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Fashion with a Splash of Caring

March 27, 2019 3 min read

Fashion with a Splash of Caring

PortoVino Cares … might sound a little Cliche, but when Gunnar and I brainstormed what PortoVino would look like two years ago, we decided we wanted to develop a brand that really CARES; Cares about our customers, about making an amazing product, about our team and about making a difference in our world!


Gunnar and I are the owners of PortoVino. We met a loooong time ago but knew we were soul mates from the moment we met at a grad school party, both trying to refill our drinks at an empty keg. I missed out on the extra beer but ended up finding a hubby :)  We both love traveling, learning about other cultures and enjoy adventure. After working in Corporate America for a while, and before starting our family, we strapped backpacks on and embarked on a lifetime adventure - traveling around the world, mostly developing countries for 18 months.   

 

PortoVino Creators at Mount Everest

Marisa China & Gunnar Hammerbeck - View of Mt Everest, Nepal


From scuba diving in Central America, to climbing to see Mt Everest in Nepal, to great white shark cage diving in Africa, we did all sorts of amazing things, but we were most touched by the people we met along our journeys. We saw so much happiness and close family connection but sadly also poverty and hunger.  We had hungry children stop us on the streets to ask if they could have our half finished water bottles, or watched as they gathered on the cold ground around a smoldering fire from the night before and popped corn kernels for breakfast. Those memories will remain with us forever. When we returned to the US, we had a whole new appreciation for all the things we take for granted here.  We knew we wanted to do something to help make a difference in the world.

 

PortoVino drink purse creators with kids in Indonesia

Marisa China & Gunnar Hammerbeck with a group of friendly kids in Indonesia


Years later, I took my son to a meal packing event at Feed My Starving Children (FMSC).  We packed meals and saw the stories of children who were literally dying of starvation and then very quickly transformed by the very meals we had packed.  It took me back to those days in my travels when we saw hungry children and we decided that we would use Feed My Starving Children to help the cause to end starvation and make a difference in our world. Without food you have little hope to be able to learn, play, help or be productive in any way.

 

Feed My Starving Children - PortoVino Cares!Children being nourished by Feed My Starving Children’s Manna Pack - FMSC Image


By this point, we had an established an import business, designing and reselling accessories for wine lovers and we decided we would allocate a portion of our sales to making a difference.  When we sold that business and started PortoVino we made PortoVino CARES a part of our cultural DNA! Today we have a small but amazing team of people who all share the same passion for making a difference and we all CARE!  We love our PortoVino Customers as they make up our PortoVino family. We want to make sure our customers love our PortoVino Purses. We focus on design and quality to make sure our customers feel fashionable, whether going to the beach or out on the town, but what we love most about them is that they are designed to create connections and make people happy!  Let’s face it, having a glass of wine is nice, but when we share it with friends, it connects us with others and helps create memories.


We are on a quest to share a message of Caring and Happiness.  Our blogs are going to start touching on things that make our customers happy - whether it be gratitude, empowering thoughts, exercise, the next travel hot spot, great recipes, or great bottles of wine, stay tuned for your weekly snippet.  So share with us what makes you happy and we will try to incorporate it in our blog or Insta-stories.


Cheers!


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