MAUI GIRL MEETS MAINLAND
About Ashleigh Hutchison, President/Founder
Ashleigh Hutchison moved off Island, to pursue a career in the wine business after her first break into wholesale wine sales in 2008. New to motherhood with a 3 year old, she met Alan Jahns, partner of JMD Beverages in Hawaii. He offered Ashleigh a sales route in West Maui after building a successful ‘Vineyard Dining Series’ at the acclaimed David Paul’s Island Grill in 2008.
Ashleigh replied to Mr. Jahn’s job offer with a blank stare as she had no sales experience and even knew very little about wine. But Alan replied with, ‘Yes, Ashleigh, but you know everyone on the Island.” And with that, she never looked back. She has carried this with her for the past decade, building and cultivating trusting relationships with her buyers, which has lasted all these years in her many different sales roles.
After leaving JMD in December 2011, she moved with her son to St. Helena, CA – the mecca of the wine business and the Heart of Napa Valley. She was welcomed and supported in the business landing a sale route with Vinifera Wine Marketing representing a portfolio of esteemed brands.
With this learned experience, she started her own Out of State brokerage, Ashleigh Elizabeth Consulting – Representing smaller brands from well established winemakers with their own projects that had little time to sell on their own in outer markets. This has now cultivated into the Hawaii Brokerage falling under the Industry Outlaw umbrella. Working with Young’s Market of Hawaii, Ashleigh represents a myriad of brands colliding the worlds of the mainland and Hawaii.
After 3 years in the Valley, she accepted a position with Miner Family Winery as their Western Regional Sales Manager and relocated herself and her son to Pebble Beach, CA. There she was able to reconnect with the ocean and surf community she grew up knowing so well and was able to connect food and wine with the locals.
The travel schedule involved with the Regional position with Miner helped Ashleigh realize two very important things: time away from her son growing up could not last forever and sales managers are road warriors – which this, she was not. However, all the time spent on the road, did lead to her creative sales & marketing ideas. Meaning, the more and more you talk about the same product, you have to find creative means to sell/tell the story and never to the same person. The creativity eventually made its way to paper, and she began writing back labels and designing brands that she felt would have a niche in the ever growing and saturated wine market.
Industry Outlaw was a dream of Ashleigh’s beginning in 2016 – literally a dream she had one night and filed for a business license under that name the same week. The business was born as a creative writing endeavor with a coffee table book titled, “The Art of Spitting”. Which is not at the wayside, but one thing at a time!
The creativity of Industry Outlaw organically evolved from the Art of Spitting to other creative ideas, which evolved into designing and curating – MANA Wines.
MANA wines released its first vintage in April 2017 as wholesale wine company selling to the new generation of Millennial wine drinkers appealing not only to price points below $19.99, but as a lifestyle brand for those who can associate with the Ocean whether as a surfer, swimmer, kayaker or merely living by the ocean during some point of their lives. Which once was considered a lifestyle brand, Mana quickly grew and Ashleigh realized Mana was evoking deeper meaning into her life and the consumers who were enjoying her wines.
MANA’s Polynesian translation of Energy & Motion is reflective of the iconic mosaic wave embossed on the label. It is a reflection of her personal life, but more importantly an emancipation to spend more time with her son. She also knew there was a large responsibility with using the Hawaiian word Mana and she decided to launch a Maui based 501c3 non profit called – Na Wahine O Kalani – a scholarship fund benefitting the emerging female athletes of Hawaii. Mana Na Wahine was born and the wine sales of this label go directly into the scholarship fund. Her sister was name Exec. Director and Ashleigh’s 13 year old son does public speaking on behalf of the organization.
And here we are again – now that all these businesses have moved forward and there is a great team supporting all the organizations, Industry Outlaw is growing again with a new Northern California brokerage representing established and creative brands. Building a solid sales team that wants to have fun representing and go back to celebrating everything that is great about this Industry! Let’s do this!