The only reason to leave a well-paid job is so you can love what you do, every day. I launched Sugarfly in 2010 because I wanted to work with many brands, and follow my passions for travel, wine and food. This led to me to develop a boutique agency with a focus on wine and travel brands, and work with the most talented people I know.
My back story
My big break happened early when I was finishing my studies in New Zealand and offered the chance to work in the U.S. It didn’t take much convincing. Two weeks later, with my marketing degree in hand, I flew to Los Angeles. I spent three years absorbing the travel business through the eyes of travel wholesaler, and then I landed my next big opportunity at Tourism New Zealand.
During my time in LA, I traveled throughout North America promoting New Zealand and implemented large-scale brand campaigns, involving New Zealand’s award-winning 100% Pure New Zealand campaign. After five years working for Tourism New Zealand, I decided it was time to take on two new challenges; New York City and Travelzoo. Over the next five years, my position at the deal publisher snowballed into a broad marketing role overseeing public relations, brand marketing, social media and events. My “can do” attitude resulted in so many opportunities including attaining eight appearances on NBC’s Today Show, and hundreds of publicity opportunities. With a flair for big ideas, I created and produced a full-scale awards show for the travel industry, the world’s first interactive advertising campaign at Las Vegas airport, and a Space flight promotion.
My career in wine truly took off in 2010 when I resigned from my job and the same day enrolled for wine studies at the International Wine Center in New York. In November 2010 I was selected by PhoCusWright, an authority on travel intelligence, as one of the “Class of 35”; the top 35 executives under 35 in the travel industry. From there I was “discovered” by Lot18, a private sales site for wine enthusiasts, and spent an incredible year building their wine experiences and travel business. This got me out to California’s wine country on a regular basis and I realized that the lifestyle here was what I really wanted.
After I was laid off (yes it happened!) I consulted for a while in New York (consulting for American Express Publishing, Falmouth Jamaica, BuyWithMe and other startups) and finally decided the only way to truly get into the wine industry was to move to Napa. So I drove cross country…
I arrived in wine country in 2013 and since then have been working with wine and travel brands from Napa to Healdsburg. Living in wine country is fabulous, but I do also enjoy consulting for clients in various places around the world, including working with several clients in the Caribbean. In 2016 I completed a WSET Diploma of Wine & Spirits.