“Wine bars are kinda boring, you just sort of stare at your friends and drink some wine,” says Tyler Balliet. “So we wanted to build a place where people could come, interact, and do activities while they learned about wine.” He and his partner, Morgan First, founded Rosé Mansion, an immersive wine bar featuring 14 themed rooms, a wine amusement park, wine shop, and food.
Prior to Rosé Mansion, Tyler and Morgan ran a business that produced wine-related festivals across the country. It was exhausting work, but Tyler found support in commiserating with fellow entrepreneurs through YEC, not just for community, but for practical help in running a business. “I think YEC really helped in the early years when we were just starting,” he says. “You don’t know who to contact. How do I do this thing? How do I figure out that thing?”
Rosé Mansion started out as one of Tyler and Morgan’s many festivals. In 2018, the festival ran for 16 weeks and created a lot of buzz on social media, particularly Instagram. But there was just one problem: people saw pictures of their friends at the festival but could not get tickets. Tyler and Morgan could not monetize the waitlist. The solution was to go all-in on an experience model, setting up a permanent location in midtown Manhattan so that everyone who wanted to experience Rosé Mansion was able to visit, eventually. Rosé Mansion opened its Manhattan location in the summer of 2019.
Tyler found support in commiserating with fellow entrepreneurs through YEC, not just for community, but for practical help in running a business.
Now in his 30s, Tyler is settling down, sort of. “We used to do fifty major wine festivals that toured the country… and that was a great business to run in your early to late 20s when you have a lot of energy,” he says. Now that he’s “older” (that is, over 30), following an experience model with a permanent location is more attractive. Plus, an Instagram-fueled experiential business is a pretty good bet.
Tyler now lives in New York City but has previously lived in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In all these cities, Tyler has been able to connect with fellow YEC members. “YEC is a great organization to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs in your area or wherever you happen to travel.”
Watch more of Tyler's story on the YEC YouTube Channel.