Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Taylor Berkley Boydstun, Owner of T. Berkley Wines, located in Calistoga, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
T. Berkley Wines is a wine brand I founded in 2016 as a way to share my love of Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc with the world. The brand serves to showcase my artful expressions of these traditionally Loire varieties, grown and produced in California sunshine and imbued with my desire for wines with a sense of place. With wines available directly at my shop in downtown Napa as well as through distribution partners spread throughout the country, my customers are those interested in broadening their wine appreciation beyond the everyday selections and into something new. Anyone interested in taking a leap into slightly new wines should drink BLANC + FRANC.
Tell us about yourself
The origin story of T. Berkley Wines is actually somewhat traumatic. In 2016, ten days after my thirtieth birthday, I suffered a heart attack nearly out of nowhere. During the ensuing hospitalization, surgery, and length recovery, I came to the realization that working as hard as I had for someone else was not my dream, despite it being my current reality. Pouring my energy, attention, and soul into my own project became my driving focus, and T. Berkley Wines was born to give me that outlet. I remain motivated by both the response my customers give me as they try my wines - effectively validating my decision in real-time - and by the memories of that fateful and eventful time in my life.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Seeing my creations shared by my customers with their friends and loved ones over the world has given me the feeling of the greatest accomplishment as a business owner. That people take time out of their day to share that they have enjoyed my wines is the greatest of compliments I can receive.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As a sole proprietor, the hardest thing to manage is time. Constantly shifting between different tasks and different parts of the business is not efficient (although it IS sometimes necessary). As there is no one else to help with the workload, the to-do list is always full, no matter how long a day is.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Plan twice as long as you think you need to.
- Have a concrete goal that you can work towards.
- Forgive yourself for the mistakes you will most definitely make.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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