As Mary Taylor Wine begins the journey with the Stern Venture Fellows program, we have a lot to be grateful for and a lot to look forward to.
I'm grateful for a number of things and we've checked off a lot of boxes already. I've been lucky with this business insofar that we chose a great product idea (luck, strategy, you decide). Our package compels retail buyers. My business partner and I work well together, and have done so for almost two years. The market is responding with enthusiasm. However, as I am accustomed to do, I am running around like a headless chicken making sales and managing the day to day necessities which is driving short term results. It's all a balancing act, in staying grateful for what we've accomplished so far and continuing to charge ahead.
One unique opportunity that the Stern Venture Fellows program is allowing Alec and I to have is to take a step back and look at the big picture - to see the forest from the trees, if you will. I am excited to build in a rock solid foundation in terms of legal, operations, finance, marketing strategy, a business plan. Then I want to learn how to translate that to investors and scale the business so that I'm not the one always beating the street (although I may never stop doing that's. It's in my DNA). I am excited to be able to properly determine if we even need investors, how to value ourselves at various stages and negotiate throughout. It is such a gift to work with all of these mentors and not feel that they genuinely want us to succeed. It's what being a part of the Stern community has to offer.
As I look back at everything we've accomplished, I'm incredibly proud, but we also acknowledge we have a lot more to learn. This summer, I have a few hard goals including setting up a legal foundation, rewriting our marketing and business plan, redefining our elevator pitching, gathering feedback on customer interface, and so much more. These goals are complemented by more of our overarching goals such as how to attract top talent, the art of growing my network and creating lifelong contacts, being a mentee of David Ko and discovering new opportunities available to small businesses and women-owned businesses.
We have a lot to be proud of, and I'm excited to see how much further we can grow this summer.
Mary Taylor of Mary Taylor Wine