What better combination exists than a glass of wine and a day at the spa? Understanding that symbiotic relationship, 40 Knots Winery in Comox, B.C. brought the two relaxing experiences together with a line of natural skincare products, VinoSpa. Made with the pips and skins of grapes, and of course, with wine, VinoSpa products use the high nutrient levels of wine grapes to manufacture beautiful and healing skincare products.
“Customers are looking for healthy alternatives to skincare, and as it turns out, our demographic is also wine drinkers! Launching into the market, we can target both these buyers,” says Brenda Hetman-Craig, Owner of 40 Knots Winery.
The introduction of their self-care line couldn’t have been timed any better. While the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down some areas of the 40 Knots Winery, Brenda found that people were looking for ways to pamper themselves at home. VinoSpa provided them with a solution.
“Our customers are doing more self-care at home and with partners. We have a low entry cost and we have access to ingredients from our farm,” adds Brenda. “Our next challenge was getting the word out.”
Targeting Your Online Market
Another influence of COVID-19 was the huge uptick in online sales. Businesses that had previously relied on storefronts were finding themselves in the complex world of online marketing.
“As an e-commerce-based business in a highly competitive market, with limited marketing funds? It was a challenge. It takes a very frugal marketer with accurate targeting,” acknowledges Brenda.
For support launching VinoSpa online, Brenda reached out to Export Navigator after meeting Export Advisor, Brady Calancie, at a business event. Export Navigator helped her move her business forward more quickly.
“Export Navigator saved us many dollars and sped-up our launch. Without this network of support, it may have taken years to get where we are. We’re now confident in our business model, marketing model and export strategy,” confirms Brenda.
Growing Outside the Borders
Since VinoSpa launched with the support of Export Navigator, their products are being sold across North America, with the goal of selling in the United Kingdom in the coming year.
“We now have strategies in place that are achievable and directed. We are growing our social media at quick rates, have been able to focus on growing production and we were able to add experts in skincare to our staff, giving us more credibility with our customers,” notes Brenda.
The determination of the VinoSpa team, with the support of Export Navigator, resulted in the successful launch of VinoSpa. Brenda’s advice to other business owners is to never hesitate to ask for help:
“Don’t wait. It may seem like you have a full-plate now, but working with Export Navigator will give you the best direction and advice, access to a network of experts and funding that will actually speed up your access to the market.”