Stefanie Salem Builds Prominent Food & Wine Festival

When you first launched the event, how long was the planning stage before launch?

I came up with the idea for the festival in November of 2013 and started my business at the beginning of January 2014. It took an extraordinary amount of work every single day that year leading up to the festival, to make it happen.

Currently what is your strategy for promoting your business?

We partner with an incredible PR company, Ajenda PR, who is amazing at getting the word out to local and national media. We utilize social media, radio, newspapers, magazines, digital press, transit signs, billboards and more. Additionally, I speak at different events about the festival to share new events each year. My team and I are consistently networking wherever we are.

What distinguishes Newport Beach Wine & Food from similar festivals?

Newport Beach Wine & Food is unique and different from other wine & food festivals due to its intimate yet world-class nature. Guests are able to candidly mix and mingle with celebrity chefs, local masters and winemakers at each of our 21 different events over the weekend. This is a quality that we are proud of and something that we rarely see at other festivals. We know our guests appreciate it too!

You’ve had several business, what challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur?

I have faced the same challenges any entrepreneur faces—taking huge risks, raising enough capital, making mistakes and correcting them. The list of challenges is long, but no different than a male entrepreneur would face in my opinion.

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