About Tin Sheets
Tin Sheets Consulting was created as a result of our desire to help small businesses find the tools and solutions to reach their full potential. In 2009, we took over a struggling family business and through the implementation of new systems and fresh ideas, grew it to be profitable, and ultimately, successfully sold in 2016. Throughout our journey as small business owners, we discovered that what we enjoyed most about our work was designing the plans and developing the processes and systems to facilitate change and growth. Once we’d achieved this in our business, we realized that we wanted to help others find the same success.
As former small business owners, we understand the difficulties, obstacles, and sleepless nights that are part and parcel of owning your business. Drawing from our experiences and others that we’ve worked with, our mission is to provide you with the resources to reduce your stress and focus on what matters most, the growth and success of your business.
There’s No Place Like Home
In 2016, we sold our winery in Western Colorado to follow our dream of traveling the country by Airstream to see the sights and taste the wines from across America. We traveled more than 12,000 miles over three months seeking to find the remnants of the time when America’s greatest love was the car and road trips were a way of life. We experienced Americana, Mid-Century Modern architecture, roadside diners, kitschy curio shops, tourist traps, and more, documenting our travels in our travel blog, Tin Sheets to the Wind.
Despite the new places we discovered and amazing beauty we experienced throughout the country, our hearts have always been in Colorado. Upon returning from our travels, we chose to settle in beautiful Colorado Springs. We love our new hometown and look forward to being involved in the local community, with a focus on helping local small businesses grow and succeed.
Why Tin Sheets?
The inspiration for the name of our blog, and ultimately our consulting company, was born of three sources. It combines the tin (often slang for aluminum) from which our Airstream, Stan, was made; the cliché, three sheets to the wind, an homage to our career as winemakers; and the wind which was vital to our winery and the inspiration for the names of our wines- Canyon Wind Cellars and Anemoi Wines.
We value partnership and want to work with you as a team, rather than tell you what to do. Let us help you get off the ground right, so your focus is growing, not learning from mistakes. With our years of experience running successful companies in various industries, we can help with all of the details.
Jay Christianson | Founder
A Colorado native, Jay grew up on a ranch in Sedalia before spending a number of years attending school in the Northeast, earning a Liberal Arts degree from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. A former ski racer and ski racing coach, he was also a boarding school science teacher at Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, NH before returning to Colorado to take over the winemaking, and eventually ownership of his family’s winery, Canyon Wind Cellars.
Growing up on the family estate gave Jay the opportunity to work side-by-side with and learn from the famous Napa Winemaker, Robert Pepi, providing him with an extensive knowledge of winemaking and an understanding of the importance of terroir and low-intervention practices. Involved in the vineyard, winery, and winemaking world for more than twenty years, Jay grew sales, executed major marketing changes, produced world-class wines for the growing Colorado industry, and implemented cutting-edge winemaking and sales techniques. He also managed the day-to-day operations of what could be considered Colorado’s finest vineyard, the Everyvine Platinum-certified Riverside Vineyard, receiving the Colorado Association of Viticulture and Enology “Grower of the Year” award in 2015. Jay served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board from 2014-2016 and served on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Association of Viticulture and Enology from 2013-2015.
A true lover of the outdoors, particularly winter, Jay spent eight years as a ski racer and twelve years as a ski coach. Now embracing all four seasons, Jay is a volunteer member of El Paso County Search and Rescue, a fully-accredited Mountain Rescue Association group, serving the needs of lost, injured, and stranded people in El Paso County. When he’s not searching or rescuing, he feeds his love of cars by keeping Lamont Cranston, our official road trip vehicle, in tip-top shape and has yet to find a road in Colorado that intimidates him.
To contact Jay, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennifer Christianson | Founder
Though she grew up in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, Jennifer’s heart has been in Colorado since the moment she arrived at that dude ranch in Durango when she was 16. She came to the University of Colorado in Boulder for school in the mid-’90s, fell in love with the mountains, and still hasn’t left.
After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology, Jennifer spent a number of years working as an Environmental Chemist for the U.S. Geological Survey before returning to school to earn an MBA with an emphasis in Human Resources Management from the University of Colorado in Denver. After graduate school, she headed west to Vail where she spent four years as the Development Director for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail. After a brief stint in other youth sports management, she returned to the ski industry and accepted her second Executive Director role with the Park City, Utah-based World Cup Dreams Foundation where she helped to build the non-profit from the ground up, from logo design to website creation to successfully fundraising in order to provide insurance for U.S. Ski Team members.
Upon meeting Jay, in 2008, she learned that a) she loved wine and b) the process of creating wine was fascinating. Armed with passion, the resources of a world-famous winemaker, and a fabulous pair of (now retired) purple rubber boots, Jennifer helped to shape the future of Colorado wine by bringing new perspective and creative ideas to the winery, including the creation of Anemoi Wines. Jennifer was awarded a Winemaking Certificate from the University of California in Davis in 2016 and served on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Association of Viticulture and Enology from 2011-2013.
Jennifer loves Colorado history and proudly proclaims it was the highest grade earned while getting her Geology degree. More recently captivated by Route 66, Americana, and neon signs, she is the trip planner for our travel blog adventures and her head full of interesting, yet useless, knowledge keeps our social media fun. Her goal is to someday have her picture taken with every mountain pass sign in Colorado.
To contact Jennifer, email email@example.com.
Robert Pepi | Winemaking Expert
Robert (Bob) Pepi is a world-renowned Napa Valley winemaker and owner of Eponymous Wines, who began his partnership with the Christianson Family when he joined their winery, Canyon Wind Cellars, to share his expertise in winemaking, from the first crush in 1996 to the final vintage in 2015.
Excerpt from Eponymous Wines website: “In 1966, my family bought a ranch with vineyards in the Napa Valley, thinking it a retreat from the city. In 1980, my retired father and I decided to start a winery on the property, giving it the name we each carried, Robert Pepi. Our first harvest was in 1981, and I’ve been making wine ever since. After the winery sold, I became a consulting winemaker, working mainly in California, but traveling also to Argentina, Colorado, and Texas.
Consulting has given me success, freedom, and the ability to work with exceptional vineyards and craft wines of which I am very proud. From time to time while traveling the back roads of California and Argentina, tending to my clients’ vineyards, I see vineyards that do not fit into my clients’ needs, but that excite me with their potential for quality wines.”
Finley | The Fine Wine Canine
Joining the family in 2010, Finley, the Fine Wine Canine, spent his winery days, working as both as the Chief Canine Officer ensuring that staff members were happy; and as the Official Greeter, welcoming all guests to the winery and vineyard. Additionally, he was the spokesdog for a specially produced wine, Finley’s Red Paw, that was sold to benefit a local animal charity, eventually earning more than $4,300 to help shelter dogs and cats find foster homes. After retiring from his official greeting duties in 2016, Finley transitioned from winery dog to furry co-pilot and road trip companion, accompanying us on travels around the country, visiting 44 states, 20 National Parks, and more tourist traps and kitschy roadside stops that we can count.
Sadly, in April 2019, we lost Finley to a rare form of cancer. We miss him tremendously, but feel so incredibly blessed to have had this amazing, larger-than-life creature in our lives and the ability to share with so many his obvious love of life, adventures, and wine.
Saxby | The Red Rascal
Saxby is a new addition to the Tin Sheets Consulting family. Although he’s only been with us for a short time, he is already making a big impression. Originally from Minnesota, Saxby already has plenty of car time under his collar- 16 hours on the first day he was with us. Since arriving in Colorado, he’s played in snow (in May), learned the joy of digging up the garden, and is hard at work training to hopefully someday become a member of El Paso County Search and Rescue.
Named for a henchman in the James Bond movie, Diamonds Are Forever, Saxby is sweet and sassy and shows much promise for bed hogging and being expertly underfoot in the kitchen.