Krista Scruggs is changing the landscape of the winemaking industry
Running a business

Krista Scruggs is changing the landscape of the winemaking industry

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the stories of the amazing women in small business that are conquering male-dominated industries and working to #breakthebias. 

Name: Krista Scruggs

Location: Isle La Motte, VT

Business: ZAFA Wines

What does your business do? 

We farm and ferment fruit into sparkling wine. 

Why did you decide to start your own business? How did you get started? 

I decided to start ZAFA because Black Americans represent only 1.4% of the nation's farm owners and I wanted to change that. I started by seeking out opportunities to learn from grape growers and winemakers. 

What is the biggest lesson you learned in the first year? 

There is more to starting and running a business than just being ambitious and creative.

What was the most surprising thing about becoming a business owner? 

At this point, nothing surprises me anymore.

What is an aspect of running a business that you needed to learn more about when you started? How did you learn about it?

Time management, the power of “No,” managing employees and finances…I’m still learning about all of those aspects! I continue to learn and grow by turning inward to myself and committing to growth, and outward to advisors and listening and receiving feedback from those I value around me.

How does running your own business make you feel?

To quote Uncle Ben from Spiderman: “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

What are some of the challenges you’ve overcome or are working to overcome as a business owner? 

Work-life-mental health balance is what I have been working on and will continue to strive to have as a human and business owner. 

What are your proudest moments? 

My proudest moments have been when I can recognize that I have applied what I learned from a previous failure or mistake.

What are the next big plans you have for your business?

Growing into our potential.

What are three things that you feel have contributed to your success as a business owner? 

My failures, all the humans in my life that believe in me and don’t believe in me, and my creativity.

quote image
Fight for your vision of what you want to be and see in this industry.

What challenges do you feel are unique to female small business owners? 

I feel we face the same challenges in day-to-day life as we do everyday as business owners. If anything, those challenges are just heightened as we navigate our pursuits.

What is it like working in an industry that some might see as traditionally male-dominated? Have you come up against any bias? 

Working in a male-dominated industry presents the same bias that I face in day-to-day life. Because it’s systemic. 

Is there anything you want other women to know about working in your industry?

Fight for your vision of what you want to be and see in this industry, and if you change your mind, that’s OK too!

What advice would you give to other women starting their own business? 

Don’t give up!

Krista Scruggs of ZAFA Wines

When you’re having a tough day, who or what inspires you to keep going? 

I inspire myself to keep going. I show myself grace and also give myself “flowers” cause no one knows more than me how hard I’ve worked to be where I’m at and where I deserve to be.

How can female business owners support one another and their community? 

Showing up and showing grace.

What’s your “power song” and why? (A song that pumps you up and makes you feel like you can take on anything).

“DNA” by Kendrick Lamar

Is there anything we didn’t ask that you were hoping we’d ask? 

My favorite color?....It's red!

To learn more about ZAFA Wines and support the business, visit their website or check out their adventures on Instagram.


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