Hi! We are Michael and Bonnie, the founders of the world’s largest wine brand. Did you know that we used crowdsourcing to build Barefoot Wine? Sure, it wasn’t called “Crowdsourcing” back then, but it was the secret to our success!

If Necessity is the Mother of Invention, Being Undercapitalized is Surely the Father!

It all started with an opportunity to turn a debt into a business. Our friend, a grape grower, hadn’t been paid for his grapes for three years. The only thing we could get out of the winery that owed him the money was a trade: debt for goods and services. The goods were bulk wine, and the services were bottling services.

We were undercapitalized and astonishingly deficient in industry knowledge. Then, all of a sudden, we had $300,000 worth of grapes and bottling services, but no clue as to what to do to convert those assets into cash. We were humbled. We started asking questions, lots of questions. We didn’t know it at the time, but we were crowdsourcing.

To read the complete article, please visit Crowd Sourcing Week




Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.