From a muddy driveway to a thriving entrepreneur
An annoying inconvenience can trigger a bigger idea

Kathy Austen left the financial services industry to become a stay-at-home mom—and then realised that staying at home was a muddy mess when those Western Cape rainy winters hit home.

But how to pay for a paved driveway at their newly bought home, on just one salary? That’s when Kathy started making lemonade out of lemons—or, shall we say, she started turning that watery rain into wine.

Once upon a time
It all started when Kathy’s daily to-do list took her to the door of a very reasonably priced wine vendor. Delighted with Kathy’s bargain discovery, her husband shared the news with all their friends. It didn’t take long before Kathy was being asked by all her friends and acquaintances to pick up their wine too.

The challenge
And then winter came, and with it, driving rains that transformed her unpaved driveway into a muddy mess. Imagine the schlep of darting back and forth between the car and the house with a child on each hip, plus boxes and boxes of wine to get in out of the rain. Something had to change!

The idea
Her plan began simply enough. Her first priority would be to pave the driveway. And instead of collecting everyone else’s wine at her own expense, she would charge just enough to cover her petrol expenses plus a little extra to get that driveway paved.

The idea keeps growing
Never one to settle for peanuts, Kathy began to dream. What, for instance, if she started a little discount wine business of her own…? Despite an initially skeptical husband, by the end of the second month Kathy was in a position to apply for a liquor licence and by the third month had made enough to have the driveway paved! And so, in August 2006, Wonky Wines was born.

Kathy has built up trusted relationships with local wine farms and has a broad base of customers. She’s expanded her wine sales and delivery to include random wine tastings in the Western Cape—wine tastings that are wonkylicious and infused with the spunk and charm that only Wonky Wines can offer.