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Tigard wine shop to convert to wine bar, with your help

Tigard Wine Crafters hopes crowdfunding site can help transform DIY wine shop into a romantic retreat


TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Sharon Sands has launched a crowdfunding campaign to convert her do-it-yourself wine shop into Tigard's first wine bar.After years of hearing how she should run her business, Sharon Sands is asking customers to put their money where their mouth is.

Sands, the owner of Tigard Wine Crafters in Downtown Tigard, launched a crowdfunding campaign last month in order to convert her small business into the city’s first wine bar.

Tigard Wine Crafters opened in 2010 with a simple mission: Teach people how to make their own wine.

Sands had hoped her business would tap into Portland’s homebrew spirit, but said that construction along Southwest Main Street, and other factors, have kept her business from taking off.

“Right now, I’m doing just enough to cover my bills,” she said. “I’ve got to do something to kick it up.”

Since its inception, Wine Crafters has been utilitarian in its design.

A large desk sits in the front corner and long rows of metal counters give customers the workspace they need to create their own bottles of wine.

But that wasn’t always the dream, Sands said.

“I want to get rid of stuff over here, and add tables and chairs over here,” Sands said, gesturing around the small shop. “I want to move the bar, add intimate lighting. I want to make it more of a wine bar.”

It’s a lofty goal. Sands hopes to raise about $7,500 for the project.

The shop’s focus will always be about making your own wine, Sands said, but too often the shop sits empty on nights when people are in need of a place to enjoy a glass of wine.

With Tigard’s proximity to wine country, it’s unacceptable that the city doesn’t have a wine bar of its own, Sands said.

Friends and customers have told Sands for years that she should offer more of a wine selection, she said, but it was never financially feasible.

“They’d say to do this, or that, and yes, I’d love to, but how do I get the money to do it?” Sands said.

Crowdsourcing has become a popular way to fundraise for projects, and Sands said it’s the perfect way for customers to show how much they value her business.

When Sands came up with the business in 2010, it was the height of the recession and she wasn’t able to get a business loan, instead relying on a friend’s personal loan to get off the ground.

That was enough to get the doors open, but Sands said there are plenty of things she’d like to do with her shop.

“Since the renovation of Main Street in 2014, it is easier for people to come to downtown and shop,” Sands wrote on the fundraiser’s website. “Now we need to upgrade to keep up with the wine industry and become Tigard’s first wine bar.”

Sands hopes to add a tap system, add some more romantic lighting, and transform unused floor space into a place where people can enjoy a glass of wine.

The company will celebrate its five year anniversary in October, and Sands said she’d like to see the shop remodeled by then.

“Let’s make it look good,” she said. “Let’s all get together and do it together.”

Tigard Wine Crafters is located at 12436 S.W. Main St., in Tigard.

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