Q&A with Weed Cellars Business Executives, Victoria Toplansky and Renee Esebag
Read between the Wine
New brand of wine is embracing “Live life to its fullest.” Weed Cellars is a fun and creative lifestyle concept in wine, minus the high. Weed Cellars’ Director of Marketing, Victoria Toplansky and Director of Branding and Licensing, Renee Esebag give us an insider perspective on their creative brand and what it means to lead.
Q: Tell us a little about the Weed Cellars brand and what makes it unique. “Weed Cellars is a brand that embodies the free-spirited lifestyle of the West Coast. Weed Cellars celebrates the change-makers and visionaries who want to live life on their own terms. From winemakers to laidback surfers and skaters who made beach culture mainstream, to anyone who has a passion or dream that they want to chase. We believe in celebrating the individual in all of us. Our products don’t contain any THC or CBD, so we’re not promoting weed. We’re more interested in the lifestyle that weed represents — people living on their own terms and celebrating their individuality. Our name is Weed Cellars, so we’re tapping into that West Coast visionary mentality that brought us the best wine in the world and the cultural change-makers who dared to fight for legalization.”
Q: Tell us about the line of products that fall under Weed Cellars? “The core of our brand is beverages. In the spirit of celebrating each individual, we have a little something for everyone.” With their core wine selection consisting of a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, they also offer a wide variety of other beverages ranging from Alkaline water, Premium Sparkling Wine to a Prosecco, even Beer and a Premium Cognac. Aside from their beverage selection they also offer apparel allowing their consumers to enjoy the lifestyle beyond just consumption.
Q: How does the brand symbolize freedom of expression? “At its core, the weed culture of the West Coast is deeply American — we’ve always been a country built on people creating the life we want for ourselves. It’s about freedom of expression, freedom to create the life you want, freedom to be you, whatever that looks like for each person. From the free-thinkers of Haight Street in the ’60s, all the way back to the Gold Rush, the West Coast mentality has always been one of personal choice and freedom of expression. Weed Cellars celebrates that open-mindedness and the bravery it takes to be an individual. The weed culture transcends marijuana, it represents the American ideal of freedom of choice.”
Q: What is your advice and thoughts on being a woman in the corporate space?
Victoria: “I’m proud to be a woman in this industry. Like most women, I’ve had to work very hard to not only be the very best I can be in what I do but also prove to the men around me that I deserve my place. The alcohol industry is very male-dominated, but I definitely feel very lucky because our team is made up of both men and women who are just as talented and appreciative of one another. This makes it an ideal work environment for everyone. As a woman, the truth is that women have to work twice as hard to prove ourselves. It has helped make me a stronger individual and professional. I don’t allow the differences to get in the way and always act as if I belong. I have learned to work with people on a mutual level while being assertive and standing up for myself. I say, believe in yourself and don’t judge your insides based on other people’s outsides. Usually, people see each other in their current place in life but don’t see the journey you went on to get to where you are. People assume that things are always easy or there weren’t any bumps on the road, nor do we see each other’s personal struggles. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, had my fair share of failures, experienced self-doubt and doubt from others but business is about problem-solving and if you are determined you will succeed.”
Renee: “I always use my voice to encourage other women to keep trying and knock on every door. If you don’t knock on the door, then you know what your answer will be. It will be ‘no’ every time. Have the confidence to know that you matter in business. My advice to women is that if your heart is telling you to do something, you have to follow it. Also, make sure you’re doing something because you love it and are confident in it. It’s really important not to do something for the sake of showing other people you’re doing something big. I always love to inspire young women to always dream big and go for it! Don’t be shy as nothing will come to you, you have to go for it!”
Q: What are your ideas in regards to outside of the box for marketing?
Victoria: “It’s important for brands to connect with their customers. Our brand has a product for almost anyone. From young to old, it is timeless and classic, we have water and wine.”
Renee: “Our goal is to reach every demographic and to be the most relatable. We present a solution to a gap. We express a lifestyle that people want. People want good vibes and that feeling to be free to express themselves.”