“Let’s just chill out. Wine and drinking is about having fun and not taking yourself seriously”
Fresh out of college, Alexis Beechen landed her first job at an ad agency, where she worked on campaigns for various brands including IKEA and Volvo, as well as the Dos Equis “The Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign. Although she enjoyed the work, in her heart she wanted to start her own business, and she decided to go back to school at Columbia Business School to develop her entrepreneurship skills. On a group sailing trip with friends in 2014, she had an “a-ha” moment when she watched all the men in her group drink the rosé she’d brought onboard. She’d always considered the pink wine to be a female-leaning drink choice, but now she saw an opportunity to create a more guy-friendly version. Still, on the boat, she vowed to her friends that she would start a business that did just that, although, at the time, no one believed she would actually go through with it.
But Alexis knew there was an opportunity to convert that casual passion for rosé (and millennial’s interest in wine generally) into an accessible brand that didn’t take itself too seriously, and also offered portability. A wine that went anywhere, or as they put it, the ability to, “forget the corkscrew without being screwed.”
Alexis founded the brand and named it after what surfers call, “The Drop”, the split-second decision to paddle for a wave as its breaking, pop-up and stick the landing, (you either make it or get pummeled trying) something Alexis identified with as she launched the business.
Alexis knew she needed a partner, and her search led her to Michael Emmanuel, an acquaintance who had beer and e-commerce experience. She invited Michael to be co-founder and Director of Sales, and together their distribution, sales, and marketing backgrounds added up to the complete package. Rounding out the team with a PR director a little later on, the team says that having a decision-making team of only three people allows for day to day pivoting and innovation, a big advantage in a fast-changing market.
Their skills and entrepreneurial ambition have served them well. In just a short time they’ve amassed a large and devoted online following and have secured distribution in 16 states and counting.
Locations to buy The Drop Wine can be found at thedropwine.com and by following @thedropwine on social.
By The Bootstraps is my way of highlighting the stories of intrepid entrepreneurs as they bootstrap their way to success. Every week I’ll release a video (and sometimes audio version) of these conversations. If you’d like to read more about the project or submit your own entrepreneur story for consideration, visit here.