Have you ever noticed that a hero, a real hero, often doesn't see themselves as one? Today’s guest is no different. Donna Stoney is the epitome of a humble hero. She's spent three decades building a career that places people and their quality of life at the center of everything that she has done.
A serial entrepreneur, Donna is the Founder of Stoney Wines, as well as the Executive Director at StoneyBrooke Residential Services LLC, helping adults with disabilities. When she opened Stoney Wines in 2019, she found herself breaking down barriers and perception as Oregon's first back female head winemaker; but this was not her first history-making endeavor.
Big on Small, The Official Small Business Podcast, explores the big ideas that are helping small organizations survive and thrive. Hosts Karolyn Hart and Samantha Castro interview the inspiring people who are running small businesses, agencies, towns, charities, schools and teams. One of our favourite things to explore? Differentiation strategies that are not only disruptive but truly empowering!
One of the most inspiring differentiation strategies that set Donna’s approach to winemaking apart is her commitment to turning every bottle into a conversation. Here's why that's amazing!
Ep. 006 - Wine Not Make History? with Donna Stoney
While many wineries embrace Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) sales through wine clubs, Donna reinvents this traditional business model as a powerful, life-changing form of community. She builds community through not one, but several different wine clubs, including one based on “Ally Membership” with a focus on how we’re better together. You not only get two bottles of Donna’s delicious wine each month; members receive educational materials and information empowering them to be better allies to marginalized peoples.
A second club is for “Sister Friends”, cultivating transformative life conversations amongst women. The “Sons We Bear”, a third club, brings men together. Tune in to learn more about how this club inspired a culture-shift that’s blossomed into an annual retreat.
In this episode, we discover how Donna’s big decision to follow her passions resulted in transforming the lives of people all around her, from college basketball to creating a community that is ALL-inclusive. Donna reveals the power of pairing your purpose and passion in an episode that we know is sure to lift your spirits and leave you inspired. Tune in above, or visit the official Big on Small podcast website, where we share even more resources to empower YOUR small business with this episode!
Pro tip for small winery owners:
Direct-to-Consumer (DtC) sales account for a whopping 60 percent of winery revenue. Think you’re too small to cash in? For wineries making less than 2,500 cases per year, that number jumps to 74 percent.
Knowing your customer means repeat sales, and those customers spend up to 67 percent more than first-time shoppers.
Want another pour?
Here are some of the tips we've shared in past articles to help small winery owners grow their business and thrive:
- Small Winery Growth: How Even the Smallest Can Compete and Be Profitable
- 10 Ways to Grow Your Wine Club Memberships
- 5 Things Winning Wineries Get Right
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In this episode, we’ve hit the jackpot! Literally. The lottery is a staple for the convenience store small business owner. But did you know that our obsession with winning big with lottery tickets was also a spark that helped level the playing field as apartheid was falling in South Africa, with the help of none other than Nelson Mandela?
This is one small business case study that has an absolutely fascinating story behind it, complete with Hollywood-style, feel-good, underdogs and an ending that leads to the birth of our own small business, InspireHUB! In this week’s episode, we catch up with Mark Hutchinson, whose name you’ve probably never heard, but who was instrumental in setting up many of the world’s lotteries and paving the way to a whole lot of worthy-cause good.
Here's why we're so excited about sharing this episode and the man who is such an important and beloved part of our own small business origin story with you!
Our second Big on Small episode is definitely close to home, or should we say the barn? We’re chatting with Kelly Holt, the Executive Director of Barn Sanctuary and cast member of Animal Planet’s Saved By the Barn. Kelly’s journey to leading a rapidly growing farm animal rescue started in the most unlikely of places - magazine publishing that ultimately focused on the tech startup world and even led to her working with InspireHUB.
Out of a world hyper-focused on perfection, Kelly shares how embracing ANTI-Perfectionism led her to find her own freedom and success. The same principles that she uses in helping to rescue and care for animals are found in building a successful organization. From creating healthy boundaries around understanding the clear divide between identity and our work to practising kindness over failures, whether it’s you or your team, this episode will definitely get you ‘moo-tivated’!
Do you have a great BIG dream? The one that captures your heart and imagination but you’re not sure where to start? Are you willing to leave everything to make it happen? From the warmth and order of the Austin tech startup scenes to frigid Michigan winters rescuing animals, get ready for your heart to be moooved by Kelly Holt of Animal Planet’s Saved by the Barn.