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Sakura Spotlight Series: Lauren Maines

Spotlight Series Q&A for Entrepreneurs

We’re pretty confident that being in the wine industry might be one of the most interesting careers around, and Lauren Maines of What’s Wine is Yours agrees. Wine wasn’t just a popular drink on Game of Thrones, it was extremely common even in biblical times. It is also easily one of the most profitable markets in the food and beverage industry and we’re excited to share with you just exactly what Lauren loves about this business.

Tell us a little bit about your business and what you do.

I am often asked how and why I got into the wine industry. Besides the fact that I love drinking wine, I have always been intrigued with the history, majesty and mystique of wine. Wine can be traced back over 8000 years to our ancient world. Very few things in our current time period can provide us with a direct connection to our ancient ancestors – even fewer that we can consume and put into our bodies. Every time you pop open a bottle and sip from that glass, you are experiencing more history than you can ever imagine!

I began “What’s Wine Is Yours” to emphasize wine appreciation by creating unforgettable and completely unique tasting events. How do I do that? I focus on history, stories, and personal experiences that captivate guests and offer newfound appreciation for the wine that is in your glass. Each tasting (public, private, or corporate) is completely unique to the host and event. Are you interested in a tasting designed around my favorite love story of all time between two grapes? How about a Champagne tasting that features the undisputed female champions of the Champagne industry? What about learning skills associated with blind tasting? The list of memorable options goes on.

I am also trained in the dramatic art of Sabrage! Sabrage is the elegant and renowned art of slicing off the top of a Champagne bottle with a sword. Nothing says, “WOW!” like opening a bottle of bubbles with a sword! I have the distinct privilege of traveling the region and bringing this ceremonial art to ALL celebrations! My heart is overjoyed when I have the opportunity to celebrate an engagement, toast a Bride and Groom at their wedding reception, commemorate a milestone celebration, or perform this dramatic ceremony at a dinner party.

What made you aspire to be an entrepreneur? 

I caught the “entrepreneurial bug” early in my professional life. I have always had the desire to create and establish my own identity. Establishing my own tasting business has given me the freedom to share my passion and have creative freedom while doing so.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before starting your own business?

I wish I would have known the importance of not comparing myself and my business to others out there. Two quotes helped me to get out of that rut: “Try not to get lost in comparing yourself to others. Discover your gifts and let them shine” and “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”

What has been the most successful avenue for building and growing your brand/business (social media, ads, word of mouth, referrals, etc.)?

My business is centered around unique tasting experiences that bring people together with the goal of creating irreplaceable memories. The most successful avenue for building, “What’s Wine Is Yours” has always been (and will always be) personal referrals. I consider it a true honor to be invited into someone’s home, wedding, team building event, etc. to share in their celebration. I know I am successful in my quest to make memories when I am invited to be a part of a celebration from a former guest.

I also like to have fun with social media! I host, “Happy Champagne Friday” videos on my social media accounts! These Friday videos celebrate the beauty of Champagne and Sparkling Wines from around the world. Tune in to share in the fun and celebration!

What are the aspects of your business that you enjoy the most?

I have a passion for creating memories that last a lifetime and I use wine as the vessel. Wine has a unique ability to bring people together and unite us on a level that is greater than we can fathom. How many times have you shared a bottle of Rosé with a girlfriend on a summer night and found yourself chatting about life into the wee hours of the morning? How many times have you celebrate accomplishments with a bottle of Champagne and toasted to continued success and happiness? These are cherished memories that hold a special place in our hearts and they are often shared over a bottle (or more) of wine. The opportunity to make memories that last a lifetime through customized tasting experiences or through Sabrage Ceremonies, is one of my greatest joys in life and one that I do not take for granted. My heart is overjoyed when I hear that my passion can create memories that live on in the lives of others.

What do you love doing in your free time to refuel and have fun?

My husband and son are my biggest supporters and we love spending time camping, cooking, traveling and anything active outdoors!