As part of our 10-Year Anniversary campaign, in addition to highlighting our various cause partners, we are also going to feature founder stories from our seven founders to give you all a little insight into the brains behind our company and how seven friends with a lofty vision created what we know as ONEHOPE Wine today. Their vision to create exceptional products that inspire people to indulge while doing good is coming to fruition- back in the day, they were in their early 20s, passionate enough to work hard and just naive enough to not be scared. Here are their stories!
First is Kristen Shroyer, our VP of National Accounts.
ONEHOPE: Tell us a story from the early days of ONEHOPE that highlights the challenges of entrepreneurship and disrupting the wine industry.
Kristen: Anyone who works in the industry will tell you how difficult its distribution system is. Distributors won’t take you if you don’t have pre-sold accounts, and accounts can’t buy you if you don’t have a distributor. Very early into our business I closed a national program with a notable restaurant group, but we didn’t have distribution in nearly half of the states needed. Our team had to cold call tons of distributors begging them to give our brand a shot. Many of those distributors we are still with today, so it was a risk that paid off greatly for them!
ONEHOPE: Tell us about the moment you knew your young company was going to be successful.
Kristen: A few years ago, I was at the airport after having a great meeting with a national account partner. Within 10 minutes of each other I received Facebook messages from two friends: one in California that was drinking a glass of our wine at a restaurant, and another in Boston who was tasting our wine at a VIAONEHOPE party. Seeing our success, in multiple sales channels, and from coast to coast, was a very exciting moment.
ONEHOPE: Tell us the cause you are most passionate about and why.
Kristen: It’s so hard to pick just one, because so many of them are very important to me. Being the wife of a brave soldier that served in Iraq, supporting our Veterans is and always will be a cause I’m very passionate about. We are the land of the free because of the brave, and we owe these men and women everything. I’m also a crazy dog lady (as everyone at Team ONEHOPE knows) and I obsess over my four-legged babies. Locally, I serve on the board of the Arizona Animal Welfare League, which is Arizona’s largest no-kill animal shelter that rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes over 4,000 pets each year.
Stay tuned for some other founder stories to come!
The ONEHOPE Team