Growing up in Vermont, I couldn't have avoided locally made products even if I'd tried. As one of the last havens of the small family farm, Vermont's cottage industries, craftspeople, farmers and artisans have always been a part of the cultural landscape. It is so deeply ingrained in Vermonters that, to this this day, I won't touch a drop of maple syrup unless it's from home. "Made in Vermont"--talk about great branding!
Being an incurable Francophile has only reinforced these notions and has opened the doors to some surprising opportunities throughout my life. After college, leading bike tours through the French countryside introduced my taste buds to wine, one of the finest expressions of place. From there, I was hooked. I began by working in a wine shop, then in distribution, then in importing, until eventually, I grew closer to the growers and the land itself. Learning about their farming practices and winemaking philosophies, getting to know their families, kicking the dirt, and selling, branding, and marketing their wines all over the United States gave me a personal sense of mission.
In 2005, I returned to France to do my Master’s degree in French Civilization, writing my thesis on the marketability of organic wines. That, plus moonlighting as an English teacher to French speakers cultivated a new-found respect for the English language and a love affair with writing. A few years later, I worked as a writer for wine importer and author Kermit Lynch, regularly contributing to his monthly newsletter and blog and writing copy for his new website. Having the chance to research these legendary winemakers made me understand how important it was to tell their stories. And that every business has a story to tell.
As a writer, communications strategist and marketing specialist, I have had the pleasure to work with clients of various sectors. Working with these engaged companies, conveying their know-how, and sharing their passion for their respective fields continues to fuel and inspire me.