Inside Successful Small Businesses: Reneé Rowe, Owner of Atlanta’s The Wine Cellars

We recently heard about a new campaign launched by American Express (we’ve been a fan of their marketing campaigns ever since this Tina Fey ad appeared in our magazines). They’ve now put together a fantastic new series of videos, all highlighting small business owners–including the folks behind Warby Parker, Om Aroma, Beauty and Hair, and others. They all share their unique stories and lessons learned from launching a new business. Kind of like mini career features. So today and tomorrow, we’ll be sharing a few of the videos on our site–those that highlight female entrepreneurs–and we’ve included a few of our favorite Everygirl interview questions, as well.

The first video is of Reneé Rowe, president and owner of The Wine Cellars, one of Atlanta’s premiere wine bars and shops. In her interview, Reneé emphasizes the importance of a small business or shop owner to get to know the community and have a presence in their town or city. For those of you especially interested in opening a store of your own one day, take diligent notes!


Name: Reneé Rowe
Current Title and Company: President, The Wine Cellars

Did what you studied in school apply to your current job? If not, when and where did you acquire the necessary skills?
What I studied in school absolutely did not apply to my current job. I have a degree in music; however, I gained a love for wine while in college. My skills have been acquired over the years as I learned more and more about wine, and worked in corporate settings learning customer service skills. Once I decided I wanted to open my own wine shop, I did my homework and went to work for a local wine merchant to learn the business. I also spent a lot of time reading and attending many wine related events and trade shows.

What was your first job out of college and how did you land that position?
My first job out of college was an entry level accounts payable position. And although I had no degree in accounting, I worked at a fast food restaurant while in college where I moved up into management and acquired some bookkeeping skills. That job allowed me to acquire additional skills which probably gave me a leg up on entering the financial arena.

If you made a big career change, how old were you when you did it and what gave you the confidence to make the switch?
For me, my career change came in transitioning from a corporate job to entrepreneurship. I was 32 years old, and my passion to do something I love gave me the confidence to make the switch.

What advice would you give your 23-year-old self?
Relax a little. Find you passion, and you will find you. Once you have discovered the real you, be confident in that you. Confidence only comes from knowing who you are… and once you figure that out, be who you are, seek opportunities for you, and the rest will follow.

SEE MORE VIDEOS: If Your Business Plan Isn’t Working, Change It

The post was sponsored by American Express but all of the opinions herein are those of The Everygirl editorial board. 

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