A Growing Business, 5 Years in the Making – Happy Birthday, Traveling Vineyard
Written by 36creative on October 26, 2015
It’s a party!
Break out the bubbly! Traveling Vineyard is turning 5 this year! 5 years of awesome wines, wildly successful Wine Guides, and Rick’s killer Harvest outfits.
We’ve come a long way. From a tiny attic room above Rick’s garage to a beautiful office on the river in Ipswich. From a few (mostly red) wines to a huge inventory of well-known and esoteric varietals and charity wines.
We’ve made some huge strides, but our core philosophies and goals haven’t changed. We’re still here to change the lives of our Wine Guides, create a top-tier, award-winning product, and become a household name. And we’re having a blast doing it!
Five years of growth
It has been said that growth is the sign of a healthy business. We absolutely agree, and if you’re looking for growth, we have that in spades.
On Day One, November 1, 2010, we had just a few Wine Guides who took a leap of faith to join us at Traveling Vineyard. We were open in just a few states and had a skeleton crew at our World HQ.
Now, we’re busting out of our bigger office (seriously, we’re out of desk space), have over 2500 Wine Guides in nearly 40 states, and have a vast amount of delicious wine tucked away in our warehouse.
It’s not just personnel or product that make us a growing business. Thanks to our Wine Guides, revenue has increased over 400% over the past three years, let alone the last five. Our Guides have shattered both yearly and monthly personal volume records.
We’ve also seen incredible growth in the creation of teams and development of leadership, which are key factors in the growth of direct sales businesses. We now have two Wine Guides who have risen to the rank of Emerald Director and three who are Ruby Directors. Four out of five of these high-level Guides have been with us since Day One.
We’re incredibly proud of our leadership and know that the hard work they put in helps us grow into what we are today and will be in the future.
Five years of self-reflection
In the last five years, we’ve also refined our sense of style. We worked out our definition of what hip, fun, and sassy looks like, culminating in a new logo and brand refresh in 2014.
This brand makeover included everything from our logo and website to marketing materials and updates to our other branded items.
For example, take our loveable, sassy BFF Fissata! Her sparkling personality has been around since 2010. In 2014 we gave her a makeover, and we think the transformation really suits her.
We’ve also spiced up all the labels we’re putting on our wines! The labels we had on Day One were … well, judge for yourself:
We know that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but that doesn’t mean you ignore the outside altogether. We knew that we could do better and set ourselves apart from other wine companies with artistic, fun labels that reflected the wines within. Today’s labels are a much better representation of Traveling Vineyard’s brand:
Our labels have gotten cooler, more colorful, and more unique – and so have the wines. Our winemaker and his team work tirelessly to find the best products to offer in inventory.
This year alone we’ve introduced four new premium offerings, the highest quality wines we’ve ever had. This has allowed us to introduce Premium Tasting Sets for those Wine Guides and Hosts who are ready to take the tasting to the next level.
We now offer two fizzy wines, we can boast esoteric varietals like Pinotage, Tannat, and Grillo, and we are still able to provide competitive price-value ratios. Our experimentation and understanding of who we want to be has allowed us to step outside of the box and educate our Wine Guides, Hosts, and Guests on a world of wine.
Five years of celebration
With an increase in the number of Wine Guides and the incredible businesses that they’re running, we’ve had to step up to the plate and make sure that our trainings and incentive trips are on par with our high-octane field.
We started with an incentive trip to Cancun with just three Wine Guides in 2011. Since then, we’ve stamped our passports all over the world.
We’ve traveled to Hawaii with six, to Costa Rica with sixteen, to Aruba with thirty-five, and we’ll be heading to Los Cabos with a massive group of more than sixty Wine Guides who achieved the incentive trip in 2016.
These trips are luxurious weeks in 5-star resorts where our Wine Guides can relax, reflect with pride on their year of hard work, and network with other Wine Guides to learn from other successful leaders.
Five years of learning
We’ve also made huge strides in the training that we provide for our Wine Guides to make sure we’re keeping up with the needs of our field. From our new online interactive New Wine Guide Training to incredible speakers at our Harvest and regional events, we’ve got our Wine Guides covered.
To help our Wine Guides with best business practices, we’ve worked with the likes of Belinda Ellsworth and Julie Ann Jones. To help our Wine Guides navigate the nuanced world of Wine and Wine Tasting, we’ve partnered with America’s first Master Sommelier Eddie Osterland and wine personality Leslie Sbrocco, among others.
We also know that our own leaders and top performers are the best people to help our Guides be the best they can be in our business – so, we’ve included training from Sommelier Missa Capozzo, top Team Builders Debbie Allen and Kiersten Ray-Kuhn, and so many more.
The development of our wine training program, Sommology, is the icing on the cake. Its cards, tins, and online tools have made it easier for our Wine Guides to learn about wine and wine pairings and to pass that education on during their educational tasting events. And we will continue to provide the best wine and Direct Sales education for the next five years and the five years after that.
Five years … but the heart remains the same
We’ve come a long way in five years, but as we said before, at our core we’re still the same. Traveling Vineyard was founded on and centers around the benefits we provide to our Guides, our 5 Fs: fun, friendships, fulfillment, flexibility, and financial rewards.
Even five years older and five years wiser, we are 100% dedicated to our Wine Guides and their success. That was why we showed up to work on Day One. That’s why we showed up to work today.
We’re here to help people change their lives through the flexibility and financial rewards of being a business owner. For example, Emerald Director Kiersten Ray-Kuhn loves “the freedom to be the mom, wife and person I want to be. No mommy guilt here! I can go to class field trips, surprise hubby with lunch at work, volunteer at church, and go to 4pm games because I have the flexibility to schedule calls, meetings and wine tastings around my family activities. Family is number one in my life and they not only know it, they feel it and see it.”
We’re here to bring fun and friendships to our Hosts, Guests and Guides. Look at Larry and Ute Helm, husband and wife Wine Guides. Working together has helped them become closer and enjoy their time as friends as well as a couple: “What we love the most is that we get to spend time together and do what we love most: to share our love for wine with others.”
And most importantly, we’re here to empower people to a new sense of fulfillment that they might be missing in other parts of their lives: moms like Ruby Director Debbie Allen who, five years ago, didn’t consider herself a team builder and now has risen to the top of the company. She says,
Because Rick and Huib believed in me and supported me as I learned and grew as a leader, my confidence and enthusiasm for our business soared! Now I have a team of 366 and it’s growing daily, and I’m part of the Elite Leadership Team. I love working with so many talented and inspiring people, many of whom I am blessed to call my friends. I feel valued and respected here, this company is my home. It’s been an exciting five years of tremendous growth and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us!
And many more …
It’s been an inspiring and successful five years in the life of Traveling Vineyard … but in the grand scheme of things, we’re still young. We’ve done a lot of growing up – found a new sense of style that fits us, continued our education and grown in many ways – and we’re excited for our next chapter. In the next five years, we get to use and build on all that we’ve already done to help our Wine Guides grow, strive for greatness, learn, and thrive.
We know that we have a bright future ahead of us and we can’t wait to sip, savor, and continue to change the world.
Now’s a great time to reminisce: What’s your favorite Traveling Vineyard memory? Share it with us at #Happy5TV.
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