Tell us about you.
Nicole Kearney is the Vintner/Founder crafting vegan wines for Sip & Share Wines and a writer with an MFA in Dramatic Writing. Nicole has been in the wine industry for 10 years starting with representing Black winemakers. Her customer, community and culture centered philosophy guides her decision making for Sip & Share Wines. Nicole is among the 1% of Black wineries and .001% Black women Vintners in the U.S. She was named a 40 of 40 Black Tastemakers, 2021 Black Innovator on the Rise. Sip & Share Wines was the 2020 Pacers KeyBank Small Business of the Year and Conjure Zinfandel was featured in Forbes Magazine. You can find out more at sipandsharewines.com.
KISH: What is your dream and how will accomplishing your dream benefit you and others?
Nicole: I AM graciously blessed to be living my dream of creating a community with vegan wine for wine lovers overlooked and underrepresented by the wine industry. Living this dream offers the opportunity to assist others generate wealth for themselves and their families and to build a legacy for the future generations of my and my partner-in-wine’s families.
KISH: Who or what inspired you to pursue this dream?
Nicole: I AM inspired by the winemakers who have paved the way for me to be in this industry and founded the Association of African American Vintners. The Ancestors who worked the earth and harvested the grapes of the many legacy wineries that exist in the country and around the world. My parents, partner and children who give of their time, talents and energies.
KISH: What challenges have you encountered while pursuing your dream?
Nicole: Most often it’s the surprise that Black people make wine and that I’m the winemaker. This makes people skeptical until they taste the wine. They’re always pleasantly surprised. Also, all our wines are vegan, making Sip & Share Wines the first Black, all vegan winery. Again, people expect our wines to taste “different.” They are lighter, cleaner and delicious.
KISH: Who or what inspired you to keep pushing regardless of the challenges you’ve encountered?
Nicole: David, my partner-in-wine and life. He sees the highs and lows. His even, calm countenance is a blessing next to my anxiety driven, high-strung one. He’s my balance, keeps me from going too far off kilter and encourages me to keep moving. My Ancestors and parents give me their strength, encouragement and love. I know I AM incredibly blessed to live the life I have imagined. All from the gratitude of their sacrifices and support. I want my children to see they can live their dreams and know I’m there every step of the way, cheering them on.
KISH: Please provide final thoughts/advice for others by finishing this sentence… dream.
Nicole: Dream and conjure big beyond your wildest dreams and everyday do something towards achieving this dream. When you take a small step forward, the All (God) and Ancestors will move in a mighty and magical way to allow you to manifest your intentions.
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