Women-Owned Business Series: Erin from ECR Vintners

Welcome back to our Women-Owned Business Series! We’re happy to highlight Erin from ECR Vintners, a  “female owned wine company focused on quality winemaking, approachable education and creating the spaces needed to connect.” After realizing that most wine was made by men, for men, even though the wine-drinking audience was mostly women, she decided to take things into her own hands. Read more below!

First, tell us about your business and anything special we should know about it or you.

I started ECR Vintners in 2021 as I realized while working in the wine industry that the bulk of wine was made by men and for the palates of men. Men have had the buying power for a long time when it comes to prestigious and rare wine (along with judging/ratings), but women are the largest consumer base when it comes to volume. My goal was then to craft wine from these coveted vineyards in California with women’s palates in mind.

My goal is to disrupt the industry by making wine accessible and focusing on wine education when I’m hired to pour at events. Gone are the days when we make purchases based on just reviews and recommendations but rather one’s own palate, since everyone’s different.

I also experienced firsthand that women use wine as a catalyst for connection. Think of the amazing conversations you’ve had with other females about life, career, love and family over glasses of wine. It is the greatest connector. Now imagine if this connector was actually made with women in mind? That is the goal of ECR Vintners – to craft wine for women to connect and feel empowered to achieve their goals next.

Why do you feel a connection to your work?

I’ve experienced firsthand how wine is a catalyst for some of the best conversations with other women, producing not only connection but empowerment. Growing up I was very shy and could never have imagined living in NYC and starting my own business. I had always dreamed of making my own wine but never thought it would be possible. However, it was through the supportive friendships and empowerment derived over (many) glasses of wine that enabled me to feel encouraged enough to start my own wine company – and hopefully inspire others to achieve their dreams.

As a business owner, community is everything. In what ways do you serve your community and how has your community served you?

As a small business owner I’ve realized that wine not only brings about connection and empowerment but can also be used to help fundraise money for non-profit organizations. Since I have a very small production and can’t pour for free at a lot of events, I’ve donated wine to be auctioned off to organizations fighting cancer, leukemia, the prevention and control of hypertension.

What advice would you give to young women who want to start a small business?

Don’t be afraid of rejection. I used to take it personally but I now live by the saying, “people aren’t against you they’re for themselves.” When you keep moving with that in the back of your mind you’ll find that rejection and hearing “no” is not as scary or personal as it once seemed.

What women inspire you and why?

I am inspired by the many female founders I’ve met in NYC. I’m part of a few women’s entrepreneurship groups and when people share their wins I feel the joy and happiness that even the small wins produce. When other women share their struggles I feel that as well. It’s not easy starting a business and I have so much respect for other women trying to make a difference in the world through their businesses.

What do you think are the most significant challenges for women business owners or women in leadership positions?

The most significant challenges are related to support. Finding not only mentorship but support from fellow founders as it can be a lonely and long road. As someone who is also single, I have experienced how much harder it is to truly do it on my own without a partner to bounce ideas off of, provide emotional support or simply take a photo of me at an event. It sounds silly but not having that kind of support just leads to more layers of difficulty. If it weren’t for the other inspiring female founders and the supportive friends I have I think I’d have lost my mind by now.

ECR Vintners has a very rare wine/varietal coming out this spring called Trousseau Gris. She’s also collaborating with Alex Bass of Salon 21 for a special evening on Thursday, May 9th, where they are inviting individuals to come try this rare varietal and enjoy artwork in her wonderfully curated space. Learn more about ECR Vintners and their great selection here!

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