How many years have you been in the business? Tell us briefly about your background and your current position today.
I have been in the wine industry for almost 4 years though I had a brief stint in the hospitality industry while living in Las Vegas many years ago. I am the Founder and Managing Director of RDC Consulting, LLC. a boutique consulting firm that specializes in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Lifestyle consulting. It combines my passion areas as an educator, connector, community builder and lover of all things wine, food, travel and music. My wine brand @rozpullsthecork is connected to the lifestyle enterprise of my consulting company. We offer curated in person and virtual wine tastings and curate luxe experiences geared toward BIPOC individuals between the ages of 25-55 (an often overlooked demographic) traveling to wine country in the San Francisco Bay Area and other wine regions in California. @rozpullsthecork was born out of my friends and I not being able to find a consistent community that provides experiences catered to our taste in wine, food, music as well as as a way to create meaningful connections to support other BIPOC businesses.
Did you have a particular “aha!” moment that propelled you into wine?
My real aha moment was moving to the Bay Area in California from Los Angeles. Being from So Cal and also living in the Phoenix area and Las Vegas I have had my share of experiencing luxe curated food + wine experiences. Knowing that I have access to so many wine regions in Northern California helped solidify that I am on the right path at the right time.
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
Being a vibe creator and being able to bring moments of joy and peace to my friends and clients, exposing them to this world of wine through my eyes and showing them that this is truly a lifestyle! As a community builder I also continue to enjoy connecting with new and seasoned folx in the wine industry that are open to sharing about their journey.
What do you do to create wellness balance in your life? Any particular activity, practices, etc that are meaningful to you?
I set boundaries to create wellness and balance in my life. These boundaries help me rest and reset so that I can continue operating in my gifts. Music. Food. Wine. Travel. Laughter. Adventures with friends + fam. Alone time. are my balance. I also take lots of naps :-).
What changes do you hope to see in the wine industry in the next five years?
Continued exposure to the various career pathways in the wine industry and spotlighting BIPOC folx that have put in real time and effort educating themselves and working in the industry... they are paving the way…after spending many years in college ending with earning doctorate I know the work it takes to be a true expert and scholar in your industry…I think it’s a balance of highlighting the OG’s in the industry and ensuring the new generation is getting exposure as well.
What does equality in the wine industry look like to you?
Hmmm, I think we’re a long way from equality…we have to first focus on equity knowing that we are all starting from different vantage points, some of us will always be putting in more work to catch up. If we can all understand the value of equity in this industry and that it is a collective effort that benefits everyone we are getting 1 step closer toward equality.
How do you feel you’re contributing to creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive wine industry?
My existence in the industry as a Black womyn is creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive wine industry…representation really does matter! I also think of diversity in terms of my lens as a scholar practitioner, educator who loves wine, music, food and travel. The wine industry has helped me embrace all of my passion areas as I tell the story of @rozpullsthecork and my evolving journey in wine.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the same sector of the wine industry as you?
Just do it!! You’ll never be fully prepared to start your career in the wine industry especially if you are in the midst of a pivot from another career field. Lean into your natural gifts and any formal education and training you already have… so much of it is transferable! Network and make genuine connections with other folx in the industry in person. Even if you only have access in your immediate region there is value in making in person connections because these will open doors outside of you reach. Social media is the plug! Build your brand and use it to tell your story… social media is 1 of the best free and wide reaching networking and marketing tools out there!
Name some people who inspire you in the wine industry and please explain why.
Dr. Chris Wachira- Wachira Wines She is the 1st Kenyan-American born wine maker and Owner of Wachira Wines the only Black owned tasting room in Alameda CA. Her journey as a scholar practitioner in academia who has pursued her passion of all things wine resonates with my journey so much…she is paving the way! Every time I see her at a wine event we have these brief mentoring moments that help me keep pushing.
Fern Stroud- Black Vines Fern is creating much need elevated wine experiences centering Black wine producers in the Bay Area and now across the U.S. I attended their Black Vines festival in Berkeley CA in 2019 which featured Black wine makers and producers, music and art…I was an immediate fan and have been supporting Black Vines ever since.
Carlton McCoy- CEO/Master Sommelier I love how Carlton continues to carve out his own lane in the food and wine industry. His background growing up cooking at home then eventually attending culinary school becoming a chef and later becoming a Master Sommelier (at the time he was only the 2nd Black American to earn the title!) is inspiring. The list goes on… Co-Founder of the Roots Fund, First Black CEO in Napa, and now we’re able to follow his adventures exploring wine, food, art and culture on his show Nomad... he is truly goals in so many ways!