Women's History Month Reflection: "My personal pivot"

Earlier in the month, I sent out a newsletter to our subscribers letting everyone know about our business pivot. I explained that due to cost and complexity we were going to down-size our winery footprint at Union Station. This announcement was greeted with positive feedback. The community really wants us to succeed and by lowering our start-up costs it give us a stronger foundation for success. This business pivot also aligns to a personal pivot and mindset change that I recently had to make. On the last day of Women's History Month, I thought it would be appropriate to share my revelation.

I am in my mid-thirties, I've been married for fourteen years and have two kids and two dogs. I have a busy life but I love my life. My family and I get to travel, we have a beautiful home, I enjoy the work that I do for Jenny Dawn Cellars and networking in the community. Being a working mom and wife involves constant juggling and prioritization. Recently, it dawned on me that once we open our winery doors on August 1st (cross your fingers) my life is going to drastically change. Acknowledging, communicating and leaning into these changes is something that is important for preparation and acceptance. I am being transparent about these changes for three reasons: (1) to help myself (2) to help and encourage other women entrepreneurs (3) shed light to others who may not be aware.

Currently as an entrepreneur, I have an extremely flexible schedule. This flexibility allows me to take my kids to school everyday and most of the time pick them up from school everyday. I have the ability to attend my kids sporting events and school activities that they have during the day. My role as CEO and Winemaker involves working in the evenings and on weekends so I am not stuck behind a desk in a strict office where you have to be there from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Once our winery opens, I will have a more rigid schedule. My role will be to lead our hospitality and service program. Our winery hours of operation will be 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Wednesdays and Sundays and then 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. For the first six months to a year, I will need to be at the winery during normal business hours. When I thought I was working with a bigger budget, I thought I would have a manager who would lead our tasting room and food service program. Unfortunately, we needed to eliminate that position.

Another big change is travel. Since 2017, Jenny Dawn Cellars is a licensed wine brand based out of California. This has given me the opportunity to travel to Napa, CA on a quarterly basis to blend the 6 wines that we currently have on the market. Recently, we have applied to become a licensed and bonded Kansas Farm Winery and once the construction of our winery is complete our license will be approved. This means that I will not have to travel to California as much because I have already established all of the necessary relationships and connections to make the California part of our supply chain flow smoothly. Also, with me managing our day-to-day operations at the winery, I will not have the time in the short-term to travel after August 1st.

Advertising will be another significant change. One of the main reasons that I chose to start our wine brand in California is for advertising. Our wines are of high quality. Each of our wines have an interesting story. And, being a California wine brand has put us in rooms and in situations that we would not have had the opportunity to participate in as a Kansas Winery. However, once we open our local winery, the funds that we used for advertising will now need to shift to our construction costs, lease, and equipment costs. Right now, our social media footprint is growing and engaged. We have over 1,000 followers on Instagram and Facebook and are excited to add more as our business expands and grows.

Another change that is silly, slightly important but worth mentioning is the attire that I wear to work everyday. I like wearing business professional and business casual clothing. When we open our winery doors and especially during harvest and crush season I will live in jeans and rubber boots.

I thought it was important to call out all of these changes to highlight our preparedness for transitioning from a wine brand to a winery. I firmly believe that as long as we stay open to change, we will succeed. I am extremely grateful for my Assistant Winemaker, Lesley Selvidge. She 100% believes in our company, our mission, vision and is a joy to lead.

Today, is the last day of March and I am feeling highly optimistic about the future for our business. Thanks for taking the time to read our blog. Cheers!

Jennifer McDonald

CEO and Winemaker

Jenny Dawn Cellars


We’ve bottled the art of timing.

From the vine to the bottle. We craft our wine from grapes, fruit, and juice sourced from the finest growers in the nation. From the bottle to the glass.

That’s where you come in. When you open a bottle of Jenny Dawn Cellars wine, you open your moment, your reprieve from the business of busy-ness, and your time to bloom.

Jenny Dawn Cellars is inspired by the wildflowers on the Kansas countryside, inviting you to open up, enjoy the breeze, and show your colors to the world. Just like a flower, when Jenny Dawn Cellars wine is shared with someone special, it needs no further explanation – it’s a feeling that is simply understood.

Jenny Dawn Cellars – Let your moment begin.


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