Quite often in direct selling, success is measured primarily by sales. While rapid growth is certainly a strong indicator of success, Direct Selling News feels that there is something particularly noteworthy about companies that are doing everything right—those that not only have strong sales, but an impressive mission, quality products, a customer-centric approach and a commitment to bettering their community.
With that in mind, DSN announced a new award this year, the Bravo Impact Award, which honors the achievements of well-rounded companies that take a holistic, measured and incremental approach to growth, innovation and operational integrity and excellence. The award was given to two companies this year, including Scout & Cellar.
Launched in 2017, Scout & Cellar was selected because the company and its Founder and CEO Sarah Shadonix are dedicated to offering a more natural wine experience—from soil to sip. Every bottle of their wine is independently lab-tested to ensure it’s free of toxic pesticides and low in sulfites.
Where There’s a Wine, There’s a Way
This commitment to excellence began from a place of authenticity. While studying to be a wine professional, Shadonix was shocked to learn that many of the world’s winemaking standards allow for the use of toxic pesticides in the vineyard, as well as hundreds of artificial processing aids and ingredients during production. Shadonix wanted to do things differently, and soon after Scout & Cellar was born.
From day one, Scout & Cellar has been on a mission to showcase just how incredible wine can be in its most authentic form, making it free of toxic pesticides, artificial processing aids, artificial ingredients and added sugar. For Scout & Cellar, it’s as simple as the golden rule—as fundamental as embracing the power of doing the right thing. For the company. For the planet. For their customers and for their field.
At first glance, wine might seem to be an odd choice for direct selling. But Shadonix recognized right away that the fundamentals of selecting a great wine and the fundamentals of direct selling were in perfect harmony.
“When buying wine, people generally consider three things in addition to price: the label; the story behind the wine; and recommendations from friends and family,” she explained. “With this in mind, the relational aspect of direct selling has been a powerful force to market our product and grow our business.”
The combination of quality products that many people are particularly passionate about and a business opportunity that empowers people to share that passion and knowledge with friends and family created a groundswell of interest in the company from both the wine and direct selling industries. The Scout & Cellar field reflects that and is an intriguing mix from all walks of life.
“While we do have some industry veterans in our field, many of our most engaged and successful independent consultants are new to the direct selling industry and are building their own businesses for the first time,” Shadonix shared.
A New Approach
Shadonix considers herself to be a direct selling outsider, but she has surrounded herself with a pool of talent from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Her maverick approach extends not just to direct selling but also to the wine industry.
“Our clean-crafted commitment has been a force of disruption within the wine industry, and we are positioned to look at direct selling the same way,” she said. “We won’t always get it right. But we strive to bring fresh ideas and approaches to the space to contribute to a future for direct selling that is brighter than its past. And one that provides opportunity to a broader audience than ever before, both in the field and in our offices. “
Passionate about Products and People
At the Global Celebration, Shadonix was joined on stage by several “rising stars” in the Scout & Cellar organization, including field leaders, corporate employees and her parents. It was important to Shadonix to share this moment with the people who have helped Scout & Cellar grow and thrive.
“I started Scout & Cellar four-and-a-half years ago really focused on product. I’m passionate about wine, and that’s why I started this company,” she said in her acceptance speech. “But I’m also very passionate about this space and how it empowers people and brings them together. So, to receive an award and to help shape an industry is something I’m honored to do. I’m so grateful for this community of leaders and the opportunity to do better and be better for future generations and beyond.”
From the June 2022 issue of Direct Selling News magazine.