Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stephanie Franklin, CEO of Fly Wines, located in Oakland, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Fly Wines is revolutionizing the wine industry through our focus on geographic diversity and accessibility. Our mission is to connect consumers and businesses with independent wineries from around the world. We have positioned ourselves as a bridge, expanding the reach of these exceptional wineries throughout the United States. Our goal is to provide a luxurious wine-tasting experience that transcends physical location. Whether at home, at an event, or in a business setting, we bring the finest selection of independent wines directly to our customers. By eliminating the barriers of distance, we create an immersive and convenient experience, enabling wine enthusiasts to explore and enjoy the best of independent winemaking, wherever they may be.

Tell us about yourself

During the pandemic, my fascination with wines deepened as I discovered the intricate artistry behind winemaking and its ability to heighten my senses. This passion led me to embark on a new venture in the wine industry. Recognizing the challenge of sampling quality wines without committing to a full bottle, I founded Fly Wines to provide a solution. At Fly Wines, we offer a unique opportunity for consumers to savor delectable wines from independent winemakers worldwide, all from the comfort of their own homes. Our mission is to not only deliver exceptional tasting experiences but also support and showcase the talented artisans who craft these remarkable wines.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

As a business owner in the wine industry, one of my most significant accomplishments is breaking barriers and making strides as a minority entrepreneur in a field that has historically lacked diversity. By entering an industry with relatively little minority representation, I am proud to have challenged norms and opened doors for others who aspire to make their mark in the world of wine. Through my dedication and perseverance, I have not only built a successful wine company but also become a role model and source of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds. It is my hope that my accomplishments serve as a testament to the power of diversity and the endless possibilities that exist when we embrace inclusivity in business.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

One of the most challenging aspects of being a business owner is the necessity to wear multiple hats. Particularly in the early stages, when scaling up and hiring additional employees may not be feasible, taking on various roles and responsibilities becomes inevitable.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Know your market inside out. Thoroughly research the industry and market trends to ensure you're venturing into a growing market rather than a shrinking one. Understanding your target audience, competitors, and market dynamics will help you make informed decisions and position your business for success.
  2. Evaluate your entrepreneurial spirit. Building a business requires immense dedication and goes far beyond a regular 9-5 job. It demands long hours, relentless commitment, and the ability to handle uncertainty and ambiguity. Take a genuine assessment of your passion, resilience, and willingness to make sacrifices before diving into entrepreneurship.
  3. Embrace and overcome hurdles. As a business owner, expect unexpected challenges and setbacks along the way. Be prepared to face them head-on with grace and resilience. Adaptability and problem-solving skills are vital. Remember that hurdles are a natural part of the entrepreneurial journey, and each one presents an opportunity for growth and learning.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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