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Alumni Story: Consciously Crafted

By Katie Sigeti ’06, philanthropy manager, alumni programs
Jessica Hershfield ’08 shares how her passion for wine and bringing people together is good business.
For some, wine is a beverage occasionally enjoyed with dinner. For others, it is a lifestyle. For Jessica Hershfield ’08, it is a business born of a passion.

After graduating from Stanford University in 2012, Jessica went to work in big tech. After a brief stint at a health tech company, she worked for two years at Google, marketing for Google Glass. Then Jessica joined transportation/ride-sharing companies Uber for four years and Lime for a year. Despite several years in these innovative companies, she was unfulfilled and knew she wanted to start her own company. 

“I’ve always had this desire to start my own thing and be my own boss but never really felt like I was in the right space to do that,” she explains. 

After some soul-searching into where her passions lie, Jessica decided to try her hand in the wine industry. “I’ve always been a big fan of wine as a consumer,” she shares. However, there was a persistent problem she wanted to solve. “I would open up a bottle and end up wasting it a few days later, so I wanted a more practical serving size.” Then Just Enough Wines was born. 

Just Enough Wines, which celebrated its official launch just over a year ago, offers premium-quality pinot noir, chardonnay and rosé wines in a can, in addition to brut bubbles, sourced by sustainable vineyards. “The can is a glass and a half, so it is a much more reasonable serving size, and the can also gives you a whole lot of other added benefits besides just the serving size. It is much more environmentally friendly. It’s more portable and practical, and you can take it where you wouldn’t want to take glass,” Jessica explains. Just Enough Wines are now available in 150 retail locations and online from their website.

For those who wish to start their own ventures, Jessica shares, “The best piece of advice that I received about starting a business is to do one thing every day, whether it is filing for your corporation or picking out a logo, just do one thing every day, and slowly you’ll start to make some traction, and slowly you’ll start to see things come into place.” 

Jessica began her chapter as an entrepreneur with a great deal of research. “I spent three or four months just researching and talking to as many people as I could find in the industry that would help me figure out how to go about this,” she shares. “I spent a lot of time just understanding the industry as much as I possibly could, especially since it was an industry I knew nothing about.”

Jessica credits her roots at LJCDS for helping forge this new path. “I think one of the biggest things I learned at Country Day, and I really credit Mrs. [Susan] Nordenger for this,” Jessica shares, "was the importance of community and bringing people together. What she truly taught was the importance of having the community around you that supports you, whether through academics or sports or community service or whatever that is—but having that as your grounding force. I think that’s one of the big reasons why I wanted to start a wine company. I loved bringing people together, I loved putting on a dinner party, and what often was the thing that brought people together was the sharing of food and wine. The recognition of the importance of community started early for me with Country Day and with Mrs. Nordenger.”

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