Get Sinful and Get Inspired

by Emily Jasper on July 7, 2009

I’m what you might call a Renaissance woman. Ok, maybe it’s not Renaissance woman. Maybe I’m a product of my generation. My interests range from marketing, to dance, to wine, to wedding planning, to painting, to baking. There are days when I want to start my own company, and all that seems to be lacking is a great idea. Sure, I have good ones, but the great ones give you the passion to keep going.

But there’s a real Renaissance woman I have come to know whom I met 10 days after moving to Minnesota.

Laurie Crow is the proprietor of Sinful Wine & Spirits in Bloomington, MN. Her store is all about family-owned wineries, something rather exciting especially when a DC girl like me would never put “wine” and “Minnesota” in the same sentence. Though trust me, we have some great local wines. Most recently, she was the winner of the National Association of Women Business Owners 2009 Woman on the Way award.

As a business owner, Laurie must have a lot of challenges she’s been grappling with over the past couple years since opening. Needless to say, she’s hand to deal with the recession. As someone who needs to work with importers and exporters, Laurie’s business is impacted by the global economy. On the local front, she’s most recently been helping her distributors raise awareness about raises in beer and liquor tax. And daily, she has a houseful of teenagers to add to the excitement.

She manages to juggle everything and still have the highest level of customer intimacy I have ever seen. Not to sound corny, but everyone there knows my name. That’s the high standard Laurie has when it comes to her customers. Her “all about family” business means that you become part of the family. It makes you want to find your own way to participate in helping her build her business.

I write about this because inspiring women seem hard to come by. Sure, there are many out there in the limelight, but I have never identified with most of them. There are still so many out there who carry the cold, hard drive to break through the glass ceiling, while many others are doormats in the business world. The ones who do motivate me are women like Laurie, or Ellen McGirt, Penelope Trunk, and even Tori Spelling.

Laurie shows that you can do it all. And that’s inspiring to me. It’s also reassuring because I know I don’t have to decide what to do right now and stick with it for the rest of my life. I can accomplish all my wishes over and over again as long as I’m around to do it.

So if you are ever in the area, stop by one of the many wine tastings held at the store. Meet Laurie and become part of the family.

The views expressed in my blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

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