Bandcamp. Business Development, Special Projects
Musicians, labels, podcasters and publishers use Bandcamp to sell and share their audio & merchandise with fans around the world. Fans support creators they love on the site with something more valuable than likes, winks and shares — actual money. In just over 8 years, hundreds of thousands of artists have earned over $175 million on Bandcamp. I started consulting with Bandcamp when we were just 6 people and now we’re over 40. I manage business development, initiate partnerships, research new features, analyze how new users use the site, and work on hiring outreach.
The fun and easy way to learn about life’s great pleasures
Tired of being flummoxed by wine lists and overwhelmed by generally dull wine education resources, I co-founded SmartsCo with Julie Legrand to create a fun, social and easy way to learn about wine. Star chef Mario Batali said of our wine game, “WineSmarts is the greatest game ever for wine snobs, wine geeks, cork dorks and even nascent oenophiles.” Why stop at wine? We then went on to publish a line of over 20 games and guides to learn about life’s great pleasures—wine, food, chocolate, beer, sex, travel and more.
We sold over a quarter-million units in thousands of retailers including Borders, Sur la Table, and Crate & Barrel. I managed product development and editorial teams, set marketing and public relations strategies, and planned public launch events. We won a national women’s entrepreneurship award, our products were featured in dozens of media including The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Parenting, and we were selected to be the focus of a national American Express TV & print campaign. We had a whole lot of fun, learned a lot and sold the company.
Treasure Island Homeless Development Initiative. Business Feasibility.
Located on Treasure Island, this organization assists low-income and homeless adults with job training and placement to provide an exit from poverty. When they were considering starting a new events and catering business I conducted business feasibility to assess whether the business would generate enough income and job training opportunities to make it an attractive investment. Deliverables included a competitive analysis, capital and ongoing investments, job training outcomes, opportunities and challenges, and revenue projections.
Zella’s Soulful Kitchen. Marketing
Outgoing, warm-hearted, talented Dionne Knox makes fresh, California-inspired soul food at her catering business Zella’s Soulful Kitchen. Yes, delicious fried chicken and biscuits are available and she also makes healthful salads that go way beyond greens, including quinoa and currants or blackened fish. Don’t get me started on her coconut cake. Dionne was accepted to the competitive food-business incubator La Cocina, to assist with her next venture–a storefront and café serving prepared foods.
I worked with Dionne to plan low-cost, high-impact marketing from pre-opening to 6 months after launch, rewrote her website, and art directed the talented Helen Lopez to transform Zella’s monochrome beginner site into one rich in colors and photos. Zella’s is getting ready to open soon!
SF Conservation Corps. New business consultant
In a fellowship funded by the social enterprise philanthropy REDF, I led an initiative at an environmental job training organization to research, conceive of and plan new business opportunities. Through interviews, research, and analysis I developed a business and marketing plan for a large-events recycling enterprise, which now brings in vital revenue and offers advanced work skills experience for young people.
Lively, informative winetastings for corporate events
Winetasting is so often a serious endeavor, intimidating for those who don’t know much about it and a likely path to know-it-all-ness for those who do. Ray Johnson, a wine educator and judge, and I co-founded TasteWine to bring an informal and fun atmosphere to tasting and learning about wine.
We led winetastings for Visa, GE, AXA, Washington University, Wells Fargo, the Commonwealth Club, Four Seasons Hotels, and many other corporate clients in the Bay Area, Chicago and New York City. Our events, for 10 – 400 people, incorporated conversations about taste, aroma, science, history, and wine lore. And to get everyone involved, we created friendly competitions to guess information about each wine. Clues sometimes had nothing to do with what was in the bottle so everyone could take part and be on equal footing in front of a Cabernet or a Chianti.
I led our marketing, business development and event planning, working with Ray to build a company that consistently delighted customers. And I tasted a lot of wine.
I’ve produced out-of-the-ordinary wine and food tastings for 100+ paid attendees to promote products and raise funds for community organizations. Among these events were a mystery, private-eye-themed winetasting in partnership with Beringer wines and benefiting the Women’s Community Clinic, a lingerie fashion show and game to benefit Golden Gate Planned Parenthood, and a fundraising event for the San Francisco Conservation Corps at City Hall.