Updated: Apr 22, 2020
We talked to female entrepreneur and women's rights ambassador Megan Capriccio on how she built a career with her values at the forefront.
Growing up in Huntington Beach, California with her two parents and brothers, Megan Capriccio has always been taught to give it her all. Although Megan admits, “I was annoyed that everyone else in my small beach town seemed to be taking life as it came, while I was expected to give a 110% into everything”; today, she knows that learning such a trait early on has helped her become the kind of person and entrepreneur she is today.
Although she didn’t fully understand it as a young girl, it occurred to Megan quite early in her life that women had to fight for equality. As she grew up, that fight for women’s rights stayed with her and turned into a career. Today, Megan lives in Sydney and has two major projects occupying her day to day life: Vikera Tequila and the FemTech Collective. She is—respectively, co-Founder/CPO and Global Ambassador and is majorly involved in helping women everywhere through her work.
We talked to Megan about what she does and how she came to be the female entrepreneur and socially conscious woman she is today. As she is fully involved in two projects we first talked to her about Vikera Tequila, an ultra-premium tequila brand that supports, empowers and celebrates women in the wine and spirits industry by contributing 15% of its proceeds to philanthropy efforts that support women’s education and careers.
Honne: Can you tell us about Vikera Tequila and how you started working on it?
Megan Capriccio: My brother, father, and I started working on Vikera Tequila in 2014. We took our time getting it to market. We wanted to ensure our values were embedded in all our business decisions. It takes a bit more time, but allowed us to create a product that represents our mission to “sip for a purpose”.
H: Why did you decide to mix your business and your values to create Vikera? Which came first?
MC: There wouldn’t have been Vikera Tequila without the values and giving component. It’s very important that our business is value-driven and it has not only laid the foundation for how we do business but it has become our motivating force to ensure the brand succeeds. We feel we are working for something bigger than ourselves, bigger than just a tequila product, and for something that strives for long-lasting change in the industry.
H: Specifically as a female entrepreneur, have you faced any obstacles since starting Vikera Tequila?
MC: Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. Mostly it’s quite isolating. You’re trying to solve a big problem on a limited budget, and it’s all on you and your team. There’s no larger entity to fall back on. Tag on the daily stresses, annoyances, and pressure of being a woman and damn do you have quite the overwhelming combination.
The most effective solution I’ve found for this is to trust myself and to trust my team. There are going to be many moments when I feel uncomfortable, not good enough, or that I’m failing, but it’s always followed by a cycle of pride in my work and knowing that my team and I are building something bigger than ourselves without a safety net.
We then talked about Megan’s role at the FemTech Collective, a platform connecting innovators in a female-focused health and technology space through unique and impactful events, media, and online communication. Megan started as a Global Ambassador for FemTech in June 2019, a position in which her mission is to grow the community in any way she can. Megan has always loved being involved with projects, companies, or initiatives that seek to make a greater impact. In her words: “There’s something that draws me to big-picture goals”.
H: What made you want to get involved with FemTech?
MC: I just want women to have control over their bodies, and I believe technology can grant us the power to do so. Technology and innovation can change how we interact with the world, and FemTech specifically gives women the agency to take control of their health, bodies, and ultimately their lives. Because of this, my involvement with FemTech was inevitable.
H: What are your duties?
MC: I meet with founders a few times a week, connect them with resources, consult with and coach them on business development, strategy, product management, and entrepreneurship. Being an entrepreneur is hard work, but a female entrepreneur trying to solve problems that affect women’s health is a particularly challenging role. Ultimately, I want to see FemTech companies thrive. We’re all working towards a common goal and working collaboratively as a community as well as lending a hand where we can, allows for the community as a whole to succeed.
H: If we put all your missions together, ultimately, what is the goal?
MC: Ultimately my passion for helping people is the common thread. I soon realized that I couldn’t help everyone and my skills and interests were best suited for supporting, empowering, celebrating, and lifting up women. I think the community and assistance women offer is unlike any other, and I’m glad to not only be a part of many of these women communities but to also have a role in building them.
At the end of the day, we wanted to know how Megan connected her passion for helping others and her feminist convictions to her work.
H: When did you start being interested in women's rights?
MC: Being the middle child with two brothers, I think I always was fighting for something. Maybe it was for space or representation or just being allowed to play hockey with the neighborhood boys, but I always felt I had to prove myself in some respect.
There was a pretty defining moment when I was about 10 which was the Women’s World Cup final in Los Angeles. When the American team won the achievement was overshadowed by Brandi Chastain’s victory dance (if you don’t remember, she took off her jersey in a moment of celebration). I wasn’t able to verbalize it or fully understand it, but all I knew was that it made me uncomfortable that a successful woman was so strictly criticized for showing her sports bra after a scoreless game, extra time, and penalty kicks in 100-degree heat. All I knew was that it was something I was willing to fight for.
H: What was the thought process behind turning your feminist convictions into a career?
MC: I think the big secret was that there wasn’t much of a thought process. My feminist convictions were at the sideline at first but when I began to put them front and center, opportunities started unfolding more naturally.
H: What would you tell someone who would like to get involved in the women’s rights movement but doesn’t know where to begin?
MC: You have to start small and that’s with any activist movement. You yourself can’t fix the world’s biggest problems, but you damn well can contribute to the big picture change and that’s a satisfying feeling. With women’s right’s more specifically, there are so many things individuals can do and they are all admirable in their own right. But in my opinion, just please vote. With a vote, you’re saying, “I believe the world can and should look a particular way, and I want to realize it.”
H: What would be your advice to young female entrepreneurs?
MC: Establishing grit is one of the most emotionally, physically, and mentally treacherous processes you’ll endure, but all you have to do is keep grinding away at what you’re passionate about and keep moving forward. It never really gets easier, but you’ll get better.