Today we’d like to introduce you to Felicia Zeeh.
Felicia, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Hello! My name is Felicia and I am an independent wine consultant for Scout and Cellar. My company is called Vino and Veggies. Vino and Veggies began as a fun little Instagram account where I’d visit restaurants, order the vegan dish and post wine pairing suggestions. As a vegan of six years and wine connoisseur, it brought together two of my favorite things as a fun hobby. Shortly after I began Vino and Veggies a friend reached out to me and said, “I remember you telling me how hard it is to find vegan wine. Well, I just went to a wine tasting and ALL of the wine is vegan and organic!
She passed along the contact info and I immediately called the rep. The woman explained to me the story of Scout and Cellar. Scout and Cellar were started by a woman named Sarah Shadonix. She was a lawyer and decided to pursue her dream career in wine. As she studied to become a sommelier, she would get headaches from 1 or 2 glasses of wine. She learned this is due to a combination of the added sulfites, sugar, and chemicals that is often in mass-produced wine. She knew there had to be better options out there so she literally “scouts” the world looking for what she calls Clean-Crafted wine. Clean-Crafted is more than just organic and biodynamic wine.
We’re on a mission of sustainability to leave the earth better than we found it. Everything from our grape growing practices to our bottling and packaging is with sustainability in mind. Our bottles are made from lighter glass so we use fewer emissions during shipment and we don’t use any unnecessary packaging such as foil on the bottle to eliminate waste. At Scout and Cellar, we believe wine should be as natural as possible, which also means not using any animal by-product to clarify the wines.
After the woman explained all of this to me, I said, “Stop! Say no more! This is exactly the kind of company I want to be apart of.” I am vegan for ALL the reasons, including animal rights, health and of course, sustainability. So Scout and Cellar is in exact alignment with my values. Plus, it pays for my wine habit and fills my wine cellar with the good stuff. So, joining as a consultant was a no brainer. The aforementioned woman is named, Jill Johnson, who is now my close friend and mentor. I’ve made some incredible friendships in this business with like-minded, business savvy and strong women.
For the past year, I’ve been providing free in-home wine tastings to friends and family while earning some fun spending money and free wine. I also partner with various vegan chefs who do cooking classes and bring wine to pair with the dishes they are teaching. I love teaching others how to pair wine with vegan food. This little hobby job has fed my soul for my passions of clean-wine, veganism, and sustainability.
Meanwhile, I began to question my actual full-time job as a school psychologist. My “day job” if you will. I initially set out to be a school psychologist thinking I could change the world. But seven years into the job, I am realizing there are so many factors that are out of my control that I am often just putting a bandaid on larger issues that need some serious mending. I often come home from work drained and feeling powerless with nothing left to give to my family. It is not fair to my family or my own mental health.
So my husband and I began brainstorming possible career changes that would be fulfilling with everything I wanted. We thought, “Maybe we’ll open a wine tasting room with sustainable and vegan wines and have various Denver vegan food trucks come to pair the wines with? I loved the idea and quickly began to come up with a business plan. Shortly after, the threat of potential wine tariffs hit, meaning wine sales would DOUBLE in price making it incredibly hard to get high-quality wine from abroad. Although the tariffs have been temporarily halted, we realized with the state of the current political climate, it is not a good time to open a tasting room. So I was back at square 1.
Then, at the end of January, I went to our Scout and Cellar conference and was reignited with possibility. There were sessions on sustainable winemaking, new product releases, and how to grow a business. I met some of our winemakers, my amazing team and some seriously inspiring women. Robin Arzon, my idol, was the keynote speaker! She is also a vegan Latina and my favorite Peloton instructor. It was a sign I was right where I should be. I was surrounded by success stories of people who treat being a wine consultant like a full-time business and are making it HUGE. Suddenly, I realized I have a turn-key business right in front of me. I don’t need to start from square 1. All of the legalities and finding high-quality wine is already taken care of for me. Not only that, but it meets all of my requirements for my vision of a fulfilling career including flexibility, room for growth, empowering others, and leaving the earth better than we found it. Boom.
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?
Now that I’ve committed to pursuing Vino and Veggies as a full-time gig there will always be challenges ahead. Fortunately, I welcome challenges full on. I think the biggest challenge so far is juggling my day job with my side hustle and a family. I would be lying if I said I could do it alone without the support of my husband. Coming home after a long day of work, my main priority is my son. I take the time to make dinner for our family and read books to him before bed. Then at around 8 pm, I hit the books to study for my wine certification. I send emails to potential customers and I work on my blog. I’ve come up with a pretty good self-care routine and a time management system that keeps me sane.
Another struggle I’ve overcome is my own perceptions of network marketing. I think that was a big reason holding me back last year from growing my business. I was afraid of what others would think about me joining a multi-level marketing company. Fortunately, I’ve moved on from that fear because my hunger for a fulfilling career far exceeds that fear now. I actually think Sarah, our founder, is a genius for making our company an MLM because network marketing IS the new marketing. In the age of social media and e-commerce, she saw the potential for this business model to soar with wine sales. She was a lawyer so she is clearly a smart woman!
Vino and Veggies – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am so excited about the direction that Vino and Veggies is going. I specialize in teaching others how to pair wine with vegan food. I often post recipes and the wine I’d pair it with on my Instagram. I am now working on becoming a Certified Specialist of Wine to further my knowledge of wine. I’m loving doing wine tastings and educating people on what vegan, organic and biodynamic wine is.
And my team is growing! There are three ways YOU can be apart of the Clean-Crafted movement; 1. Buy our wine. 2. Host a tasting. 3. Become a consultant. Everyone needs wine. Why not be the person your friends and family get it from? It is a truly exciting time in the natural wine industry. As more consumers are demanding organic practices, the producers have to respond. What sets us apart from other wine clubs is our mission for sustainability and commitment to Clean-Crafted. We test for chemicals before harvest and after fermentation. Our company is growing at record speed and I feel so blessed to be apart of the Clean-Crafted movement.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My future plans include continuing to grow our company and share the Clean-Crafted difference. I am most looking forward to empowering others to find a fulfilling career with Scout and Cellar and recognizing the potential that being a consultant can provide. I hope to have a massive Denver team present at the next National conference with a huge network of consultants revolutionizing the wine industry.
- Single bottles can be purchased a la carte and range from $20-$72.
- There is a 5% discount when you buy 6 or more bottles and 10% discount when you buy 12 or more.
- The biggest value are the wine clubs. Wine clubs start at just $89 for a 4 bottle set. You can get it delivered monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly.
- Free shipping after $99.
- Website: www.vinoandveggies.co
- Phone: 720-227-5081
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @vino_and_veggies
- Facebook: facebook.com/vinoandveggies
Amy Beth Bolden