Owner & Ambassador of La Caravelle Champagnes / Wines and Founder & President of Bouquet Ventures
“The goal of hospitality is for people to leave happier than they came in – this is the biggest achievement for me.„
The best advice that I have received is life advice my father gave me: every problem has a solution. Knowing this takes a lot of weight off your shoulders, when you’re dealing with something you need to solve, whether it comes early or late.
After graduating from college in Switzerland, I started working for my father who owned an international trade company. I learned so much by ghosting him, he would require 100% accuracy on everything, he taught me rigor, work ethic – it definitely marked me a lot, he was my biggest mentor.
I studied Marketing and Economics. My husband, Andre, is a hospitality professional whose family owned Le Bristol Hotel in Paris. I’m a people person and I highly value relationships so I was very happy to work in hospitality. When we closed our restaurant La Caravelle in 2004, I could not imagine myself not working in this industry so I found a way to stay in it by going into the wine industry.
Attitude and passion are the most important skills to possess, along with a willingness to learn. You can teach someone technical skills but you can’t teach attitude.
To succeed in the wine industry, you definitely need to have an affinity for people, it's a highly relationship-based industry. It’s also important to be detail-oriented, to possess digital skills, know how to navigate softwares and social media and lastly, be a kind person. When I hire people, I look for reliable individuals whom I can trust in order to delegate.
I find inspiration in many different places: nature, art, colors. When I see something that catches my eye, I’ll stop everything to look at it. My family and my kids (Christophe, Nicolas and Patrick) are also a huge source of inspiration.
I read a lot to stay up to date with what’s happening: The New York Times’ food and wine section, The Wine Spectator, Wine & Spirits Magazine, The World of Fine Wine, the major food magazines like Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Saveur… Punch.com is a very-well done website and I love listening to Levi Dalton’s podcast “I’ll Drink to That! Talking with Levi Dalton”: you learn so many things listening to it that you get a totally different appreciation of a wine after hearing about it.
I consider myself in the school of life every minute of every day. My first instinct is always to figure out what I can learn out of anything – not in a scholarly manner, but by thinking outside of the box, looking for principles and universal laws that could apply anywhere. I hang out a lot of sommeliers, winemakers. I love to pick their brains, tastings are very important to stay educated.
Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.
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