is one of those times I look forward to coming,” Pruitt said. “No one has to twist your arm. You get to socialize and make connections.”

The gathering is more than time to socialize, though, Viox said.

“It’s an opportunity for the women to showcase their wares and share information,” she said. “What happens is the ladies come in from all different service industries. They like being in an environment that’s all businesswomen and to be able to share their cards and talk about specials they have going on or a new product coming out.”

The women can sign up to display her products on a particular Wednesday.

“By the end of July, we are booked for this entire year,” Viox said. “It has catapulted into an amazing opportunity.”

That showcasing opportunity not only exposes a woman’s products to the women in the lounge, but they also gain exposure from customers at the bar and restaurant.

“My regulars are making relationships with these ladies, and they now are able to have a larger market to be able to sell their products and services,” Viox said.

The idea of holding Working Women Wednesday first came about as a way to host local businesswomen who needed a platform to show their products.

“I had a lot of young ladies who have small children, and so to host a Pampered Chef or a Parklane Jewelry or a Cabi [fashions] show was difficult in their homes,” Viox said. “So, I had a couple ladies who came in, Taryn Bryant and Christine Perry, who both sell Parklane Jewelry.” They came to Viox about hosting a sales event at Water Into Wine. That first event was June 14.

“Christine was one who came up with the name, Working Women Wednesday,” Viox said.