Today we’d like to introduce you to Larissa Dubose.
Larissa, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have been in the Wine & Spirits Industry for over ten years, with a primary focus on the Sales & Distribution side of the business for the last nine. In 2017, I dialed into the lack of people of color I saw, particularly within the wine industry. I have been “the only one” in the room for most of my career. Not only is that not a reflection of the world we live in, in my opinion, but it’s also very short-sighted. It was then that I decided to make what I do in the business more visible while sharing the wine knowledge that I had acquired over the years through my passion project The Lotus & The Vines. It became my mission to help my friends, colleagues, and anyone that would listen understand the importance of the soft skill of wine knowledge & etiquette, as well as the need for increased diversity within the wine industry.
The Lotus & The Vines, affectionately referenced as TLTV, is a Wine Education & Lifestyle Brand dedicated to redefining wine culture by bridging the gap from wine novice to connoisseur. At TLTV, we believe that wine knowledge opens doors to an amazing array of experiences that are unlike any other. Wine is a passport to almost anywhere in the world! It’s one of the few things that can literally transport you back in time. Whether you reference vintages, or cherished memories with Family, Friends, & Colleagues, wine can be that common denominator, so why not have fun learning about it?! That’s why I’m here!
Has it been a smooth road?
The road to building The Lotus & The Vines has been challenging, but fulfilling! It has been a blessing to see the things I spoke about with friends and colleagues come to fruition in the last two years. The greatest challenge was the pressure I put on myself to achieve Certified Sommelier, & WSET 3 within a year with a Husband, young Daughter, and full-time career. It was important to me for my credibility to speak for itself as I stepped out with this new venture. I became a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators in 2015, but I hadn’t kept up with my studies, so I knew I had to step it up. As a result, most of 2018 was spent with my nose in a book or wine glass. If I could do it all over again, I would have tapped into the amazing Wine community in Atlanta way sooner. I got in my own way, and let my insecurities of not knowing enough keep me from getting the help I needed, and it made my process longer than it needed to be.
I absolutely LOVE this industry, which is why I want to share it with everyone! I’ve been able to go to amazing places, and have amazing experiences because of my career in wine. For young women looking to get in the wine industry, my advice is to research what side of the business you’d like to get involved in (Retail, Restaurant, Sales & Distribution, Wine Writer, Vineyard Management, Wine Making, to name a few), and put yourself in a position to go after it. Learn as much as you can, and remain consistent.
We’d love to hear more about The Lotus & The Vines.
Wine can be perceived as stuffy and uninviting. My role is to make wine knowledge approachable, applicable to one’s day to day, and fun! My most consistent campaign has been #WineClueWednesday which can be followed on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Every Wednesday, I share a 1-minute video discussing a new wine club. Remaining consistent in this campaign has built an arsenal of over 100 different wine clues on Instagram so far! It was because of this campaign that I was given the opportunity to Co-Executive Produce a 6 Episode Digital Series called Wine Etiquette 101 for Aspire TV’s digital platform in 2018.
Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
My favorite App is The Secret App. I read it every morning, and it helps me set my day with intention. My favorite Wine podcasts at the moment are The Color of Wine by Sukari Bowman, and Wine & Hip Hop by Jermaine Stone. I get daily Wine & Industry news with Wine Business Monthly’s Daily News email to keep me up to date with current trends in the business.
- Website: www.TheLotusAndTheVines.com
- Email: Info@TheLotusAndTheVines.com
- Instagram: @lotusvinewine
- Facebook: @lotusvinewine
- Twitter: @lotusvinewine
Krys Alex Photography @krysalex