Publisher and author Chelsea Prince is a woman driven by a love of the written word that began at the age of 4. Since then, Chelsea has attended Syracuse, working for The Daily Orange Newspaper, founded InternCircle.com, worked at Women’s Wear Daily, InsideFacebook, and now her very own Chelsea Print and Publishing. Most recently she penned and published Rock and Vine, a look at the next generation in the California wine business. Chelsea is a driven individual looking to shape the Millennial generation of Publishing. We are proud to present Chelsea Prince to you as a Drink Careers 101 Advisory Board member.
What was your path into the publishing industry?
Publishing has always been my career target, so I shot a quiver-full of arrows everywhere I could. I worked on the editorial side and publishing side, I tried editing versus writing. I worked for traditional “big name” print publications and startup online publications. Whatever I could get my hands on, I grabbed. Internships were an extremely important part of building my career path, particularly because I developed a social media start-up, InternCircle.com, which was a virtual portal to the internship world. Although I enjoyed conceptualizing, managing and writing all of the editorial for the company, I found that the medium itself wasn’t compelling to me. I don’t love the Internet like I love books. I read my first chapter book (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) when I was four, and have read an entire book almost every night since. It became obvious to me that books were my calling, and I founded Chelsea Print & Publishing. The company, which produces beautiful “readable” coffee table books, provides an intersection between art, philanthropy and storytelling. So far, we’ve published Snowcial and Rock and Vine: Next Generation Changemakers in America’s Wine Country.
What were the steps you took to prepare yourself for your career?
I took a relatively straightforward approach to publishing; I studied it. I knew I wanted to work in publishing so I pursued a major in magazine journalism and European history at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. When I wasn’t running around writing articles for class, I was at The Daily Orange campus newspaper chasing leads and managing more than 250 writers.
What inspired you to write Rock and Vine?
There are many factors that contributed to the inspiration (I’ve been to global seminars about “generational” topics for years now), but I was particularly drawn to the three-fold story that comes with wine. There are three stories in one bottle of wine: the story of the wine itself, the story of the winemaker and the consumer’s story. There are many wine books out there, but I saw that there was a wine story yet to be told: the next generation. How will the next generation perpetuate and evolve the story of Napa and Sonoma? That’s Rock and Vine.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing and researching your book?
Most books take years to write, but I took 6 months from start-to-print. It was beyond challenging, but it was necessary. The purpose was to bring a moment in time to readers, a moment where the next generation is at a tipping point and about to take the reigns in the wine industry. There were weeks of 20-hour days, but fortunately I could turn to the consultation of Christy Canterbury, Master of Wine, and many others for interviews and insight.
What was your favorite aspect of writing Rock and Vine?
My favorite aspect is the intimacy that comes with knowing and completely throwing oneself into a subject. From writing Rock and Vine, I now know one small part of this big world that much better.
What advice would you give college students considering a career working in publishing?
I once heard a quote that reads something along the lines of “make a career of what you do in your free time,” and I encourage everyone to stick to that. It’s incredibly fulfilling to do what you’re naturally inclined to do, and you’ll be much more successful if you have passion. Passion gives you the grit to push through the hard days.
There’s a feature story of Christina Turley of Turley Wine Cellars in Rock and Vine, who has taken this advice to heart. A couple years after college, Christina left a lucrative career at an art gallery after realizing that she spent all of her free time reading food and wine blogs, planning menus for gallery events and thinking about restaurants. She decided to learn the ropes as a sommelier in Manhattan from the ground-up, and now works as the Sales and Marketing Director for Turley Wine Cellars.
Follow Chelsea Prince here on Twitter.
Pre-order Drink Careers 101 here on Kickstarter.