Alex Schrecengost is aware of a factor or two about undertaking it for the culture. The wine and spirits enthusiast labored at wine importer Wilson Daniels as their head of communications across the nationwide and wholesale fine wine brands, overseeing conventional comms, govt visibility, marketing, corporate occasions, digital content material and social media. But she discovered just one matter was missing in the industry: much more of “us.”
So she determined to do one thing about it. Schrecengost released her luxurious gifting e-commerce platform, Tradition With Us, with the target of increasing variety amongst wine producers, because like numerous industries, the wine marketplace in the United States is primarily White and male dominated. Schrecengost is just one of numerous Black gals entrepreneurs creating their have areas in the wine earth.
With the start of the wine as part of Culture With Us, Schrecengost will be launching her product or service brand—but extra importantly, her wine manufacturer, Altrosero. As a Black female staking her claim in the wine industry, she needed to pay out homage to her family—a clever mash-up of their four names: Alex, Troy, Sean and Rome. Altrosero is a delicious, fruity zinfandel solid and robust, like the ties we all nurtured when we had been aside through the pandemic, and launches just in time for the holidays.
For ESSENCE, Schrecengost discusses how she and her team are in a especially useful place as the larger wine market will work really hard to press for a lot more assorted voices and what she’s performing to adjust the narrative.
ESSENCE: What accurately is Culture With Us?
Alex Schrecengost: Specialist groups no matter whether in-particular person, hybrid or remote can however build their own business lifestyle as a result of considerate gifting. A single of the benefits of likely to offices used to be great foodstuff, corporate gifts, content several hours and other incentives. Culture With Us present packing containers glow a highlight on substantial-excellent curated products that staff can delight in at property with their family members, close friends and roommates as lasting tokens of their organization’s appreciation. And occasionally not-so lasting—we actually do ship a great deal of fantastic wine and treats.
Culture With Us also cultivates place of work interactions via personalized hybrid place of work functions like corporate retreats. With extra companies adopting remote or hybrid work methods, enterprise-huge retreats are coming back to assistance society and workforce bonding.
How precisely does the luxury gifting e-commerce system do the job?
It’s a concierge-primarily based support that makes it possible for corporate clientele to order entertaining, distinctive goods for their global groups and features a massive array of numerous models. This is specially handy for companies making up their D&I presence and on the lookout to customize containers with gifts manufactured by BlPOC or gals-owned companies. Shoppers can obtain choose goods on their have as effectively. It is vital to us that the brand names we promote have an empowering narrative to share so we can present our shoppers with a portfolio that promotes inclusivity and will help enrich all those company tradition-building times.
You’ve labored with some of the most renowned and prestigious wine brands. What was 1 of the most important matters that you uncovered when it comes to the spirits field?
A person of the most essential matters I figured out was that numerous of the relationships you cultivate more than the system of your career will endure not just because of how perfectly you did your job, but since of who you are. When I started off my have small business, I was shocked at how several top producers from distinct points in my vocation ended up intrigued in partnering with us, and it was very encouraging. Likely the further mile and uplifting your sector peers genuinely allows for innovation and inclusivity as a collective.
Why is there a absence of range between wine producers? What can be completed to improve this narrative?
Individuals from varied backgrounds have faced a prohibitive quantity of discrimination in the wine industry, primarily when it arrives to luxurious manufacturers. So quite a few moments you are just one of couple of or the only a single in the home. Moreover, the have to have for pricey certifications, continual tastings, vacation to and from manufacturing regions and a restricted selection of professional positions in the business have all contributed to a lack of range in the market as a full. Fortunately, BIPOC wine producers, especially Black- and ladies-owned operations, have made enormous strides in the last 10 years—both in quantity created and brand name-setting up. Accusations of racial and gender-centered discrimination are now taken extremely seriously, and inclusive guidelines that supply equity in option are getting commonplace among huge and tiny companies. Continuing to direct consideration to the achievements of various field tastemakers, winemakers, cooks, etcetera. will enable them to depict and impact their communities in strategies that make a lasting big difference.
Convey to us about the new wine that is launching in September.
I’m proud to give our customers obtain to a assorted vary of luxury wines that I am thrilled about and/or am discovering mainly because of not only their delectable juice, but also their amazing tale. With that, these past 18 months have built be comprehend I wanted to build one thing distinctive for the desk. I am so proud of the manufacturer we have crafted, Altrosero—both a wine and olive oil for gathering about the table. It actually embodies all we seek to do at Tradition With Us: develop exclusive times that convey people today jointly.
This scrumptious, fruity zinfandel is potent and strong, like the ties we all nurtured while we had been aside, and launches in time for the holiday seasons (when we’re all seeking ahead to staying together and opening unique bottles). It’s lovingly named for my spouse and twin boys, who have cheered me on from day a person.