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Redefining Luxury: BOXT Founder Sarah Puil Delivers Sustainable Boxed Wine in Austin Texas

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

Luxury might not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of boxed wine, but BOXT founder Sarah Puil changed that by delivering sustainable, award-winning boxed wine, handcrafted at their Napa winery and delivered directly to your door.

Born in Houston, Texas, Sarah is the fourth of five children. Her father was in the hotel business, so she grew up traveling, moving from property to property. “With that many kids, there was always someone to play with - but interesting to reflect now, how just a few years apart in our ages gave us different perspectives on our experiences and the places we lived.” She spent a lot of time at the hotels, after school, and over the summers, wanting to spend as much time near her dad as she could. “I have lots of memories of sitting outside his office after school or when he was getting ready to head home, and I would listen in on his conversations - almost always he was wrapping his day with the head of Human Resources as they sorted through all of the elements of running the hotel and the talent required to make that happen.” Looking back through the lens of now running her own business, she said the most critical component of what she does on a daily basis is related to developing, encouraging, celebrating, hiring, and collaborating with the team.

“The people are everything, if I can win the hearts of our team, they will win the hearts of our customers.”

Her love of wine began in her early twenties when she traveled with her Dad on a business trip to Chile. They were invited to Vina Santa Rita, where she fell in love with the vineyard, and as she listened to the winemaker tell stories about the vineyard and the ancient carménère grape — she was hooked. She’d discovered the art of winemaking and it became one of the great loves of her life. “Let me tell you, he just opened up a whole new world to me, that I just had to know more about. I’ve been learning about wine ever since; everywhere I travel, I visit wineries, vineyards, and talk to winemakers.” The inspiration for BOXT itself struck while sitting in a cafe in Paris with her husband. “I loved how easy it was to get a delicious house wine all over Europe, but whenever I tried to find one in the States, the experience just underwhelmed and frustrated me.” Living by the personal mantra: Keep it simple, she continued to travel, seeking out wines in Italy, France, and Spain, taking inspiration from the simplicity and deliciousness of European house wines.

Before creating BOXT, Sarah ran global strategic partnerships for Apollo Education Group and served as Senior Vice president of Product Development at Strayer Education. In 2019, she was named Next Coast Ventures’ Entrepreneur in Residence. After years of working as an Executive in higher education, Sarah was invited to be an entrepreneur in residence at Next Coast Ventures in Austin, Texas. During her time with them,

…she was ideating across a bunch of EDTech and new media ideas and was asked to think about where her interests, experience, and aptitude all intersected AND if she had ever had an idea, however small, that she wished she had done something with. She remembered the idea she’d had in Paris, and her mentors at Next Coast Ventures encouraged her to explore it – and BOXT was born.

While bringing her vision to life, she set the bar exceedingly high when it came to sourcing, crafting, and delivering her wine. They started shipping wine in October 2020.

When asked about the obstacles she has overcome while being a business owner, Sarah acknowledged that creating a company from scratch is always going to bring challenges and obstacles, but she sees them as ways to learn and grow and do better and subscribes to a “fail fast and iterate” process. “There are no mistakes, just things you learn - because sometimes you just don't know how it will work until you do a thing. Everything is hard when it's new until one day, you've done it enough times, learned enough, and tweaked it enough that it's not hard anymore. Every micro moment informs our path to growth. Every day there is something. The things that seemed insurmountable when I started BOXT, now seem so small. I really don’t look at things as obstacles, but rather as opportunities to create forward motion and puzzles that need to get solved. When I orient myself towards “issues” looking like “opportunities” I find it easier to keep it simple and discover the solutions in front of me. Every day I am problem-solving, that's the nature of the job, some feel big, some feel small – but they are all pieces of building a sustainable growing business.” While looking towards the future, she said that she’s wholly focused on building a growing business, developing their team, and prioritizing what matters most – the people in her life. This includes ensuring her daughter is supported, loved, well-educated, and open to life’s possibilities, growing the friendship between her and her husband as they navigate all of life’s changes, and continuing to cultivate deep and meaningful relationships with her friends and colleagues. “I want to make sure their personal and professional growth goals are being supported by me.”

With an environment-first ethos and a mission to reduce the carbon footprint of the wine industry, they source their wines sustainably, created the first-ever 100% compostable and refillable boxed wine, and even plant a tree for every BOXT they make. To learn more about how BOXT is reimagining how we all enjoy a glass of fine wine at home, visit their website.


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