Nichelle, Nicole and I first met in 2019 when I got a call from a friend that they were looking for help to re-launch their brand. Previously, the Guilty Grape was a cocktail subscription box service with an event arm but they wanted to make the hard pivot into wine. Here’s the kicker - they wanted to launch in 38 days.
When I say relaunch I mean all of the following:
- New logos, colors, fonts, etc.
- Label design
- Completely new website
- Photography and Videography
- Press Releases
The list goes on and on. At the time, I looked around - sheltered in place - and realized that I had nothing to lose. So my crazy ass said yes. I had a background in marketing, team building wine, and launching brands. Perfect combination.
To know the twins is to love them. Their two beautiful black sisters from Chicago, Illinois with a passion for making people smile and belly laugh. Most of our calls were me saying “focus people” as our team was in stitches, out of camera frame laughing and enjoying themselves.
The twins were a catalyst that got us through the pandemic - of that, I’m sure.
Our bond was cemented with late nights, figuring out our way through compliance and how to get their story out. Working with our writers and videographers to produce these breathtaking works of art now seen on Ellen and Cosmopolitan magazine.
We really got their brand out there doing the damn thing - then they didn’t need me as much any more. They learned about winemaking, how to build a brand, run a website, and the small details that make a business what it is.
One day in my kitchen, I was talking to my boyfriend about what we had built and he checked in with me (just like my best friend’s Emily and Janet had the same week before) and said “why are you scared to do this for yourself”. It had been my secret-not-so-secret dream to own my own wine brand, then winery to produce the wine and really have a say in how things get done, what’s in the wine, how we market and brand ourselves. I was helping the twins make their dreams come true but maybe it was time I did it for myself?
After about 2 weeks of internal planning and a phone call with my parents; I decided I was going to do it. I was going to start my own winery and get out of the passenger seat. So I called the twins and told them - they lost their minds! They were so FREAKING excited for me and the collaborations, and the comradery. We were going to build a whole community of black owned wineries and women in wine - together.
The support was amazing. I took the biggest sigh and they said “Girl, we already knew. You knew WAY too much about this business for someone who’s just dabbling. We were just waiting for you to say it out loud.”
We’ve been through so much together - really hard struggles as business owners, losses as friends and celebrations as women chasing our dreams. We’ve had a lot of hard conversations and easier wins we didn’t expect! It’s truly a sisterhood between the three of us then we got to invite Macie into the party and she fits right in.
We’re all very ambitious and don’t understand why collaboration is hard for most people. We literally LOVE it. The story may have started out with just one wine brand but quickly became a sisterhood of winemakers, brand owners, sommeliers, and more.
Here’s why this collaboration is so special to us:
- Mom Juice Wine
- Guilty Grape Glassware
You get to bring the celebration to our wine through the Guilty Grapes beautiful new glassware! Not only are you supporting TWO black-female owned businesses but you're supporting a message that community is better than competition.
We love wine-ing together and we hope you love what we made together as well.