The Wine Hustle Series | Alexis Beechen of The Drop Wine
The universe seems to be sending me a message of “canned wine” these days, and I’m totally ok with it!
Have you heard of the phrase “Sunday Funday”? If not, head over to The Drop Wine’s instagram page and you soon will. Our next Wine Hustle feature is a woman after my own heart. Someone who is spreading the word about wine in a relevant and super FUN way. Alexis Beechen, CEO + Co-Founder of The Drop Wine has created a wine can with a millennial twist to spruce up our aprés game. For a good pre-game, grab a can of The Drop Wine + read on about her inspirational journey!
How did you get your start in wine and what was your initial inspiration?
I grew up in Southern California - I got my love of the outdoors from my Dad and learned about wine from my Mom and Stepdad. After spending 5 years managing the advertising accounts for some big brands, including the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man Campaign, I decided I wanted to launch my own company. I had a bit of a light bulb moment on a sailing trip with some business school friends. I introduced many of them to the glory of rosé wine, but the bottles couldn’t keep up with us - they were breaking and the corkscrew was always getting lost. There had to be a better way!
I love your concept on “SEEING FARTHER WITHOUT GLASSES” VERY clever + notice there is a wave on every can. What is the story behind the wave and how did you come up with the name, The Drop Wine?
The breaking wave and the snow trail on our cans represents what surfers and skiers call “The Drop”. The make-or-break decision to paddle directly into a wave or commit to an untracked run…When you’re 100% in or you wipe out. The moment when everything is possible. Our cans encourage our drinkers to (responsibly!) take our cans into the real world and be spontaneous. Wine doesn’t have to served on a fancy white table cloth to be part of an amazing experience.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love how much we are challenging the status quo in this very “old school” industry. Due to anachronistic laws, alcohol hasn't undergone the DtC revolution that's happened with eyeglasses, suitcases, you name it. However, change is slowly happening and I'm excited to say that The Drop is at the forefront. Customers will begin realizing that they don't have to accept what's on the shelves of their local wine store if it doesn't speak to them. Outside of the packaging itself, we have questioned traditional assumptions about wine like occasion and labeling. We are pushing the boundaries about what is considered a “wine” occasion. We want to change the perception that wine is pretentious and difficult to understand. We are using 21st century marketing and sales techniques to jump over the immense hurdles that the traditional alcohol industry has erected to keep the big players big and stifle innovation.
What is the best advice anyone’s ever given you? Do you have a “mantra” you stick to?
The quote by Harvard historian Dr. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich “Well behaved women seldom make history” has always inspired me. All entrepreneurs need to be willing to take chances and go against the status quo if they want to make an impact. We’ve all seen the stats showing that female entrepreneurs have a harder time raising money and scaling their businesses. That quote reassures me that pushing boundaries is required if you want to be successful.
At WINEFARER, we love hearing about the unexpected journeys that stem from wine. Can you share your favorite wine journey with us?
Our cans have taken me to some incredible and certainly unexpected places! From sponsoring the Arizona Coyotes NHL team to filming parkour athletes playing with our resealable cans on Venice Beach to teaming up with Sixpoint Beer to host “Gosé Day” in six different cities on the same day. That’s the great part of our cans - they’re so portable and sturdy that you can go wherever the day or night takes you!
It seems like you love wine as much as I do, in three words, describe your love affair with wine?
Finally, what advice would you give women entrepreneurial spirits who want to start their “wine hustle” but are hesitant to take the leap?
Below are 3 examples of “Drops of Wisdom”, cheeky, modern sayings that we print on each of our cans. Each of these has resonated with me at one point while building The Drop.
#19 “You don’t know what you don’t know, but neither do they”. There were a few opportunities that presented themselves early on - I wasn’t sure if we were ready to expand into that market or launch an additional SKU. I’m so glad I took the opportunities when they came to me and had the confidence in myself that I’d make it work. What I’ve realized is that no one has all the answers, so you might as well bet on yourself.
#20 “If you put your mind to it, you can après anything”. So much of starting a business is finding answers to impossible questions and putting out fires. The only way to stay sane (and keep your creativity flowing) is by celebrating the wins and taking time for yourself to recharge. It may seem like an unnecessary luxury at the time, but I’ve found our team has been much more successful in the long run when we give ourselves breaks and enjoy what we’ve built.
#40 “Follow your bliss, not your ex’s social feed”. It’s incredibly easy to get wrapped up in what your competitors or your industry at large is doing and to question your strategy. You know your products and your customer better than anyone (or at least you should!). Focus on what you can control and stick to executing your business plan. The internet makes it seem like EVERYONE is killing it, but numbers don’t lie. Put your energy into building something meaningful, not chasing what everyone else is doing.