Chic Spotlight: Wine C.A.R.T.’s Chris Waugh
Cincy Chic: Your background is in education, what drew you to wine?
Chris Waugh: Wine was a hobby prior to beginning my role as a sales rep for an Ohio Wine Distributor. I found that the leadership training role I performed in the corporate world transitioned nicely to the wine world. There were many days I would spend hours in a wine department answering questions and sharing information with customers about wine, but never having to write a report to justify my activity – my sales did all the talking and reporting.
Cincy Chic: What caused the transition from wine enthusiast to shop owner?
Waugh: The transition came quite easily for me after I had been laid off from my corporate job in Connecticut and I returned to Cincinnati to semi-retire and focus more time on my family. However, being the "Type A" individual I am, I didn't have enough to do and began searching for a job that I could have fun doing on a part-time basis. Selling just felt like a natural part of who I was and I realized I had the business background and leadership experience; I couldn't function unless I was surrounded by people from all walks of life – they give me energy which in turn made me realize I wanted to be my own boss and run my own business to surround myself with others like me.
Cincy Chic: How does owning a wine bar compare to your past jobs?
Waugh: Absolutely little comparison – my wine bar allows me to entertain (my favorite thing to do) 24/7 with the only difference being that I actually get paid for doing something I love! I have the freedom to make my own choices, good or bad, and I become more accountable and able to manage my destiny. If there are politics involved in my work life, it's me who can manage the unfortunate reactions that cause many workers to spiral out of control of their own lives. I couldn't do this working for someone else.
Cincy Chic: What was your best wine-drinking experience to date?
Waugh: I have the best wine-tasting experience every day, anytime, with anyone who visits my shop. I've traveled and tasted wines from around the world and I've found that the people, food and the wine are the culmination of health, wealth and my opportunity to delight in every one of my ongoing wine experiences.
Cincy Chic: Do you have any advice for other women entrepreneurs?
Waugh: Do it now! I would recommend finding another successful female entrepreneur, or partner. Asking these women to be their mentor and coach to help them move beyond the paralysis and excuses that set in when most of us try to make major changes in our work/life balance. We CAN create huge marketplace value with our intrinsic abilities, and we can mirror the "good old boy's network" to configure a "new women's network" that can secure our roles in the new global working environment.
Come to the Cincy Chic ladies night at the Wine C.A.R.T. on Oct. 4!