In 2006 Gwen Hurt was given a wine making kit for Christmas. She made120 bottles of Chianti. While trying to decide what to name her creation, her daughter Brittny suggested she name it something she loves. “I loved and was passionate about shoes,â€ recalls Hurt, “and now this was a new love.” Hence her company, “Shoe Crazy Wine,â€ was born. Hurt has been hooked on wine and its intricacies ever since.
Hurt notes she became an entrepreneur due to two key events in her life—being involved a car accident that took nearly a year of recovery, and the IT industry professional being downsized by her company withÂ which she had spent more than 15 years. During her physical therapy and rehabilitation, Hurt made the decision not to succumb to depression. She instead focused on starting a company based on her passion of wine.
Today, Hurt is one of a handful of women to actually own a wine company, especially a global one. Shoe Crazy Wine operates in both the US and in Singapore. The winemaker says that she is on a mission to deliver the ultimate wine drinking experience. Here vision is to grow into a wine company that leaves its shoe-print across globe and creates new wine lovers everywhere.
“Our products are only months away from reaching more customers. In order to keep the company’s global shoe print moving,â€ says Hurt, who now seeks to raise $50,000 by launching a Crowdfunding campaign on IndidGoGo. “This money will help us pay for product replenishment (bottling more wine), marketing, and shipping (national and international),â€ Hurt explains.
Thus far, she is falling short of her goal, having secured less than $1,000 with just two weeks left to make goal.
Hurt is quick to point out that in less than two years, Show Crazy Wine has already transitioned from an e-commerce only US company to an International company as a wholesaler, importer and exporter. Shoe Crazy Wine, LLC, launched in 2013 as an online direct to consumer business. It is currently a private label company that works with vineyards on the North Coast of California and France.
“As any start- up we have also experienced some challenges that we are working to overcome,â€ Hurt says. “One of those challenges is securing working capital to continue our growth in the US but, equally importantly, moving forward on our strategy to expand our reach in Asia. We think our brand and labels are perfect to market and sellÂ wine to a very large female population.â€
Future plans are to be on shelves in retail outlets and on the menus of restaurants as the company expands its global reach and product offerings.
“We’ve been working for the last 1.5 years to get us to where we are today. We trademarked and copyright our labels, strategy and brand. We opened our Asia office, acquired all licenses to import, export, sell and market our wines in US and Asia,â€ Hurt says. “WE landed a key distributor and two supermarket chains in Singapore.â€ She adds that also by partnering with two distributors in the US for domestic expansion, the company has created and invested in a solid supply chain to support our expansion.
“We are now in the middle of a big capital raise push.â€