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.

NewsChannel 9 WSYR “Bridge Street” TV Interview

Our Syracuse trip is starting off with a BANG! We are happy to announce that we will be interviewed on News Channel 9′s “Bridge Street” Segment. To view the interview, please click HERE… Read More

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Get the Butts off our Beaches!


There is nothing more relaxing than a long walk barefoot down the beach. But a pristine beach has become a rarity, and now we are creating clean beaches more often than finding them. We have personally participated in a multitude of beach clean-ups. Some were organized by non-profits like the Surfrider Foundation and, in the San Francisco Bay Area where we live, Save the Bay. Others were co-sponsored by socially-minded… Read More

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Happy Birthday Barefoot!


Twenty-seven years ago, Barefoot Wines were bottled for the first time. But how the wine found its way to the bottling line was a fluke in itself. A farmer wasn’t getting paid for several years for his grapes and his friends went to bat for him to see how much they could collect. It wasn’t easy. The winery owing for the grapes had no money and was in bankruptcy. It was controlled by the secured creditors (other farmers who… Read More

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Why Being an Outsider and Undercapitalized can be Your Strongest Assets


Sometimes what you don’t have can be a true blessing. When we speak to aspiring entrepreneurs and students hoping to start their own businesses, they often tell us that they are afraid of being under capitalized and not knowing enough about their industry.
They have been taught that in order to start a new business, they need to write a detailed business plan and get it financed. They have been encouraged to stay in an… Read More

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How to Succeed in the Wine Business Without Really Knowing a Damn Thing About It

How to Succeed in the Wine Business Without Really Knowing a Damn Thing About It 
Written by Jordan Wright of Whisk and Quill 
Last month I spoke with Barefoot Wines founder Michael Houlihan about his upcoming book The Barefoot Spirit (Evolve Publishing – May 2013).  Michael, who has been in the wine industry for nearly 30 years along with his life and business partner Bonnie Harvey, created the… Read More

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Speaking Trip in The Lone Star State!

We are very excited to be spending time in the great state of Texas.
We will be speaking in the Dallas area at The University Texas at Arlington, The University of Texas at Dallas, The Dallas Chamber of Commerce, and MORE!
Please check out our event calendar for dates and times. We look forward to seeing our friends there!… Read More

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“Quick kid, make up your mind!”


High school graduation is almost here and Career Days are upon us. This is when young people are expected to focus on college, career, and beyond.
It seems like parents, relatives and other adults are always asking young people, “What are you going to do when you graduate?” This of course means, “Are you going to college?” and if so, “Where are you going? What will you major in? What will be your profession?”… Read More

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The Barefoot Spirit is a Strong One; Interview with Michael Houlihan

Michael Luchies, Yahoo! Contributor Network
Mar 11, 2013
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey are two of the nicest people I have had the pleasure of talking with, and they just so happen to be incredibly successful and world renowned entrepreneurs. Michael and Bonnie founded and grew the Barefoot Wine brand, which is now the #1 wine brand in the US and one of the best selling and most recognizable wine brands in the world.

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Santa Barbara News-Press Article on Michael Houlihan

March 7, 2013 5:59 AM
When he returns to Santa Barbara for a speaking engagement this week, Barefoot Cellars co-founder Michael Houlihan will be treading familiar territory.
He attended City College 1965-67 and it was here, in the early stages of Barefoot, that Mr. Houlihan, who founded the brand with partner Bonnie Harvey, pounded the pavement making the sales.
Mr.… Read More

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Jim Moriarty of The Surfrider Foundation Interviews Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey

On February 22, Michael and Bonnie were honored to be interviewed by the legendary Jim Moriarty of The Surfrider Foundation. To read the article and listen to the podcast, please click HERE.
Also, if you use iTunes, please click HERE for Jim’s iTunes podcasts… Read More

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