The wine industry is not the most complete when it comes to ownership. Despite this fact, many entrepreneurs have managed to enter the market. With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic creating new restrictions on businesses as cities try to fight the outbreak, many have had to find new ways to keep their businesses from closing.
One entrepreneur managed to bring her brand into the virtual space with a wine company for black women.
Shayla Varnado is the founder of Black Girls Wine. Her business got off to an amazing start, but like many entrepreneurs, she faced new challenges when the COVID-19 pandemic forced cities to close. She had to act quickly to protect the brand and her team from the consequences.
“In the beginning, some of the biggest hurdles were figuring out the technology. There was a little bit of adjustment between the platforms and notifying our members of what's coming, ”Varnado said BLACK COMPANY by email.
"I had to decide if I was ready to join the team," she added. "After hosting virtual events for a month, I knew I wouldn't be able to work in the store all day and then moderate and host at night." Since COVID, I've had no choice but to expand the team. We've been busier than ever and we're growing month by month. The growing pain was a hurdle, but it was also a blessing. "
While Varnado was already working on opening her virtual wine society, she said the pandemic forced her to move the idea forward in order to stay afloat. Many facilities have been closed, which has improved the company's success.
"Now all members of our chapter across the country, no matter where they are, can meet and connect with one another," she said. “In this way we can offer women who want to join regardless of where they live access to all membership benefits. Now everyone can take part and that makes it even more exciting to be a member! "
Varnado said her goal has always been to create a brand that focuses on black women as – despite their affinity for wine – they have often been excluded from marketing and branding in larger companies.
"I wanted to create this experience, this space, and be a brand that was totally focused on the black woman," she said. “I want her to feel special and valued as a wine lover and as a person. I want her to know that she is being seen and I intend to continue creating and offering opportunities for her to grow, connect, and be celebrated. "