Know that everything happens for a reason and most times when you’re in the most uncertainty and discomfort is when you come out much stronger.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Michael Radnia. Michael Radnia is the Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Besa mi Vino. Michael is a Los Angeles native and Boston University graduate. He and his brother Roddy launched Besa mi Vino May 1st, 2019 after working in real estate for a seniors housing brand. Michael gets the most joy from hanging with family, friends and travelling.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Like many people in this world, I LOVE wine but always felt overwhelmed when shopping most grocery wine aisles. My brother and I started to notice there was a sustainable, transparent option in every aisle except alcohol (especially wine) and it led us to ask: why do we know so much about the food we eat but so little about the alcohol we drink?

We grew frustrated by the lack of honest transparent alcohol brands catering to our healthy active lifestyle and decided to start our own. Our “aha” moment inspired us to create Besa mi Vino, which embodies a “better for you” wine around terms we all understand, such as certified organic, vegan, 0g sugar and sustainable.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

As much as I’d like to say it has been a smooth and easy road, the truth is every day is just so different and unpredictable.

I’d say the hardest struggle is focusing on the brand itself. There is so much that goes into running a business, everything from sales, marketing, supply chain, distributor relations that sometimes you neglect the actual product you’ve created. But thankfully, we have been very successful in communicating directly with our customers and keeping an open dialogue with them. It has always been a goal of ours to continuously respond and emotionally connect to provide the best experience possible. A brand is nothing without its customers genuinely talking and sharing the products. We are aiming to build a brand, not around a lifestyle, but rather a state of mind. Besa is for spending time with friends and family who bring joy into our lives. It is for laughing, falling in love, and most of all, making memories. We want to help our customers ‘live their BESA life’ all the time in everything they do.

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

I get inspired when I see people drinking our wine and intentionally choosing our products versus rival brands. It is so rewarding to know they believe in our brand and obviously know how great our wine tastes. I’m also motivated by our doubters. As a 26 year old from Los Angeles with no prior food or beverage experience, I definitely had my fair share of skeptics. Proving those people wrong lights a fire under me for sure.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Our biggest mistake was initially choosing a name for the brand that had already been taken by another winery. As things progressed with the project, we got a cease and desist letter that we were infringing on another wine company’s name.

That was definitely a lesson in itself and I learned not to rush things in a business just to cross it off your “todo list”, but rather spend the extra thought and research before making a final decision as it will end up more times than not saving you time in the long run.

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If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self regarding life lessons, things you would like her to know what would they be and why?

Know that everything happens for a reason and most times when you’re in the most uncertainty and discomfort is when you come out much stronger.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I think one of the main differentiators that sets us apart from other wine companies is we’re taking the outdated wine industry and using a brand first approach to create a socially responsible brand while adapting to the shifting drinking habits. Instead of focusing on what’s just inside the can, we make it a point to do fun and creative experiences with our customers with different partnerships. Everything from monthly exercise events with other brands to maintaining a 100% self-sustainable vineyard where all the energy we consume is generated through our solar panels.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

To always stay hungry and humble.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I’d attribute a large portion of Besa’s success to my brother who happens to also be a co-founder of the brand. He is continuously pushing the company towards greatness and most importantly helped build a rock solid foundation for the brand to be able to grow.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Love this question because our products inevitably bring joy and good times in the world. We are currently doing a partnership with Heal the Bay — an nonprofit organization dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds in Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy, and clean. We share their passion for protecting our environment and making sustainable choices whenever possible. For every online sale we make in the month of December, we will donate 10% to Heal the Bay.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Persistence
  2. Fail forward
  3. Truly believe in yourself and don’t give much regard to what others may be thinking about you.
  4. Have no shame & regret.
  5. If it was easy then everyone would do it.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Bringing like minded people together though a powerful cause that connected us all.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Yes @drinkbesa on IG and Twitter