Single Mom of Three Launches New Orleans' Newest Black-Owned Wine Company
Kim Lewis, a self-made, independent entrepreneur from New Orleans, has launched her very own wine company called Ole' Orleans Wines. She now belongs to the 1% of Black women owners in the industry.
As an avid traveler, Lewis has tasted various local wines from the places she visited. It eventually gave her the idea of starting out her own wine company. She knew it would not be easy but she was confident that she can do it, especially with the experience she got from successfully running three healthcare businesses. "I'm not an expert. But, I know what I like and what a good wine tastes like," she told Travel Noire. She then started researching about the wine industry and finding resources that could help her. When she tried to reach out to established labels, she was ignored. When she tried to hire a consultant, she realized it would be very costly. So she tried to finish all the paperwork on her own, and she was successful on her first try. After that, she had to go through the challenge of finding a vineyard to partner with. Napa Valley was her first choice but it was not cost-effective for her. She thought a company in Texas was the one to partner with, but then suddenly they withdrew their offer during their final stages of negotiation. Finally, she found Landry Vineyards in Monroe, Louisiana, and the rest has been history. "Being a Black woman with a wine company makes me feel on top of the world." In April 2019, Ole' Orleans Wines was officially launched. Since then, two white blends called Ole Carollton and Tchoupitoulas have been available in the market and Lewis plans to release 10 more blends. The wines can be purchased at several retailers and wineries in New Orleans as well as through the website. "After my divorce, I just wanted to start fresh. I knew that I wanted to shut down my healthcare businesses and create something just for me that I could build for my children," she said. From marketing to customer service to product improvement, she finds a way to do it all for her new company by herself. She also hopes to share his knowledge about business through a DIY Business 101 Instagram page she created dedicated to helping aspiring business owners. For more information about Ole' Orleans Wines or to purchase online, visit www.oleorleans.com or follow the brand on Instagram @oleorleans