Friday, 22 March 2019

Wine Not the Brand is your new best friend

Millennials listen up! There is a new wine brand launching especially for you! Wine Not the Brand is officially being launched this Sunday and you won't want to miss out.

The brains behind the brand is the inspirational Kata Cser. This fearless woman knows a thing or two about building a business and brand and lucky for us, its that wisdom that has enabled Wine Not the brand to come into fruition.

Ahead of her launch, I sat down with Kata and asked her to share her pearls of wisdom and find out more about her journey.

1. Tell us about your latest business venture- wine not the brand. What inspired you to develop and create a wine brand?
Would it be ironic to say it started with the thought... wine not...? Having been in the network marketing industry in my first business for some years I had become associated with wine, as I was one of the few millennials in the company at that stage & did all my business meetings over wine as I felt awkward doing it the old fashioned way. I was getting tagged in so many wine-related memes, products, puns, and Facebook videos every day I just thought, wow, what if I had my own wine label? People already associate me with it, so wine not? 

Nothing happened for years, but then I moved to Bondi and happened to see a wine consultant on tinder. I swiped right knowing I was going to pitch him my idea. I explained to him that I felt there was no real millennial voice in wine - there was old, classic, expensive and boring, and there was cheap & tacky - but there didn't seem to be a solid brand that was classy, fun, sassy, well priced, and delicious. I went down a rabbit hole of research & found there really was no millennial brand - the market was wide open. 

3 years later, here we are. About to officially launch, and see where it takes us!

2. Who is the wine not the brand girl? Who did you have in mind when creating it?

Wine Not is for us - for you, and for me. I created the brand with myself and my friends in mind. Every step of the way I've asked myself "what would I choose? and what do we need?"  I'm really big on ethical business & I think the best ideas and solutions come from the people who truly live that life, and have those problems, every day. 

Wine Not the Brand is for the girl who works hard and plays hard. She's killing it in her career but goes through challenges like the rest of us. Wine for her isn't optional - it's a part of her life. She grabs a few bottles to sip throughout the week. She's always looking for the cute, fun, sassy labels that make her feel understood and seen. She wants good quality but doesn't care where the grapes are from or what a tannin is. She just wants to feel good, without breaking her budget because... adulting.

3. This isn’t your first business venture? Tell us a little bit about your entrepreneurial journey? 
I started my business journey 7 years ago in network marketing with a company called Arbonne. I learned how to operate an online business, how to find clients, how to talk to people, brand and market myself, expand into new countries, and learned about client retention, scheduling, goal setting and most importantly how to network & build a super solid mindset. I'm still with the company today & promote plant-based vegan skincare, makeup and nutrition products. A part of my role is also coaching and helping other women build businesses so I've been very fortunate to be exposed to a huge number of people over the last few years which has substantially helped me build really strong networks, and also get a good perspective of what people need. I'm even more fortunate to now be in a financial position where I don't have to work another job & can invest a massive portion of my pay into my other businesses. As well as have the freedom of time to be able to afford to invest my effort into growing Wine Not the Brand without sacrificing my lifestyle too much. 

4 years ago I saw a gap in the marketplace & felt like network marketing was getting a bit gross, desperate and salesy. I opened my second business - KATA the Brand, a consultancy with an online course, ebooks, and personal coaching. My focus and goal were to change the stigma of network marketing and help other consultants and companies run their businesses ethically and sustainably. I closed that business last year to focus on launching and growing Wine Not & also because the challenges I was facing to take it to the next level just weren't worth my time and effort at that stage of my life.

Over the years I've worked with business coaches, mindset coaches, mentors, have gone to courses, and read so many books - so I can thank every experience that's brought me to today. 

4. We all know starting a brand is not for the faint-hearted. What are some of the challenges you overcame and what surprised you the most when embarking on this business venture?

This sounds so ridiculous now with what I know and what I've been through... but I really thought it would be so much easier. Buy some wine, throw a label on it, sell it - how hard can it be? To be completely honest if I knew everything I would have to overcome to get to where I am today, I probably wouldn't have started at all. So I guess the saying ignorance is bliss may be somewhat true, and I'm so grateful I was ignorantly unaware and moved forward with belief. 

I actually wrote a list some time ago and found that for every 1 thing that had gone to plan over the last 3 years, 6 things had gone very very wrong. Some of these included our first wine distributor going bankrupt and disappearing overnight, wineries not wanting to work with me because they didn't believe in my vision of branding wine to appeal to the younger generation, everything being so much more expensive than I ever thought, and most companies only taking cash, and the fact that the wine industry has literally zero systems and it's every man (or label) for themselves. I also separated from my business partner which meant that I now had zero industry experience, networks, or knowledge so I got really really good at asking for help and googling. More recently I've entered a trademark legal battle, almost lost my entire stock to a heatwave, and found out I've been priced out of the retail industry due to my expenses being so ridiculously high because the timeframe I was given for production was completely off and I had to manually do every single step. 

So I guess when you say what went wrong...? Everything. But I'm so grateful to have learned these lessons at this very early stage as opposed to when we're a multi-million dollar company - which we 100% will be.

5. What is your business mantra? 

Progress is success.

6. What is your life mantra?

Your dreams are worth the effort.

7. Finally, what would be your one pearl of wisdom you would pass on to young women looking to undertake their own entrepreneurial journey? 

Get help from the beginning! Find anyone you can who's done what you want to do and take them to lunch, buy them coffee, pay for their coaching - whatever you need to get those magical nuggets of advice. You'll be surprised how many people will want to help you.

 Also be really careful who you trust, and if you're going into partnership get contracts done from the very beginning. It sounds nice to work with friends but when there's money, risk, and hard work on the line it's best just to do the smart thing and get everything in writing. 

Also... it's worth it. 
The woman you become from this journey will take your breath away. Don't hesitate, just act! Things will fall into place, just be persistent, patient, and believe in yourself with unbroken devotion.

Don't miss the Wine Not the brand launch which will be held this Sunday at Lennox Gardens, Canberra from 12pm - 7pm. Go to their Facebook page event to find out more.


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