Today we’d like to introduce you to Dana Spaulding.
Dana, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Prior to founding Wander + Ivy, I spent seven years at JPMorgan managing wealth for successful entrepreneurs. I was constantly inspired by the business owners that I worked with. I knew that someday I would love to take a risk and start something on my own but for so long had no clue what that venture would look like.
My husband and I were often throwing around potential business ideas, but nothing was exciting or promising enough to leave our full-time jobs.
Then, one evening, my husband asked me, “Are you really going to waste another bottle of wine?” I was frustrated because, yes, I wanted to enjoy a nice glass of wine after a long day; but yes, I hated to admit, he was right. I would likely waste the bottle by not finishing it. I love wine. He loves whiskey. So, we often find ourselves wasting bottles because hey there is a time and place to have a full bottle of wine to yourself and for me, it’s not a weeknight!
I sought out single-serve options but found low-quality wine in cheap packaging and no organic options. That was the spark for me! I went on to research the industry, the players in the space, and what was missing. I then built a preliminary business plan. I slowly started sharing the idea with family, friends, founders, and folks in the industry. I eventually had the courage to leave my day job and give this company a real shot.
I officially founded the company in April 2017. Today, Wander + Ivy partners with family-owned vineyards around the world to bring you premium wine that is made with certified organic grapes and packaged in convenient 6.3-ounce glass bottles. Our wines are sold in about 80 retailers, restaurants and hotels across Colorado (where the company is based), as well as select retailers in San Fran and NYC. We will also soon be launching our wines across Pennsylvania, where I was born and raised, which is super exciting. Our long-term goal is national distribution in store and online.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There have been MANY struggles.
Raising capital was my first big challenge. I’ve learned that it always takes way longer than you expect to raise funds. Also, the room is still being dominated by men, which is extra challenging when your brand’s target demographic is female millennials. My advice is to be patient, practice your pitch like crazy, and always be over-prepared for the tough questions.
Another challenge – it’s often a lonely journey, especially as a solo founder. I have found it helpful to surround myself with supportive family and friends as well as founders that can relate to the struggles. Having people to share your struggles with is really important.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Wander + Ivy story. Tell us more about the business.
Wander + Ivy partners with family-owned vineyards around the world to bring you premium wine that is made with certified organic grapes and packaged in convenient 6.3-ounce glass bottles.
We are the premium and organic option in the single-serve wine space.
I am extremely proud of my team, our innovative products and how we give back to the community. Wander + Ivy is an official 1% For the Planet Member, donating 1% of our gross profits to charitable organizations.
Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
It’s all about attitude. Always be the person with the best attitude in the room, the person up for any task, and the person everyone wants to work with. Positive energy and attitude go a long way when trying to build a career.
- Website: www.wanderandivy.com
- Phone: 720-398-9097
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @wanderandivy
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