Alejandro Fabuel - Tiny vineyards
Tiny vineyards #1
With Tiny Vineyards you can take part of a vineyard in Spain. You can decide how many plants you want to follow, the type of grape, the design the label and customize the bottle. You can follow your plants from home through periodic notifications or get more involved in the winemaking process by visiting the vineyard, meet the locals and learn how we do the wine.
I understood the importance of the food and drink industry when I move to Sweden where people care a lot about what they eat and drink. That is why I got the idea of creating interactive vineyards where customers can take part of the winemaking process.
I studied Advertising and Public Relations degree in Spain, more focused on art direction and creativity. Here in Malmö I took the Interaction Design Master Program. I was born in a little town surrounded by vineyards in the middle of Spain called Sisante. I developed a sensibility to the nature and sustainable wine industry there. My family has been producing wine for 200 years and now I want to share the experience with Sweden.
The first vintage will start September 2014. I need to get ready with all the information about the region, grapes, winemaking theory, etc. During these three months I will launch the webpage and start making the first customers. I will also improve the business plan due to get investors in the near future. I will be traveling to Spain every month in order to find small wine producers and local farmers that to join the Tiny Vineyards project.
Working full time with the project will make a big improvement for Tiny Vineyards. As soon as the webpage is ready, I expect to make the first contracts for 2014-2015 vintage. Moreover, I want to launch a public relations campaign in some swedish mass media. I also plan two big events, one in Lund and other in Malmö. Two wine testing-workshop for beginners where a sommelier will talk about wine, how to taste wine, grapes, etc.
Tiny vineyards #2
During the Leapfrogs time we have developed a launching strategy that will be implemented in both online and offline media. Moreover, we are planing a social media strategy for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in order to get traffic to the webpage. We are making also a blog where we write post about wine history, tips, farmers interviews, etc. Together with this communication plan we are also contacting investors interested on wine market.
In summertime unexpected things happened, our developer is now on holidays so we are not able to continue designing the webpage until he is back. Also Skatteverket paperwork takes long in this sunny days. In two weeks we are travelling to Spain, we will visit some wineries and local farmers there. We are planning to expand the company to other regions, and also to other products.
We have gotten some clients during this time and 2 weddings to cater. We need to make sure that the wine arrives on time to this events with the designed labels ready. Apart from that work, we need to create an investor strategy for next fall. We are planing to build our own winery and we need a big capital for that. We will run a crow-funding campaign and open capital to private investors.
Tiny vineyards # 3
During these three months I had the opportunity to work full time in the company, not being worried about finding a summer job or about University projects. This means that I could really understand what means to work for myself, with no timetables or pressures, just focusing on keep going and improve little by little Tiny Vineyards.
My background is in advertising and communication. The most enjoyable part has been developing the web, not only the design itself but also the user interface and user testing. It is hard to predict how people will use your webpage, so you need to find people who want to test it and give you feedback. The hardest part of the project has been the communication with Skatteverket. Since I am dealing with alcohol content, it gets quite difficult to keep the commercials in to the legal limits.
Until now everything has gone as expected. I had a clear to-do list at the beginning of the summer that I have tried to accomplished during this time. Unexpected things happens, but they are not always negative. For instance, I got 2,2 Millions SEK from a Spanish fund in charge of the agricultural activities in my region, that was unexpected. That money shuts down my to-do list, now I have new priorities for the company.
Understanding the customers, networking and paperwork. When you have a new product to launch in the market, you really need to think further your customers, will they like my idea? Will they pay for it? These questions have been in my mind since the first day I started with Tiny Vineyards, and still I do not know the answer. Networking is also a good lesson, just by one contact the future of the company can change completely. Now I can not say no to an event or meeting, you never know where the good luck is hidden.
A tip for new entrepreneurs: love what you do. If an awesome idea comes to your mind, but you don’t like what you are doing, sooner or later you will fail. The beginning for start-ups is really beautiful, but then reality comes, violent competence, regulations, logistics, hundreds of questions and problems. Then you realized if the project is what you want to do.