For many women the prospect of founding their own company is more exciting than an ordinary career in business. In this blog series we want to find out about the entrepreneurial spirit that drives these women and the ideas they pursue. Learn how they got started, their experience as female founders, and what they wish they’d known before entering the start-up world.
Walking along Paul Roosen Straße in Sankt Pauli I found that there is a new wine shop. But this one has one little difference to other wine shops because this one is the result of a long adventure Stephanie Döring started over five years ago called tvino.de
Hi Stephanie, you have a cool place here. I really like it.
Thanks Sabela, we have been open for one month now and last week we became the license to be able to be open also as bar. We are planning to be full on business soon.
But tell me, you have been working on tvino.de for five years now, how come that the shop is only for one month opened? Did you need so much preparation time?
Haha, of course tvino.de is not just the shop but a the whole online project. This is our most recent baby. The story is a little bit more complex: Since I am 16 years old I knew wine was my passion and when I had learnt enough I worked as sommelier along the years in five countries and seven restaurants. My home was at that time mostly in London. At some point I decided to travel the world and learnt more about wines here and there. I met someone while staying in South Africa who challenged me to lead a new project in Hamburg, tvino.de
And what exactly involved this challenge?
The challenge was to sell wine online trying to reach a young public who would spend more than 5€ for a bottle of good wine. We had the idea to make wine easily reachable through videos, telling the story of the wine and the winery behind. This way got tvino.de started.
Is tvino.de a Start Up?
tvino.de is my project, many see it like a start up but it is not. Of course during this trip we had to face many situation which might be similar what happens in the start up world. We had an idea and we had to make it true. What we did not have was enough budget and experience.
Did you also make many mistakes?
Of course, but I believe it is fine to make them. Everyone needs to make mistakes to learn from them. In our case we started recording videos to sell wines that were more than 30 minutes long. No one wanted to watch such a long video! Also its quality was far away from fine. The most important thing is not to give up and look for ways to make it ever better and better.
What has helped you the most to succeed in this adventure?
Social media is very useful to get to be known and in our case to spread the videos. To spread the brand word of mouth works much better. Meeting people and networking is the most important. That the people gets to know you in person and to see with their own eyes that your project is your passion makes it already a personal success.
Is that what you recommend to the SWWHH participants?
Yes yes and yes. Networking, meeting people and being in everyone’s mouths is the most important. It has been also difficult for me because you need to go to many events and be here and there but at the end when you really like what you do and believe on it, it brings you a lot of satisfaction!
Do you have any other tips to those starting a new business or project?
Think very good how you are called. That is going to be your image and is going to determine who you are. At the same time, keep always things simple.
Do you think are there less women as men entrepreneurs?
I never though of it, honestly. Of course in the wine industry I have been always surrounded more by men. I always thought although that women take more risks as men.
Thanks Stephanie! I hope to see you soon, hopefully by a nice glass of wine. Where can we find you at the shop?
Same to you Sabela. Always Tuesdays to Fridays from 14:00 until 22:00 and Saturdays from 12:00 until 23:00. If not always online!
You want to build your own startup? Build a startup in one weekend and put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur! Join us at the Startup Weekend Women, April 10-12 in Hamburg. If you have a business idea, great! If you don’t have a business idea, join anyway! You can help bring other ideas to life. Guys are welcome, too! Stay tuned for more updates and interviews via our Facbook Page.