I originally developed RedHead Wine as my capstone project to graduate from Cornell University‘s Viticulture & Enology program. I designed the label to be bold and appealing. I formulated a unique wine blend to match it – lightly sweet and lightly spicy, just like a redhead! I received a lot of positive feedback from industry professionals and realized I had something special. This made me decide that it may be worth the risk to turn RedHead Wine into a real business.
What background did you have prior to starting Red Head Wine?
I am a third generation winemaker – my family immigrated from Italy over fifty years ago and brought over the tradition. I started helping my family each harvest starting in fifth grade and realized it was something I truly enjoyed. Luckily, I discovered that Cornell offered a four-year bachelor of science program to specialize in winemaking!
Was it an easy decision to launch your brand?
Yes, I am energetic, creative and enjoy challenges. Starting your own business and brand is a marathon, not a race. I have had many highs and lows while building RedHead Wine during the past three years, but I would not have it any other way. Each setback is a lesson to be learned and makes you stronger and a better person.
How long ago did you begin?
I started the label when I was 19 – BUT – I did not start working on the brand full-time until August 2016.
What was the biggest struggle that you faced when you first launched?
Not knowing how to best use my time. There were days that I would just sit in my room not knowing what to do next. After about three months I realized what routine benefited the business and stuck to it!
What does your typical day look like? ‘
Each day is different! Sometimes I spend time at the winery working on new blends and projects, but when I am not there, I am out in the market visiting retailers. I enjoy visiting stores that sell my wines to showcase my gratitude and see what my team and I can do to provide top-notch customer service.
How do you come up with new flavors?
I look at market trends alongside the feedback and requests I receive from my customers!
How organized would you say you are?
I am an organized mess. I always know where everything is and where I need to be.
How do you stay (try to stay) organized?
My google calendar is my best friend! But besides using a calendar, getting enough sleep to have a strong mind and the energy to give each day my all helps tremendously.
Where do you see your business in 2 years?
RedHead Wine will be sold in over five-seven states in the next two years. That is my goal!
How do you handle stress?
I detox all of my stress at the gym. It’s a great way to expel negative energy while being proactive about living a healthy lifestyle.
What would you do differently if you had the chance?
This is such a tough question because we all have our regrets, but each decision we wish to be different is something we learn from. Mistakes are just as powerful as accomplishments.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting their own business?
Just do it – you will learn so much from the experience. If your business is a success, that is great, but if you fail, you will still be able to know you tried and apply the knowledge you’ve accumulated to a new project.
What is your favorite social media platform and why?
I have been enjoying LinkedIn the most lately. You are able to learn from and connect with many people you would usually not be able to on facebook, twitter, and Instagram. I am disappointed that the video and post algorithm has changed to give posters less reach, but the network you create is very valuable.