Raise a glass to the wine company with an innovative twist
We caught up with Santiago Navarro, CEO and Co-Founder of Garçon Wines; who produce wine in bottles that are the perfect fit to go through a letterbox. We find out more about the business and discuss the idea of an Entrepreneur ISA and a Small Business Savings Allowance.
Tell us what your Garçon Wines is and what your business offers?
Garçon Wines, are the inventors and granted IP holders of innovative, full-sized, flat wine bottles. The iconic design of our bottles conforms to the traditional wine bottle shapes, but the slimline design, lightweight and 100% recycled PET material means the bottles can be sent by post and delivered through a letterbox – they also require less shelf space for retailing, are significantly lighter and are eco-friendlier than glass bottles. These multi-award-winning designs from Garçon Wines are revolutionising wine delivery into the home.
What was it that inspired you to set-up your own business?
There was no specific moment that inspired me to set up my own business, but it was driven by a wish to solve a problem that there was no current solution for. I’m a serial entrepreneur and all the businesses that I’ve started have been founded due to a problem that had troubled either myself or my peers and where I saw that a solution could be valid to many users and could also potentially be turned into a successful commercial entity.
Do you think an Entrepreneur ISA and a Small Business Savings Allowance would have
helped aid your companies growth in the early stages?
Any financial help or support should be welcomed by any sensible entrepreneur, seeing these propositions come into effect would be a great things for many existing and future entrepreneurs.
With that being said, I do believe determination, drive, patience and persistence are more important than money when starting a business - if you’re sufficiently determined then you have a better-than-average chance of bringing your business to life and succeeding.
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced so far?
Undoubtedly, our biggest challenge was getting our innovative, flat bottles made. Initially, we had an invention on paper that showed great opportunity but had no traction and required the production capability that only a handful of multi-billion-pound companies could offer. These giants weren’t ready to deal with an idea stage start-up.
Going from the drawing on paper, to a physical product was nearly impossible. We only made progress when I managed to get the concept onto a TV show which enabled us to get the bottles prototyped. The prototypes allowed us to show our innovation in still life imagery which resulted in us gaining massive media exposure. This, in turn, got a large company that could produce our bottles, to be interested to collaborate with us.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
The advice I’d give to entrepreneurs who are considering getting started or are just getting started on their entrepreneurial journey is to think very clearly whether this is right for them. Being an entrepreneur is life-changing, it’s totally consuming of one’s time and life. It will likely be a highly demanding and challenging experience in the short term with only a small chance of a positive outcome in the long term. If successful, and the chances of that are slim, it can be a very rewarding experience both personally and financially.
However, the glamour of successful entrepreneurs, that’s sometimes overly represented in media coverage, has the risk of misrepresenting how incredibly tough a professional career this is. Budding entrepreneurs should be aware not to just jump onto the bandwagon because it looks like a fun or trendy thing to do – it’s not. They need to think long and hard and talk to as many successful entrepreneurs as possible to determine if it’s right for them.
What is your proudest achievement to date as a company?
There are many things that I’m proud of and one of which is being able to give a handful of great youngsters an unbeatable career opportunity and see them thrive. They love what they do, and this is a proud achievement as the company leader. Secondly, having got our innovative bottles and product to market and to be recognised as a credible and long-term alternative to round, glass bottles in such a traditional industry is a great achievement and one that makes me proud to be a successful entrepreneur.
Santiago Navarro, CEO and Co-Founder of Garçon Wines.