Wine Women Wednesday: Meet PortoVino Founder, Marisa China
Happy Wine Wednesday! First off, a big thank you to all who’ve reached out to me following my 2020 Spring Update. I’m so encouraged by all of you and appreciate your trust in my plan to keep creating upbeat, yet mindful, content. With that being said, I’m thrilled to introduce you to our March installment of Wine Women Wednesday. Today, meet PortoVino Founder and Owner, Marisa China.
While Wine Women Wednesday has featured winemakers, sommeliers and authors, Marisa may be our most unique woman yet. With a passion for travel, wine, and a strong business background, Marisa combined those loves and started PortoVino; a luxury line of backpacks, purses, totes, and accessories. If you’re thinking, what’s so unique about that? PortoVino bags also hold up to two bottles of wine or your favorite beverage in a zippered pouch with a hidden spout!
In these uncertain times, folks seem to be reaching for a glass of wine more than ever. If you’re still going out, or maybe need a great new backpack for hiking, pack your vino (or water, iced tea….) discreetly in your PortoVino. Since gatherings look to be on hold for awhile, consider sending a PortoVino to the wine lovers in your life. Not only is all USA shipping free (over $65), but I have a code for ten percent off at the end of my interview with Marisa.
Stay safe and tote responsibly!
Wine Woman Wednesday: Meet Marisa China of PortoVino
Mary: Tell me a bit about your background! How did PortoVino come to fruition?
Marisa: I co-founded MG Global in 2001 with my husband after an incredible 18 month backpacking journey “around the world” in search of adventure and new products to start a business. We each grew up in international families and shared a love for traveling and seeing more of this amazing world we live in.
We met at an International graduate business school and worked in corporate America for several years before we got married and decided to embark on an adventure through Central America, Southeast Asia, India, Nepal, Africa, and Europe. When we returned from our incredible journey, we started a business designing, importing and distributing accessories for the wine and gourmet food industry.
In 2017, we had an idea to make a truly fashionable purse that could discretely store and pour wine from a secret insulated pocket. Since our launch of the PortoVino, we have been blessed to have had over 250 million viral views. We are so thrilled to be able to offer a fashionable purse that has unique functionality and brings people together to share a glass of wine and enjoy their time together. It is also important to us to be able to give back to the community, so for every purse purchased, a meal is donated to feed a hungry child through Feed My Starving Children.
All in a Day’s Work
Mary: What’s a typical day look like for you?
Marisa: As a business owner, I wear different hats all day long which I enjoy. I am mostly focused on the marketing and product development side. As a small business, we are involved in all of it from strategy to operations to customer engagement. Most of the time, I am at my computer working on customer communications, new product designs or looking for ways to increase sales and improve our customer’s journey or on the phone talking to customers and digital marketing partners.
Mary: What’s your advice to women looking to start a business, especially one where wine is
Marisa: Starting a business is a lot of fun and a lot of work. My advice is to be fearless. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, knock on doors and to fail. It is rare that things turn out exactly as you plan.
You have to be prepared to get back up again and keep fighting and finding different solutions. Spend time finding mentors, people who have started a business or who have done something similar to what you are looking to do. There are a lot of people out there willing to give back because they have been there before and they are happy to share their experience.
Ask Yourself: What is your Why?
Mary: Being an Entrepreneur is certainly rewarding, but never ending. What advice do you have for those days when you want to “throw in the towel”?
Marisa: If you are excited enough about your goal and mission, you won’t want to ‘throw in the
towel’. What is your Why? What is the underlying reason you want to make your business work? If your reasoning is strong enough, you will want to keep going.
Also, it is important that you love your customer and are committed to creating value for your customer. At PortoVino, this drives us daily and we just don’t want to let our customers down.
Mary: What does your ideal perfect day look like, and what kind of wine would be in your
Marisa: I love to travel and beaches. My perfect day would be hanging on the beach with my family and friends. Playing in the water and enjoying the sand between my toes. I would definitely be pouring from my PortoVino Canvas Blue and White Beach Tote.
I am generally more of a red wine drinker, but if I am at the beach, I would either be pouring a cocktail or a rose or white wine depending on my mood. Let’s go with a Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc.
Order your own PortoVino Today and Save Ten Percent
I cannot thank PortoVino enough for my City Burgundy Tote. Stay tuned to see it in action on my Instagram Stories! If you’re anxious to get your hands on a PortoVino of your very own or give a great gift, the company has graciously offered the Along Comes Mary community a ten percent off code.
Simply put Mary10 in the code bar to get your discount. And don’t forget, free USA shipping (over $65) and each purchase supports Marisa’s mission for Feed My Starving Children.