Is Wine Truly the Best Medicine?

Open up a bottle and join Liz Brigham '04 for this week's episode of Hub & Spoke with Michelle Lim Warner '02, a co-founder and CEO of DCanter, a wine lifestyle and retail company. With a BA in medical humanities from Davidson and a Masters in Public Health from George Washington University, how did Michelle get from health policy to wine? Tune in to learn more about how Michelle found the entrepreneurial spark for her company from the center of Medicare and Medicaid, and see if you can live up to her the challenge she poses for all Davidson students, alums, and more.
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“What gives you fuel and fire to grow as a human being, as a person?” 

A Quick Overview

Bench, tree, lake. These were the qualifications Michelle Lim Warner required of her college. Luckily, Davidson had all three, so Michelle jumped in. Like many ambitious freshmen, Michelle came in with the intention of being pre-med, until the towering challenge of organic chemistry presented itself. A law and medicine ethics course introduced Michelle to the intersection of law and medicine. Michelle decided to drop the biology major and pre-med track, in favor of designing her own major through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies: Bioethics. 

Michelle wanted to make a big impact, improving the health, wellness, and care for broad groups of people, which meant not attending medical school, but instead diving into health care policy. After the blistering winds of Chicago, Michelle moved to DC working in small work settings to improve chronic care for Medicare and Medicaid recipients, advocating for the digitization of medical forms and patient forms. Michelle’s final job in the health industry was working for the centers for Medicare and Medicaid offices under the Obama administration. Through a provision creating a fund for an innovation hub in the health industry, Michelle learned about creating financial models, marketing, operations, and information technology, which sparked a love for creative entrepreneurship.   

After time spent in the Obama administration, it was time for a change. Michelle realized that the entrepreneurship side of her former jobs is what was driving her. Talking with her husband, the wine industry seemed to fit into their lives perfectly. Soon, Michelle and her husband had created DCanter, which brings innovation to the wine industry.

  • DCanter focuses on smaller wine producers, providing wines from off-the-beaten-path areas.
  • Not only that, but DCanter offers wine education classes for those interested in learning about wine and wine tasting without spending thorusands of dollars to go through a class.
  • Michelle and her team also created a personalized wine shopping experience, where a master sommelier will choose specific wines based on your taste preferences and budget, creating an individual experience for customers. 

Michelle has applied innovative and exciting ideas to her business, continuing the excitement that she felt when they first started their business. And that’s Michelle’s advice to students entering the workforce or Davidson alums: “Can you stick with something for five years and not get bored with it? Or, how can you make something you’re not excited about, exciting?” Challenge yourself to make it past the stage of something being shiny, bright, in order to understand it enough to know how to best improve it.

Open up a bottle and join Liz Brigham '04 for this week's episode of Hub & Spoke with Michelle Lim Warner '02, a co-founder and CEO of DCanter, a wine lifestyle and retail company. With a BA in medical humanities from Davidson and a Masters in Public Health from George Washington University, how did Michelle get from health policy to wine? Tune in to learn more about how Michelle found the entrepreneurial spark for her company from the center of Medicare and Medicaid, and see if you can live up to her the challenge she poses for all Davidson students, alums, and more.
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Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Davidson College