Next up in our founder stories series is Tiffany, our Chief Revenue Officer. She brings joy and laughter wherever she goes! Here is her story.
ONEHOPE: Tell us a story from the early days of ONEHOPE that highlights the challenges of entrepreneurship and disrupting the wine industry.
Tiffany: One of the biggest challenges in the early days of OH was gaining national distribution. We had to have wine distributors agree to carry ONEHOPE state by state so we could get our product to Restaurants, Hotels, Wine Shops and retailers across the country. It was very challenging considering the landscape of the industry in 2007-2010 ... Distributors were scaling back on the brands they were carrying, and most of the time not willing to take a chance on a little brand that no one had ever heard of :) I was on the road traveling 2-3 weeks of the month, pounding the pavement, cold calling accounts, working the distributors we did have, and meeting with new prospects in markets that we didn't have on board yet.
I had got a meeting with a potential distributor in the Northeast in a state that we were desperate to open up - I was stoked! I packed our 3 wines in my suitcase like I had done many times before (we were not allowed to ship wine direct in the state at the time) and landed late in the evening the night before the meeting. I grabbed a bite to eat, checked into my motel room, and unzipped my roller bag... Our Cabernet bottle had broken in transit and my clothes were drenched in red wine! It was 11pm and my meeting was at 8am the next morning. I had two choices: 1) Wear the sweat pants I had flown/traveled in or 2) Wear my blue shift dress/blazer combo that was marble-colored in red wine and smelled like a musty cellar. There was no way I was going to miss/postpone that meeting so I went with option two. I walked into that meeting letting their Vice President know that I was so proud of the brand we were building - I had decided to wear it as perfume! He got a kick out of it and decided to give us a chance :)
That was the last time I got on a plane in sweat pants... :)
ONEHOPE: Tell us about the moment you knew your young company was going to be successful.
Tiffany: I was so naive when we first started OH (in the early days) that I had zero doubt we were going to be a success. Those doubts came knocking on my door 4 years in... :)
But one of the first moments I could recall where I knew we were on to something big was during a pitch to a local restaurant owner. I shared our mission, tasted our three wines with her (our CA Chardonnay, Cab & Merlot), and asked her if she wanted to make a difference with us. She was in tears at the end of my pitch as she herself was a breast cancer survivor. She was so moved by ONEHOPE that she took 2 cases of each on the spot!
ONEHOPE: Tell us the cause you are most passionate about and why
Tiffany: Thats a tough question because I am passionate about them all! That being said - I lost my father 3.5 years ago to cancer and I am very passionate about supporting all cancer research as well as the many families that have been affected by this devastating disease.
The ONEHOPE Team