Jennifer Nielsen of Arlington, Virginia founded Wine Wear when she was 26 years old.
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
Wine Wear, Inc. is a wine accessories company.
Currently, Wine Wear, Inc. has 3 product lines: Wine bottle Wear, Wine glass Wear, and Wine fashion Wear. At Wine Wear, Inc., we have designed and patented the first ever 3D paper greeting card for a wine bottle that is in the shape of a t-shirt. We have also revealed a unique way to identify your wine glass with Wine glass Wear - vinyl, non adhesive, reusable decals for wine glasses. Lastly, Wine fashion Wear is Wine Wear Inc's. fun and festive clothing line for wine bottles. They make a great decoration or gift for any event or occasion.
How did you come up with your business idea?
I like to give wine as a gift; however, I felt it was generic and un-personable. I started decorating the bottles I gave. I also needed a way to let the receiver know that the wine bottle was from me. I combined the decoration with the gift tag and Wine bottle Wear was born. We then added 2 other product lines to the brand.
What were you doing before Wine Wear?
Before Wine Wear I was an analyst for retail company. This is my first business.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
When you have an idea that you want to pursue make a plan that will get you to your goal with both short term and long term accomplishments to help keep momentum going.
Did you have a partner when you started your business?
My husband, Jesse became my business partner. I figured if he could convenience me to marry him, he could convenience people to purchase Wine Wear.
For women entrepreneurs, what specific advice would you have for young women who would like to become an entrepreneur? Are there specific advantages, disadvantages to being a women business owner?
As a young female entrepreneur myself I would say what are you waiting for? There are so many resources and opportunities available for entrepreneurs. The world is at your finger tips.
With the current economy in a slump, what cost saving tips would you have for a new entrepreneur?
As a start up with little money I need to accomplish as much as I can on my own. Rather than hiring a contractor to do all the work I'll hire a consultant to make the plan for what I need to do and then do it myself. For example when patenting my Wine Wear card I wrote the patent myself and had a lawyer review it for completeness and any corrections I needed to make. This was much more cost effective than having them do it all and in the end I was granted my first patent.
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
I do not know if anyone really ever expects to be lying in the middle of floor with tears coming down the side of your face because you are so frustrated with the unknown. But in the end it is worth it.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
I was 26 when I started Wine Wear and I wish I had done it earlier.
What a story, Jennifer! Thank you for sharing your business tips with other entrepreneurs.