What do Elderflower Apple, Hibiscus Cucumber, and Pink Grapefruit Ginger all have in common? They’re all delicious wine flavors, of course! Leah, the innovative founder of Social Sparkling Wine, has created a brand of wine that allows you to have a fun night with your friends without sacrificing your health. Leah beat cancer by committing to a healthy and holistic lifestyle. She has faced huge challenges, both in her life and her business, but she has persevered and is now a thriving entrepreneur with one of the fastest growing brands in the United States. She has taken her passion for wellness and created a product that is both healthy and fun!
Fun Fact: She was ALSO featured on CNBC’s Billion Dollar Buyer!
1.) Why did you start Social Sparkling Wine?
I started my company because I wanted to have the option to live a really healthy active life… and be able to enjoy alcohol and socialize. At 26, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. With my life on the line, I renewed my commitment to wellness by quitting drinking, going vegan and educating myself on holistic approaches to healing my body. After three years I beat cancer and I am fulfilling my dream of becoming an entrepreneur and creating a product that enhances life’s precious moments while complementing a healthy lifestyle. I believe by providing this option we can empower other people to socialize and then wake up with the energy to share their gifts with the world. Each day is too precious to waste.
2.) Tell us a story/incident that happened while starting or running your company that may have made you feel defeated. How did you overcome it?
Not too long ago, our producer was bought by a private equity company. They were going to not produce us anymore since we still did less volume than most of their other huge customers unless we gave them a very large equity stake. At first, I thought they were open to being mutually supportive but as it went on I could see that they were behaving as if they could just take advantage of me…and it seemed because they thought I was just a nice girl. What I did was give myself options. I found another producer that really wanted my business and was willing to invest in the partnership. When you have options you feel better….and so I try to stay as creative and talk to as many people as possible when I am stuck in a situation.
3.) Have you ever been underestimated simply for being a woman? Tell us how.
I feel like the above happened because I was a woman. That they really tried to take advantage of me. Next time I will express a more solid stance when dealing with those types of people…who are known for being all about the numbers.
4.) Time management is always a tough thing to figure out. Do you have a system for it? Workout time, leisure time, etc?
Since there is always so much going on it is sometimes hard to step away or hit a good stopping point. I try to set boundaries on how late we work each day. From 9-5 is standard and because we know we don’t work after we tend to be hyper-focused during the day. I always start the day with a priority list and just do other less important things as filler throughout the day.
5.) Are you working on any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
We are currently working on creating a new flavor and featuring three of the flavors in bottles. Hitting shelves this summer will be Strawberry Rose. It is our own take on rosé which is always a popular summer drink. Unlike most wine companies we started out manufacturing our product in cans rather than bottles. Also being released this summer is 750ml bottles. The bottles will be available in Hibiscus Cucumber, Elderflower Apple, and Strawberry Rose.
6.) What is your best advice for anyone starting their own business?
Starting a business is just doing lots of tasks. Pick three things important for your business each day and just focus on those. If you do that…before you know it you will have something real. You can do it!
LOOK OUT FOR SOME SOCIAL SPARKLING WINE PAIRED WITH OUR DUSTY BLUE TANK FOR THE FEMALE FOUNDERS GIVEAWAY THIS FRIDAY ON INSTAGRAM! SUMMER FUN!