In Conversation with Erica Blumenthal & Nikki Huganir of Yes Way Rosé

Yes Way Rose_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

Yes Way Rosé is a contemporary wine and lifestyle brand bringing a fresh perspective to the old-school wine category. We are on a mission to spread humor, joy and positivité through high quality French rosé that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

Yes Way Rosé started with a very big passion shared between two best friends for French rosé. Rosé is an everyday thing of beauty and joy that we felt should be stylish, humorous, and accessible and that didn’t yet exist in the form of a product or a wine brand. There was really no rosé label that we connected to.  We felt confident that other people would connect to our vision for rosé so we set out to create a brand that was modern, high quality, and made people happy.  We had nothing to lose by taking the leap and in retrospect it didn’t feel like a choice. This was something we needed to do.  

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

We both worked in the fashion industry.  Erica was a fashion editor and writer for a variety of publications and wrote the Browsing column in the New York Times Styles section. Nikki worked as a graphic designer for T The New York Times Style Magazine, Madewell, and Birchbox. Our backgrounds and experience proved invaluable when developing the brand and continues to this day.   

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I wouldn’t say that either one of us always wanted to be an Entrepreneur although there was an entrepreneurial spirit.  My (Erica’s) job at the time was writing about new trends, brands, stores, and designers I loved. I was reporting on entrepreneurs constantly and what they were creating.  Because of that, I knew our vision for Yes Way Rosé was special.  

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

LOL. Our marketing strategy in 2013 when we introduced YWR as a lifestyle and used instagram to launch the brand was to talk to anyone who would listen about it and take our friends phones and follow the account. This was back when you could do something like that and people only thought you were a little bit crazy.  We didn’t understand marketing at that point and were following our instinct. We are much more strategic now. 

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

The biggest challenge we had when we first started working together, and then again when we started to really grow, was learning how to grow an empire essentially as best friends.  We have different working styles and playing to each other’s strengths in all facets of the business didn’t come innately.  We sought professional guidance for how to work through our issues and once we did it actually allowed us to soar.  We learned how to effectively communicate, how to nurture our friendship, and that our company is at its best when we are. 

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

We’re proud that we’ve been able to grow Yes Way Rosé into a widely accessible and affordable brand of high quality French rosés that spreads joy, and that we’ve successfully followed our own path in order to do it. 

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Other than the challenges of remote working and creating, we’re incredibly fortunate wine sales have remained strong and that our products were always available to customers through essential grocery stores and services like Instacart and Minibar.  We’re also fortunate that to date  there have only been  minimal delays getting the wine here from France.  While in our industry grocery store sales and online business have been strong, the restaurant and events side has been heavily impacted and that affects us as well.   

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

Since launching our still French rosé in 2018 we have introduced our Bubbles, a sparkling rosé in both regular and single serve bottles, cans of the still wine, and a line of low calorie, low alcohol, rosé based spritzes. Our goal is to grow these high quality products in the market to be the best selling rosé brand in the country and to spread joy, humor, and positivity in the process.  

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

To be honest, I think it’s a little too soon to know exactly what the biggest lesson was because it was such a relentless roller coaster of a year. That said, we learned how to be flexible and pivot in all aspects of business and life. We learned how important it is to push through. We learned that leadership can mean not making noise when there are much bigger, more pressing matters in the world and to prioritize the internal work. We learned how to do more by doing less and to do it better and more authentically.  

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

That every seemingly insurmountable challenge or problem is not the end of the world.  That businesses can survive some wear and tear, poor decisions, and if the founders need a little time off.  

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

Running our business has helped us immensely and to do what we love and do best! Otherwise, it’s really the little things that have been the most effective, like going for daily walks, cooking, catching up with friends on the phone, reading, watching a movie, etc. 

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Of course! The two of us talk through everything we want to do for the business and how it’s going to be executed and make decisions based on what is best for the brand and for our lives.  We usually know what’s in the pipeline, but if we aren’t selective and strategic then we risk the balance we both need.  It’s vital for our brand and creativity to have this balance. 

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

While when we drink rosé it’s almost exclusively ours, we also quite enjoy a dirty martini or sipping some Mezcal.  

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

  • Exercise in any way shape or form. Both of us aren’t obsessive fitness types but a good walk or 20 minute online class changes everything. 
  • We try to do our calls back to back so they aren’t spread out every day of the week.  We prefer larger chunks of time to actually do the work that needs to be done. 
  • Carve out time on the weekend to get caught up and set up for the week.  While I don’t do this every weekend, it is guaranteed to set me up for a productive week and is essential when things are busy and verging overwhelming.      

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

It means putting a fresh and game-changing idea into the world mindfully with a unique sense of style and following your own path.

Share it!

Posted in

Leave a Comment

8 Inspiring Latinx Entreprenistas that have launched groundbreaking companies

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve put together a list of 8 incredible Latinx women founders that have launched groundbreaking companies. Check it out: Jessica Alba: The Honest Company Founded in 2011, The Honest Company makes sustainable, well-designed products that work – built on transparency, trust, and a deep sense of purpose. In…

Susan Sarit of Operations-Made Easy on achieving your goals by getting organized

Describe your business in a few words: I am a mom, daughter, sister, business owner, and more! I started my business for both financial freedom and to be a work-at-home mom. I created Operations-Made Easy to help diverse women with the Operations of their business. Deliberative, disciplined, and detail-oriented are just a few words we…

Lisa Nutt of Make Every Minute Count on personal and professional growth

Describe your business in a few words? The Make Every Minute Count ecosystem encourages us to go (do that thing), grow (personally and professionally) and give (through a membership based family to family giving circle). What made you take the leap to start your own business? I’m a serial entrepreneur. This is the third time…

Connection Coach Kristjana Hillberg on trusting your intuition and having an open mind

Describe your business in a few words: I’m a Connection Coach who helps women unearth their deepest desires, move from auto pilot to intentional action and prioritize their wellbeing. What was your background prior to starting your own business? I’m a multipotentialite – meaning, I have tried multiple things and tested multiple careers ranging from…

Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon: Finally Back to Delicious Meals For Everyone

Cuisine varies by culture, but no matter how societies segment and define themselves, certain foods show up in households across the globe — only differing in their forms. Some of a culture’s time-honored meals are created by its culinary icons.  Among America’s culinary icons, Martha Stewart is, without question, its most trusted. In 2014, Martha…

7 Entreprenista League Members share the biggest business challenge they overcame and what it taught them

Brand Photographer Brittney Guy-Atakpo of Brittney Jean Photography The biggest business challenge I have faced is sticking to a schedule that made me feel productive and good about my work ethic. What I have learned is that there is no right or wrong schedule or routine that produces success. I have been more grateful for…

Courtney Spritzer of WorkRobe on her “secret sauce” for a successful product launch

Describe WorkRobe in a few words? WorkRobes are designed to have you looking your best during any video meeting, so you can go from bedroom to boardroom in seconds and in comfort. My mission is to reimagine what you wear to work (from home).  Can you pinpoint the moment you knew you wanted to create…

Brand Photographer Brittney Jean Guy-Atakpo on helping women show up confidently on camera

Describe your business in a few words? I’m Brittney with Brittney Jean Photography & Company. I help women show up confidently in photos and on social media to grow their brand and business. I’m a Brand Photographer and Strategist. I have over 5 years working for Fortune 100 companies in sales and marketing and over…

Lorena Tapiero of Conscious Consulting on the power of networking

Describe your business in a few words? Conscious Consulting is a Latina-owned, bilingual marketing and public relations agency with 20 years of experience in the hospitality, sports and wellness sectors. Our thoughtful, comprehensive approach helps brands establish clear communication priorities and a long-range vision for meaningful press coverage, value-added partnerships and sustainable influencer relationships. As…

Lindsay Applebaum Stuart of Mamalux on the beginning stage of business

Describe your business in a few words? Mamalux is a first-of-its-kind leakproof sleep solution for breastfeeding moms. Our Kickstarter launches on 10/19! What was your background prior to starting your own business? I spent the first 10 years of my career as a sports journalist for the Washington Post and Sports Illustrated! So this has…

Jessica Bargenquast of Lady ChangeMakers on organic marketing strategies that work

Describe your business in a few words? Lady ChangeMakers is an exclusive e-commerce platform for women-owned businesses to gain valuable exposure and sales. Most of my life I’ve been encouraged to be seen and not heard. Growing up extremely introverted and shy I felt invisible. I wanted to create a platform so women-owned businesses could…

Jennifer Gligoric of EntrePods on the importance of mindset

Describe EntrePods in a few words? Cutting-edge entrepreneur and investor network answering the question “So Now What?” for business owners powered by fractional consultants and coaches with decades worth of experience. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I had no choice.  My mother owned a staffing company for 54 years…

Certified Financial Planner Maggie Gomez on investing and building wealth

Describe your business in a few words? An accessible place where anyone can learn to invest and build wealth, regardless of their net worth. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I realized that it was only those who were already wealthy that had access to quality financial guidance. I got…

Claire Jones of Cushy Couture on shifting paradigms in the fashion industry

Describe your business in a few words? Cushy Couture is a customer-driven clothing brand that creates high quality sweatpants in a wide range of colors and patterns that come in three different inseam lengths because we believe that you don’t have to settle for less. We create functional sweatpants that will last you for multiple…

Writer, Speaker, Podcaster, and Life Coach Chelsea Austin on taking care of yourself first

Describe your business in a few words? I advocate for others to find their own self-worth and acceptance through self-care, love, respect, and storytelling. What made you take the leap to start your own business? When I started writing my book and my blog, I don’t think I ever realized it would become a business.…