We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Hershfield and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I spent my entire career before Just Enough in big tech. I was at some of the best tech companies in the world (Google, Uber, Lime), but I found myself unfulfilled in the work I was doing. I knew I always wanted to start my own company, but until 2019 I didn’t have the courage. After some soul searching, I finally took the leap; and decided in 2020 I wanted to start my own thing.
The question was – what was that thing. I looked for things that I loved, but also had a use case that needed solving. What I loved was wine. I love its ubiquitous nature – love that it can be your work to leisure transition on a random Tuesday, or be paired with your fancy wine dinner. And the use case – I would open a bottle and either waste it a few days later, or drink too much and feel bad the next day. That lead me to focus on high-quality wine in the convenience of a can. The can gives you the practical serving size of a glass and a half, along with the added benefits of portability and being more environmentally friendly.
As for how to practically do it, I had to take it one step at a time. Literally I would tell myself just do one thing today. That lead to the building blocks of a company, and eventually not enough hours in the day to get done what was needed to get done.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Just Enough Wines is premium wine in the convenience of a can. All of our award-winning wines are vintage and appellation specific, and are made with low intervention, sustainable techniques. Our female-founded brand was launched in September 2020, and we’re incredibly proud of the quality product we’re producing.
It is not easy! The biggest challenge I faced, and continue to battle with to this day, is Imposter Syndrome. When starting your own business, you have to constantly prove to yourself that you can do it. You have to have the faith and confidence in yourself that no matter what people tell you, you can do what you want to do. Sometimes the biggest person you need to convince is yourself.
When I first started Just Enough Wines, I had so many people tell me that canned wine is never going to work. People assume canned wine is crappy wine, and getting people to pay for a premium wine in a can just isn’t going to happen. That exaggerated my own self-doubt, often asking myself why I could do this. I had no experience in the wine industry, why on earth do I think I could do it?
Everyday I have to remind myself to believe in myself, and continue to celebrate the wins as they come. I turn towards therapy, my family and friends, and of course, the metrics!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would not be where I am without my cofounder Kaitlyn. It is obvious that Kaitlyn is one of the hardest workers I have ever met, but most importantly, so had the highest EQ of anyone I know. She always knows when something is bothering me, and knows just the right way to approach the situation. She literally keeps me sane.
They say one of the biggest causes of startups failing is co-founder disagreements – and that makes me so grateful to have Kaitlyn as my partner.