Interview With Kyle Packett
Describe your product or service:
“Specialist online retailer of certified organic and biodynamic wines.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“To be the largest online retailer of certified organic and biodynamic wines in the UK. We promote environmental sustainability through partnering with certified organic and biodynamic vineyards. A percentage of our sales goes into revegetation by planting trees all over the country. By 2025, we plan to have planted 25,000 trees across the UK.”
How are you funded? I.e. venture capital, angel investors, etc.
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“We have a team of three permanent staff and then use freelancers and agencies to provide further support.”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“Yes, I always knew I wanted to run my own business. I am very independent and unconventional in the sense that I never enjoyed a standard 9-5 job where you specialise in one function or area. I like to get my hands dirty, learn about new things, help others, and have the freedom to make the decisions I want.”
How did you come up with your startup idea? How did you decide to actually act on the idea? What gave you confidence that you were on the right track?
“The retail wine industry in the UK is inefficient, and the wines which are typically sold are overpriced for the quality. There was a lack of focus on the environment, and being able to buy decent quality organic wine as a consumer in the UK was impossible. We see more and more people searching for organic wine and eco-friendly products, so we know we are in the right niche.”
How did you come up with your company name? Did you have other names you considered?
“We wanted it to be unconventional, not have the word wine in it, and break away from the traditionalist mould and branding that the majority of wine companies seem to follow.”
What is the greatest challenge you faced in starting your business, and how did you overcome it?
“Gaining traction online and building a brand. This takes a lot of resources, time, and money. A lot more than I initially anticipated. It took just under two years to be cash flow positive and a further 12 months to turn a profit.”
Who is your product or service made for? Who is your target market?
“Environmentally conscious wine drinkers.”
What's your marketing strategy?
“Digital first — A large focus is on content and ensuring we are found online through key search terms, both organically and paid.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“Cost-per-click advertising and organic wine tasting events.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“Average orders per year per customer, average lifetime customer value, subscriber growth, web impressions, click-through rates and conversions rates of the website.”
What's your favorite book on entrepreneurship?
What is your favorite startup or business podcast?
“I listen to a lot of Tony Robbins content.”
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“How hard it is to generate your first million pounds in sales.”
How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?
“Ensure you put time aside for exercise or just getting fresh air. This is key and needs to be a non-negotiable part of your week. It needs to happen before anything else.”
How do you stay motivated?
“Setting goals and targets on a regular basis.”
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?
“Be organised, run a tight ship, and make use of platforms like Monday.com to run your teams and workstreams.”
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
“Having a go. Lots of people have ideas and say, 'I wish I did XYZ,' but never give it a try. It may not work out, but this should not be deemed a failure, more so a learning exercise for next time.”
More on Savage Vines
We were fortunate enough to hear some valuable insights during our interview with Kyle Paskett of wine retail startup Savage Vines that will inspire, motivate, and teach aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike.
We asked Kyle Packett, founder of Savage Vines, to share the most impactful ways to support their startup, and this is what they had to say.