On March 8, we proudly join people across the globe in celebrating International Women’s Day, a day that for over 100 years has been set aside to celebrate women’s achievements while campaigning for gender equality. We hope you’ll join us on this Day Without a Woman, where women and their allies are encouraged to support small, women- and minority-owned businesses. From 12-8pm, we’ll pour a flight of wine made by women winemakers and invest $5 from every flight (as well as $1 from every glass and $5 from every carafe on our full menu) in fellow female entrepreneurs.
In 2016, two significant things happened that brought our identity as women to the forefront of our daily lives: 1) becoming business owners, and 2) the Presidential election and resulting political climate.
We’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by fellow feminists who never told us we couldn’t or shouldn’t open Wine Down because we are minority women. So, when we decided to leave our desk jobs to become bar owners, it wasn’t necessarily a consideration for us.
Once we set out on the journey, though, it was striking how few women owners there were in the industry and how few bars were built with women in mind. Most of the people we spoke with were white men. Some were amazingly helpful, others gave us the “good luck, girls” laugh. The women we connected with really went above and beyond (full shoutouts below). We were floored by their graciousness, honesty, and willingness to share. They all took us seriously, believed in us, and encouraged us, even when Wine Down was nothing but an idea in our heads.
Since opening, we’ve been startled by the surprise and comments we receive from some (male) guests when they learn that we—Jaime and Sarah—two young women, are the owners of Wine Down. Not the male team members they see standing next to us. Yep, that’s right. Us. Just the two of us.
The theme of International Women’s Day is #BeBoldforChange. The idea is that each of us can be a leader within our own sphere by taking action to accelerate gender parity. We hope to set an example for women who are itching to try something new or start something of their own, like the amazing women we spoke with did for us. You can do this. We can do this together.
We’ve also decided to partner, at least once a month, with a different organization focused on empowering women, girls, and the LGBT communities. To date, we’ve partnered with and raised money for Planned Parenthood, the Women’s March Bay Area, Oasis for Girls, and the Girl Scouts of Northern California. This Wednesday, March 8, from 12-8pm, we’re raising money to help Kiva crowdfund $3m in loans to women starting or growing a business. We hope to see you at Wine Down this Wednesday to #InvestInHer!
If you’d like to partner with us for an important cause, please reach out; you can read more about our donation guidelines here: http://www.winedownsf.com/donation-policy.html
We’d like to thank all the women in our lives who have given us unconditional support on this journey. We’d also like to give a special thank you to these trailblazing women for their help and inspiration to make Wine Down what it is today:
Abby Wood, Ashley Herzberg, Ashley Routson, Betsy Ross, Erin Sullivan, Holly Bragman, Jennifer Hall, Lila Thirkield, Nika Barry, Pamela Busch
Sarah & Jaime
Co-Owners, Wine Down