We have all been there. Wanting to say the phrase, “I quit” with a sound plan B, an escape plan to rid ourselves of bosses and a corporate structures hemming us in, keeping us from building real wealth… as we ask, “mother, may I?” for one lousy day off.
Meet Ashanti Middleton, Tyshemia Ladson and Jasmine Dunn. In Discovery’s new series I Quit, these three women share their own story of charting a pathway to business ownership, with one of their passions—wine.
This new series includes these lifelong friends who wanted to explore the world of wine branding, and join others in telling their story. No risks net no rewards, but these people all share the same entrepreneurial spirit and are going for it.
About I Quit
The original series on Discovery follows six sets of hopeful entrepreneurs as they leave their steady incomes and retirement plans behind, going all in on their dreams of launching their own businesses. This new series, conceived by Shopify Studios and Wheelhouse Entertainment’s Spoke Studios chronicles a year in the lives of these nascent business owners who really did quit their day jobs to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.
For Discovery, Gretchen Morning is the executive producer and Jessica Mollo and Kerresha Musgrove are associate producers.
Launching a business is equal parts planning and gamble, where second guessing yourself and market uncertainty can hinder your chance for success.
This Discovery series focuses on these new entrepreneurs from six businesses who risk it all when they give up their steady 9-to-5 jobs to follow their passions in a life-changing journey after they really said “I quit.”
The business owners will be self-documenting, as viewers will experience the high intensity, pressing deadlines and extreme decision-making that rule in these daunting endeavors where there are no safety nets.
What the entrepreneurs don’t know is that at the end of the year, the most promising business will receive $100,000 to fuel their growth.
Discovery asks: “Can the new business owners turn up the heat, or will they go broke?”
Mentors? Why yes!
Helping with advice and guidance are Harley Finkelstein, COO of Shopify, the global commerce platform powering more than 1 million businesses around the world; Debbie Sterling, CEO of the award-winning children’s multimedia company, GoldieBlox; and Tricia Clarke-Stone, entrepreneur, author, innovative marketer and co-founder/CEO of the award-winning creative and tech agency, WP Narrative.
The players who quit
Best friends and dads from Utah, Marcus and Chris, have 10 kids between them and put everything on the line to launch an outdoor cooler company, relying heavily on their families and each other as they face market issues from the get-go.
New Jersey couple Alex and Sibrena deal with financial security after buying a semi-pro soccer team.
A daughter of a Brazilian immigrant, Jen takes the chance her father never had – leaving her executive position on Wall Street to start a full-time business with her husband Jesse, making an addictive and unctuous Brazilian truffle, ‘brigadeiros.’
Newlyweds Matteo and Julie are trying to launch a “versatile attire” company. Mom and Dad-preneurs Mike and Gloria are building a BBQ sauce business.
But TV Shows Ace got to ask best friends Ashanti, Jasmine and Tyshemia via email about their new wine brand Esrever.
TV Shows Ace interview
Ashanti, Jasmine and Tyshemia are three best friends who Discovery says in a press release “see underrepresentation in an industry as a major opportunity as they launch a new wine specifically marketed to African American women, Esrever Wines.”
Part of their story includes landing a spot at a wine festival is a primo opportunity but requires more of an investment.
Entrepreneurs Ashanti Middleton, Tyshemia Ladson and Jasmine Dunn answered some questions via email we had about their wine:
Where are you all from?
Ashanti Middleton, Tyshemia Ladson and Jasmine Dunn: The three of us are from Queens, New York. Born and raised.
How did you all find each other to go into business?
Ashanti Middleton, Tyshemia Ladson and Jasmine Dunn: We have been friends for over 25 years. We grew up together and have been best friends and sisters ever since. We’ve indulged in other businesses before and are entrepreneurs by heart.
What is the name of your wineries and where do you produce?
Ashanti Middleton, Tyshemia Ladson and Jasmine Dunn: The vineyard that produces our wine is located in Lodi California, in the San Joaquin valley of Northern California.
What are the varieties of your wines?
Ashanti Middleton, Tyshemia Ladson and Jasmine Dunn: Our selection of wine consists of a sparkling white wine comprised of Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. We are also getting ready to launch our very first Muscat Canelli, which is 100% Moscato with a hint of orange zest.
What was it about being a vintner that called you away from your other careers?
Ashanti Middleton, Tyshemia Ladson and Jasmine Dunn: We aren’t not vintners, as we do not grow our own grapes. We are currently founders of a wine brand.
Owning our own wine brand was something that was in the making for the past nine years. We wanted to shake things up a bit in the wine industry and show the younger generation that you don’t have to always be traditional when it comes to wine.
Yes, you can mix different varietals that have never really been blended before. Our goal is to be as non traditional as possible.
Why – in your estimation and opinion – does wine need to be marketed by race?
Ashanti Middleton, Tyshemia Ladson and Jasmine Dunn: We actually feel like wine doesn’t need to be marketed by race. Race doesn’t change how wine tastes, how it makes you feel.
Unfortunately wine for the most part is marketed by race due to the climate that we live in, but we are here to hopefully change that one day and get everyone who loves wine to simply do that, love wine. Period.
I Quit premieres Tuesday, August 18 at 10:00 PM ET/PT on Discovery Channel.
*The subsequent weeks will be premiering at 9:00 PM ET/PT on Discovery Channel. In addition to watching the show on Discovery, viewers can stream I QUIT by downloading the Discovery GO app. Viewers can join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #IQuit and follow Discovery on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest updates.