The book The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand is the story of how the initiative, the entrepreneurial spirit, and hard work can build the brand known all over the country. The book tells about the path of Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey in the business world. The aim of this essay is to summarize the plot of the book and to describe my attitude to it.
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THE SUMMARY OF THE PLOT
The Barefoot Spirit is written by Michael Houlihan, Bonnie Harvey, and Rick Kushman. The central theme is the path to success of the Barefoot Cellars. Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey are the co-founders of the American stellar wine brand, which has paved the way for the new trend in the wine industry.
Houlihan and Harvey started their business from the laundry room and grown to the American leading wine company. Nowadays, their wine brand is known in every state, but not everyone knows how much energy and dedication it required. “It’s a rags-to-riches story in the first degree, a chronicle of how outsiders followed their path, believed in their ideas and each other and changed an industry” (Houlihan, Harvey, Kushman 6). Houlihan and Harvey started from scratch. They used the borrowed money to finance their business. However, they managed not only to repay all their debts but to outperform many of their competitors. This is due to the realization of the bold and creative idea, which, essentially, changed the wine industry in the United States.
Before the launching of the Barefoot products, the wine industry was dominated by the producers introducing their wines as the beverages for the upper class. The wine was considered to be a symbol of high status, elegance, and wealth in America. Houlihan and Harvey changed this stereotype entirely. They told the public about their vision of how the wine should be perceived. The entrepreneurs said, “Our success gave the wine industry and wine drinkers the permission to have fun, to be inclusive, and to believe there is no just one way to sell or enjoy wine” (Houlihan, Harvey, Kushman 8). The innovativeness of their idea laid the foundations for their brand. It was based upon the new marketing characteristics of the wines. Houlihan and Harvey made people see that the wine was for everyone who enjoyed life and had no stereotypes. The Barefoot spirit was a spirit of creativity, flexibility, and freedom of thoughts, the qualities, which helped the company’s co-founders to succeed.
It should be emphasized that marketing played a vital role in business success. Essentially, due to the effective usage of its technique, Houlihan and Harvey’s business venture became profitable. The entrepreneurs had no money, but they had the drive to make people aware of their wines and the strong commitment to making their business profitable. Taking into account that the advertising through media was unaffordable for them, they just supplied their wines in charity. In such a way, they made people taste their products and made the public aware of their wines by the word-of-mouth. Also, they had chosen a simple name for their products, the one, which people would memorize quickly.
It should be said that the idea to become the winemakers came to Houlihan and Harvey when they met their old friend, who was in a wine business but lost his money. He failed due to the high fixed costs for running the business. Houlihan and Harvey thought about why to grow the grape vines and to pay for land if they could just buy the wine in bulk and to bottle it (Houlihan, Harvey, Kushman 17). They realized their idea and managed to reduce fixed costs substantially. That was how they competed in the market successfully.
MY ATTITUDE TO THE BOOK
The book The Barefoot Spirit influenced me greatly. I admire the energy and creativity of Barefoot Cellars co-founders. I tasted their wines before I read the book, and it was much more interesting for me to get to know that their brand had such an amusing history. I think that my life story is similar to Houlihan and Harvey’s in the sense that I also have to work very hard to survive. I have to combine my studying at school, working at two jobs. I used to be on my own and to cope with everything without the help of others. That is why I feel drawn to Houlihan and Harvey. Their persistence and purposefulness are the models for me.
To sum up all above mentioned, it should be said that the book The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand presents the motivating story of the American winemakers Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey. They managed to build a successful business from scratch. The book influenced me a lot. I think that it is worthy of reading for everyone.
Houlihan, Michael, Bonnie Harvey and R. Kushman. The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand, Ashland: Evolve Publishing Inc, 2013. Print.