Member Spotlight: India Hynes
Orange County, CA - January 29 - Creative innovator with an entrepreneurial spirit, India Hynes recently sold her premium wine-cooling cabinet and storage solutions company, Vinotemp Corporation to The Legacy Companies. During her time as President and CEO of Vinotemp, Hynes led the company to international success, distinguishing itself as a first-class brand, and will remain a part of the company for a few years to focus on the artistic side of designing the products.
Based on her keen eye for aesthetics, Hynes originally began her career in the marketing world as a product designer and founded a successful gift basket business. She was also working part-time for her father’s company Vinotemp, but upon her father falling ill she became the Chief Executive Officer. With her marketing mind and self-proclaimed workaholic lifestyle, Hynes directed the company in creative avenues and gave the brand its unique edge.
This industrious aspect of Hynes’s personality is what also drove her passion for activism in local, conservative politics. While it originated from her upbringing and career, it blossomed when she sought to put her values into action.
“My husband said, ‘You’re a workaholic and you have absolutely no other interests but work,’” Hynes began, recalling the moment that she and her husband, Anthony, started to get their footing in political events and rallies. “At a ‘Women for Trump’ Rally back in 2016, my girlfriend from Pasadena, who belonged to the L.A. Lincoln Club asked if I would host a tea at my house for ‘Women for Trump’ and maybe invite some local, Laguna Beach neighbors. I questioned, ‘Gosh, are there even people from Laguna Beach that are Trump-supporters? I would love that!’”
Hynes took up a leadership role in the Greater Laguna Beach GOP (GLBGOP), created her social media community “Right Side of Nextdoor” in the Nextdoor app, and helped spearhead Cocktails with Conservatives local events.
During this time, Hynes became well-acquainted with Lincoln Club of Orange County members living in Laguna Beach. This led to her feeling inspired to join, but simply being a donor to the club did not satisfy the political itch for Hynes: she also has the spirit of a doer.
“When I first moved to Orange County, before the Trump-era, I was on Nextdoor seeing people posting things that were not logical at all against differing viewpoints but a few of us were supporting each other,” Hynes reminisced, taking note of the ideological divides that fueled debates on social media and networking platforms like the City’s local ordinances to make illegal the use and/or sale of cigars, kites, and even foie gras.
“I decided to have a party: a party of ‘no’. You could bring cigars, kites, and foie gras!” explained Hynes. Upon throwing this party, she met fellow Laguna Beach neighbors who were fed up with overbearing, illogical rules and regulations. “Next thing you know, we’re all great friends and even traveling together.”
While she continued her activism with the Lincoln Club of Orange County, GLBGOP, and “Right Side of Nextdoor”, Hynes was simultaneously scaling her business. Vinotemp outgrew facility space they had been using in Compton and then expanded to Long Beach, Sonoma, Irvine, and even Henderson, Nevada. A large, shuttered KMart in Henderson needed gentrification, according to Hynes, so Vinotemp bought the 8 acres as a retail and distribution center and encouraged additional tenants to bring business to the area.
“Well, COVID happened but we [the Henderson facility] remained open. We did really well while in California it was a disaster,” explained Hynes, taking note of the fact that with stay-at-home orders, consumers were drinking more at home and consequently needed quality alcohol storage solutions.
“Our business boomed and we were doing very well with some new brands that we had just put out to market,” Hynes stated. For Vinotemp, which had just grown significantly larger, the pandemic timing had its silver lining.
Hynes has done business in many states from Nevada to New York, but has remained in California despite the harsh business environment. She explained that fighting hard on the ground for her community through her political spirit is her "cup of tea". During her time working in New York, she started a “Right Side of Nextdoor” group which grew to 400 members but she chose to pass the baton due to spending more of her time in California.
“You have so many conservatives who just want an outlet to go sit and talk to one another,” said Hynes on the success of community outreach projects like Cocktails with Conservatives or “Right Side of Nextdoor”. “I was also the team captain in Laguna Beach for a similar program which Kelly Ernby put together prior to her passing to engage the conservative community. She was doing a great job and there’s a lot of crossover with the Lincoln Club.”
For Hynes, a “nose to the grindstone” mentality spans not only her business philosophy but also her political philosophy. She expanded her depth of involvement in politics when she joined the Lincoln Club and was encouraged to find committees within her own town to participate in. Hynes explained that this “excellent advice to share with future generations of leaders” helped her become acclimated with the town and feel comfortable putting roots down.