Meet Chrishon Lampley, wine enthusiast, skillful vintner, and creator of her fantastic brand Love Corkscrew. A part from her fine wines and work with local Chicago organizations, she is also a unique powerhouse in her industry. Chrishon represents 1% of African American woman in a male dominated industry. Check out what keeps this inspiring lady motivated and on top of her game.
1. Tell me how Love Corkscrew got started.
I’ve been in the industry for around 20 years now. I used to own an art bar and gallery that was voted the top wine list for Chicago’s best. I created the wine list and that’s how I realized I had something good here. After owning the art and wine bar and being part of the distribution side, I decided I wanted something else. I created Love Corkscrew in 2014. Now in 2017, we are hitting several states! Within the next quarter, we’re moving to Texas, Indiana, Virginia, DC, Maryland, and Florida. I’m really excited!
2. What sparked you’re enthusiasm for the fine arts and wine?
I was always into art and music growing up. I was definitely an artsy kid. I always found wine particularly interesting compared to your typical spirit. I enjoyed going to wine tastings right out of college and became a foodie. It’s a talent to enjoy many different wines, and I’ve definitely got a knack for it.
3. What is Love Corkscrew’s mission?
Our mission is to help any young girls or entrepreneurs by letting them know they can follow their dreams, no matter what industry it is. Even if people don’t look like you in that industry, you can still do it. I am 1% of my own industry as an African American woman vintner. It’s not just about wine. I aim to inspire people to follow their passions by saying, “go for it! You can do it even if no one else looks like you.”
4. What role do you play in the creation of Love Corkscrew products?
I’m the creator of Love Corkscrew, so I do everything as the owner. I’m a wholesale importer so I do everything from tasting the wine, to choosing the labels and creating the wine. I own a private label. I store the wine from different vineyards, and the wines are my creation.
5. How does Love Corkscrew’s mission help inspire young entrepreneurs and fulfill its mission?
The brand speaks for itself because we have such huge following within my community and aboard. I am a very small niche. I count for literally 1% out of thousands of different vintners and wine enthusiast. The inspiration comes from people just seeing my drive and doing everything I can. I also love to give back by working with many organizations in my community. I am a part of Alpha Sigma Theta and am very involved with the YWCA. It’s just been an amazing experience working with so many different entities.
6. What is your favorite product to recommend to customers?
We have wine and scented candles, but wine is my baby. I have 5 varietals, which are my Cabernet Sauvignon, Niagara, Pinot Grigio, Brut Style White Wine, and Riesling. My company wants to touch all 5 senses and that’s where the candles come in. I have even partnered with a chef to create a cookbook soon! For people who don’t have access to my brand, I give back through different organizations.
7. What advice would you give teens about doing what they love and following their dream careers?
Don’t stop! I love speaking at high schools because I can show them that they can always go so much further than they think they can. I’m an African American woman in a male dominated industry. I show them that they should never settle for what’s in front of them. There is so much out there in this world. It’s about inspiring people to do everything they can to make their dreams happen!
8. What hobbies fulfill you aside from Love Corkscrew?
Out of the entire day, I may get an hour to myself. I love seeing movies in that time if I can. I love action hero movies. I’m a huge fan of Marvel films and the Avengers. That’s my way to unwind. I like going to great restaurants as well, but I love relaxation.
9. What is a power outfit you wear that gives you confidence?
Dresses. I love a great dress. I like to wear colorful flowy dresses with high heels. That’s my thing!
10. When has your confidence in Love Corkscrew been shaken and how did you overcome it?
I feel shaken every day. I’m in a very highly regulated industry with alcohol and tabaco. It’s the most regulated industry in the world. Every single day I have to push. I’m in 50 locations (with Marianos and Whole Foods), and I have to stay on those shelves. When I get in there, I haven’t made it. You have to keep moving that product off the shelves, so every single day is a struggle. But I love it. And I won’t stop. People contact me all of the time asking me “what would Chrishon do?” It’s non-stop.