Black-owned Bombshell: Marvina Robinson, CEO-Stuyvesant Champagne| 5 Ways to Break into the Wine Biz
I'm sure you've all heard #women-owned businesses are on the rise, right? Well, if not, here are a few facts. Between 2014 and 2019, the number of women-owned businesses increased 21%, the number of businesses owned by women of color rose by 43%, and Black women-owned businesses grew a remarkable 50% (stats from 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report). To see the detailed 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report, click here.
While business growth for women is on the rise, there are still very few Black women in the global wine manufacturing industry.
Speaking of wine and women, what better way to kick-off the month of March (#Womensmonth) than with a bottle of fine champagne? Women work so hard! Whether we are mothers, entrepreneurs, top-level executives, CEOs, students; it is undeniable that we wear many hats, and sometimes we might be "feelin' bubbly" or just want to "wine down." On a serious note, "sip happens"...
owner of Stuyvesant Champagne (instagram: @stuyvesantchampagne), has the right fix for your craving. Black Girl Digital is excited to highlight the passion, grit, and tenacity put into her business to be able to break barriers in an industry that generally lacks #diversity. Her
love for wine originated in college, where she decided to put her passion into something that she genuinely enjoyed. You can say that going into the #champagne industry is a perfect fit for her "bubbly" personality. Marvina gave us some insight as to who she is and what inspired her to start her business. On the personal side, Marvina describes herself as:
I am family oriented. I have my tight circle of friends and we have a good time together. Like any other person, I'm goofy at times. I'm a music lover- I like my gospel music in the morning to start my day, but mid-morning, it switches, lol. I'm also a trap, afrobeats, hip-hop, and r&b person. My favorite channel on Pandora is Anthony Hamilton. I've had ups and downs. Some people might say they are failures, but I look at them as learning lessons. I'm not perfect- I make mistakes, but overall strive to be a better person everyday.
She gave an inspiring message that encourages #womenofcolor, #allwomen, and everyone witnessing her journey, that they can be successful in doing what they love and stay authentic, genuine, and passionate while doing so. Her journey as a #Blackbusinessowner wasn't all peaches and cream-- it took months of tedious research and sleepless nights to perfect her brand. Her first challenge was finding a vineyard to assist in the production process. Marvina finally discovered the vineyard that would take her dreams to working stages, settling with a vineyard in France. Ready to share her passion with the public, her first wine tasting was in Brooklyn, where her and her invited guests narrowed down Stuyvesant Champagne's two wine selections to a Rosé and Grand Reserve Brut.
Marvina gave Black Girl Digital some more "behind the scenes" details about the business, specifically in regards to the process of choosing distribution partners, challenges in this industry, personal and business-related long term goals, what keeps her motivated, and what drives consumers to choose Stuyvesant Champagne. Here is the inside scoop:
1. Selection of Distribution Partners...
Stuyvesant Champagne isn't officially partnered with any company or business other than the Vineyard in France. Things like visual appeal of a potential shop, the connection built (or not) with the brand and shop owner, and the location all have influence on the company's vendor selection decision.
2. Challenges dealing with people who are not of color...
She has run into challenges with people of all colors, and noticed that it really depends on the individual she is dealing with in that moment. She has had moments where she asked individuals outside of her race for product feedback and didn't receive the warmest response.
She understands that in owning a brand and launching a new product, everyone has a preference, and ultimately individuality is key when it comes to liking/disliking a product/brand. She wants people to select her products and support the brand on their own.
3. Personal and Business-related long term goals...
Marvina's immediate goal is to be able to provide different states with Stuyvesant Champagne, as well as adding brand presence in various wine/spirit shops, restaurants, and private catering companies.
4. What keeps her motivated...
One of her personal traits is goal-seeking. She is constantly looking for ways to challenge herself to achieve the most complicated projects.
5. What drives consumers to choose Stuyvesant Champagne...
Stuyvesant Champagne's two biggest consumer drivers are curiosity and the
The name is quite endearing to her because it represents where she is from, Bedford Stuyvesant. Some of her fondest memories are rooted there and she is looking to create more memories there.
Here are 5 things you should know before jumping into the wine industry.
1. Create a solid mission, vision, and goals for the company.
2. Understand the law and how that fits into your company's vision
3. Have a business plan
4. Develop a marketing and sales plan for multiple audience's
5. Know your costs
The key takeaway is that in any business venture that you want to embark on, you must first learn the ins and outs of that industry. Like Rome, your business will not be built overnight. It takes dedication, hard-work, and lots of patience, but Black Girl Digital is here to reassure you that it is possible. Let's toast to success and pushing ourselves to achieve our wildest dreams!
Speaking of toasts...
Stuyvesant Champagne is hosting a complimentary wine tasting on March 21, 2020 from 5pm-8pm. So if you are in the Brooklyn or surrounding area, go have a toast to success! For more information, refer to Stuyvesant Champagne's Instagram, @stuyvesantchampagne.
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Renelle Davis - Black Girl Digital Writer