Welcome.

America’s economic strength has always been reliant on start-up businesses and small entrepreneurs for new products, job creation, and the development of new brands. This site is dedicated to those Americans who, by choice or necessity, become self-employed and start their own business.

Here you will find the business philosophies and guiding principles we learned over several decades of success with new ventures. They are presented in summary fashion in our Business Blog. More detail can be found in our Speaking Topics, Group Seminars, and Consulting Services.

We are also writing a book, “The Barefoot Spirit,” which chronicles the experiences and business lessons learned building the Barefoot Wine brand.

Since one of our business philosophies is to have fun, we will include a personal blog and some photos. We will add videos and interviews with like-minded business leaders going forward.

Clear Path for Veterans – Supporting the Journey Home

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

As the war in the Middle East winds down and U.S. troops come home, there is anxiety on all sides. Veterans are concerned about making the transition – mentally, physically, and emotionally. They wonder if they have the right skills to get a job in the civilian world. They wonder if they can make ends meet and take care of their families. And most of all, they wonder if they will be accepted.
Civilians are concerned… Read More

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Thinking Bigger Interview

We were interviewed on Thinking Bigger’s Radio show by hostess, Kelley Scanlon. To listen to the interview, please click the play button below.… Read More

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Today’s Leading Women

 
Bonnie was interviewed on Today’s Leading Women radio show with hostess, Marie Grace Berg. To listen to the interview, please click the play button below.

http://www.barefootwinefounders.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Todays-Leading-Women.mp3
 … Read More

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Central Illinois Proud CBS 31 Interview

 
We were interviewed by Central Illinois Proud CBS 31 while we were speaking at Bradley University. To watch the interview, please click HERE.… Read More

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Thought Leader Life Interview

We were recently interviewed on Thought Leader Life with hosts, Mitchell Levy & Michael J Procopio. To watch the interview via YouTube, please click the play button below.… Read More

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Costco Connection Article April 2014

In Growing Barefoot Cellars into a national, brand, Costco members Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey learned many lessons from the school of hard knocks, detailed in their book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. To read the complete article, please read below. Click on the image to make it bigger.… Read More

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A Unique Approach to Entrepreneurship – Bradley University

THE OLD COLLEGE TRY WORKS!

At Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, it’s more than their approach to the study of entrepreneurship that is unique. For one thing, the school was founded by a woman, Lydia Moss Bradley, back in 1887, a time when women wouldn’t get the right to vote for another three decades! The ceiling for women wasn’t “glass” then, it was cast iron. Lydia herself was a real anomaly and pioneer as a female entrepreneur… Read More

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Bradley University

We recently spoke and were both honored recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker awards at Bradley University in Peoria, IL. To read an article about us written by Matt Hawkins, please check out  ”Wisdom from the Grapevine”
To watch the complete speaking video, please click the play button below.… Read More

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How to Teach Entrepreneurship – It’s the Wild West!

SALES, SALES, SALES - THE MISSING LINK

Schools and courses in entrepreneurship are popping up all over the country. Each school has a slightly different approach to teaching this relatively new class study. Some schools have a few specific courses, while others have full curriculums devoted to entrepreneurship.
This results in a wide variety of approaches about how to teach entrepreneurship. Some schools stress the structure and function of building… Read More

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How the Irish Got Barefoot

CORK, WINE, AND CONTAINER

Over one hundred years ago Michael’s grandfather, John Francis Houlihan, left his hometown of Limerick, Ireland, heading for the port city of Cork where he boarded a cattle steamer bound for America.  The only passage he could afford was above deck, so in order to stay warm he had to huddle near the smokestack. It was there that he met and fell in love with Nelly Donohue from Donegal. When they finally arrived at Ellis… Read More

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