Lisa Hamel is the CEO and founder of Wine ETC., a company that helps busy consumers discover dynamic products using an innovative approach to gift design, wine tastings, wine and cheese subscriptions, and events. Lisa is an expert in authentic leadership, a master of casting vision into reality, and a passionate entrepreneur. She was inspired to start Wine ETC. in 2013 when she had an opportunity to co-own and re-brand a wine retail shop, which led her to a community of clients who loved wine and events.
From unique concepts to innovative wine experiences
Wine ETC. started as a platform for unique concepts such as book clubs and wine glass painting courses. Lisa built teams, cast vision, and grew authentic leaders, eventually becoming the sole owner of the company in 2016. Seven years later, Lisa expanded the wine retail brand to a second store location in her hometown of Simsbury. She saw the need for more meaningful levels of engagement and personalization and shifted the company’s vision to include a more innovative approach offering gift design, wine tastings, subscriptions, and events.
Navigating challenges during a pandemic
One of Lisa’s biggest challenges was launching a new business concept in the midst of a global pandemic. In March 2020, Wine ETC. faced a nationwide quarantine just three days after opening its doors. Within days, the company’s business model was re-structured, and Lisa had to pivot her team to execute a radically different business model. The team began deliveries and turned to social media to share their mission, packaged cocktail kits to go, and branded a wine fairy service. Lisa never lost sight of her purpose and clung to it, finding ways to elevate experiences and lifestyles. Her mindset was strong, and she leveraged her growth by continuously learning and building upon her knowledge.
Looking forward, Lisa sees growth with Wine ETC.’s wine and cheese subscriptions. She wants to invest more marketing resources to see membership triple in the next five years. Lisa also wants to provide more educational training resources and workshops to develop her staff’s areas of expertise and execute her vision. Leadership development is a key component of this plan.
HEDCO can help you get the financing you need
“HEDCO is the reason my business exists. I was able to secure working capital to launch my 2020 business at an affordable rate. I was afforded the ability to design a retail and event space that suited the needs of my business model. The storefront opens to a large window. The environment is warm, welcoming and the end result is stunning. HEDCO has helped me feel more empowered. I was able to fund new inventory and execute my purpose successfully. I was able to invest in quality staff and use financial resources to retain them.” -Lisa Hamel
HEDCO can help you get the funding you need to succeed. To learn more, contact us today.
Advice for Entrepreneurs
For someone starting their own business, Lisa’s advice is to find their purpose, take action, and create a support system. It’s important to continuously learn and grow as a leader, acknowledge mistakes, and move forward. Staying true to your purpose is crucial. Building a team that’s closely aligned with your purpose is also essential, as they need to understand how to execute your vision consistently. Finally, remember the reason you started your journey, as it will be the same reason you’ll successfully execute it.