We credit the Wine Wagon, our first Made in the USA product as the catalyst for starting the business.
How did a hilarious looking handmade prototype inspire me to relentlessly pursue my vision to market it to the masses, leave a comfy, generous paying (but too restrictive for me) 9-5 top secret communications career and persevere towards Wine Wagon world domination? Ok, maybe not quite the latter, but certainly the former.
Early Origins of the Wine Wagon
It all started during a festive alcohol fueled holiday visit to Pennsylvania years before we launched our business and product in 2013. One winter evening in a kitchen full of family and friends, a relative eagerly exclaimed he had (yet another) invention he created and specifically wanted to show me. Moments later he emerged from a dark room beaming with pride. He held out his arms to reveal a whimsical but intriguing looking little wooden wagon. My first reaction – laughter. Then awe. “What the hell is that?!” I inquired. He excitedly answered, “hold on, I’ll show you!
After an amusing and impromptu presentation on its utterly unique and creative purpose – to conceal and contain a box of wine, he exclaimed, “Look! It’s a Wine Wagon! It hides a box of wine. Nobody wants to be caught dead drinking a box of wine!” I needed a moment to compose myself. I laughed hysterically (one of those you had to be there moments). It seemed to good to be true. Genius, I thought! If people could sell a pet rock, a backwards blanket with sleeves, Sea Monkey’s in the 80’s, basically any oddity with the right strategy and marketing, I thought I could and most certainly would sell Wine Wagons! Creativity, visualizing and laughter my thing. My mind instantly envisioned a sexy little red wagon with leather curtains on the side, yet hilarious and adorable. I asked a few times if he really built this. He proudly answered as if starring in the 80’s movie Clue: Yes! He did it, with his own two hands, in the garage, using an old dresser for wood. I fell instantaneously smitten with his creation. I called upon my brother sitting at the table, explained the wagon’s comical purpose, gave him a quick summary on how I wanted to sell them and asked if he’d buy one. He responded with a resounding ‘hell yeah!’. We were instant fans.
The Wine Wagon Vision
I turned that night into an immediate brainstorming session. I realized the potential of the raw design and envisioned a stylish, one-of-a-kind marketable product. I saw an opportunity to advocate for the often stigmatized box wine industry by offering a creative, useful wagon in a wildly imaginative, entertaining way. Accessories, advertisements and marketing existed for bottles of wine. Why hadn’t anyone marketed to the growing box wine industry and box wine lovers? I felt inspired to change that. I had a definite and immediate vision. This marked the catalyst of a sibling business venture. It became a passion of mine to design, manufacture and market the Wine Wagon and other Made In USA products. I insisted our products be American made.
Birth of a Wine Wagon
After that trip, I relentlessly pursued my vision over the next year with conference calls, research and my master plan complete with creative strategies on how to get there. I’ll never forget the day I called my first manufacturer from the sunny courtyard of the Pentagon. If you’re one of my generous former employers reading this, no worries, I made the call during one of the many luxury breaks of some sort. A couple of hours later, friendly back and forth emails with the man that started the manufacturing company marked the beginning of a wonderfully supportive business relationship with a manufacturing team we now consider a part of the Wine Wagon family. We were on our way to making the Wine Wagon a reality.
It’s been an interesting journey so far with many of life’s challenges, but thankfully an abundance of joy, laughter and blessings along the way. Much gratitude to all of you who support us and our small sibling owned business. We hope everyone loves our Wine Wagons as much as we do!