One Singular Sensation

Dana Spaulding

Posted on November 1, 2022

When she launched her company, Dana Spaulding was aiming to solve a practical problem. “I wanted to enjoy a nice glass of wine after a long day,” she writes, “but my husband was right: I wasn’t going to finish a whole bottle myself.”

Annoyed by the half-empty bottles expiring in her fridge, she set out to create something new: sleek, 6.3 oz flasks of premium wine for people like her seeking a single serving. In 2017, she left her finance role at J.P. Morgan to focus on building her new company, Wander + Ivy .

"At a very early age, I learned that our differences are what make us unique and how we stand out in this world."

From a home base in Colorado, Wander + Ivy partners with vineyards around the world that grow certified organic grapes. Their wines are also free from added sugars, coloring, and flavor concentrates. Wander + Ivy offers a Chardonnay, Red Blend, White Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Rose.

A mover-shaker by any definition, Spaulding has raised more than $1.6 million to grow and scale her business. She also is committed to paying profits forward, In 2020, for example, Wander + Ivy donated 1 percent of its sales to the nonprofit Colorado Feeding Kids, providing 15,000 meals to hungry children nationwide.

Spaulding has built this remarkable career while living with a condition called Syndactyly, which involves the malformation of limbs. The condition has posed unique challenges in her work.

“As a certified level II sommelier and business owner,” she says, “premium service and presentation is incredibly important to me. Simple things such as opening bottles during presentations, pouring wines for distributors, or handing our bottles to customers, can be a bit challenging for me. I truly just need to take my time, breathe and not let any insecurities stand in my way as I build this brand.”

These trials have imbued certain strengths, as well. “At a very early age, I learned that our differences are what make us unique and how we stand out in this world.”

To other business owners and managers in the beverage industry trying to make the workplace more inclusive for people with disabilities, Spaulding has simple advice. “Always approach leadership with kindness and compassion. You never know what someone may or may not be struggling with. If there is ever a concern, listen and learn how you can be helpful.”


*October is Disability Awareness Month. We  like to honor it every day.