When we encounter women who’ve succeeded in establishing a career they are proud to call their own, we want to know more. When we meet women who’ve created a life around two different paths—and successfully, we are in awe and need to know more.
Michele Ouellet is a model turned winemaker and when she is not found gracing the pages of J.Crew and Madewell, she is running a wine business—also known as Lorenza Wine Company with her business partner (and mom) up in Northern California. This Napa Valley native shares with us what it looks like to merge two artful passions into one very fascinating (and busy) life.
January Olds: How would you describe your personal style?
Michele Ouellet: Always changing. Rock n roll, 70s tomboy, sporty, classic, girly. I'm Gemini so you never know what you gonna get!
JO: What is a daily ritual that you can't live without?
JO: What are your must-have beauty products you keep on hand?
MO: January Labs day lotion is my newest and most favorite discovery lately! I love Clarins beauty balm for under eyes and glossier boy brow for a really low maintenance everyday look.
JO: Describe something you find beautiful.
MO: I'm so in love with nature. I love greenery of all kind. Succulents, palms, moss, ferns, weeping willows. Rainbows make me outrageously excited.
JO: What is the last city you visited that fascinated you?
MO: Siena! It's a gorgeous ancient Italian city with amazing churches. One even has the real head of St. Catherine enshrined. Each neighborhood there is signified by a different animal like dragons, panthers, unicorns etc! They have the famous Palio horse race there where the different neighborhoods race against each other.
JO: Do you live by any rules?
MO: I'm all about the power of positivity so as a rule I try to see the best of all situations.
JO: Do you have a personal mantra? If so, what is it?
MO: Stay fresh, be kind, keep learning, follow your heart and speak your truth!
JO: Most people would be surprised to know that ......
MO: I get my best ideas on the plane.
JO: What has been the most exciting part of your career so far?
MO: Launching Lorenza Rosé and watching it grow into a thriving business with a life of its own!
JO: As a woman who has achieved so much, how important has the support of other women been to your career?
MO: My mom has played a huge part in supporting me in all my ventures. And when we started Lorenza together that has gone to the next level! I work with so many incredible women in both of my careers
JO: Who has been most inspirational to you in your work and life?
MO: I have amazing strong women in my family who I am very close to. They inspire me to operate on a high level and to go for anything I want to achieve.
JO: What advice would you give to other women you wish someone would have told you?
MO: I think I actually took too much advice from people when I was younger. My advice to other women is to listen to yourself! Trust your gut, no one knows better.
JO: What is the biggest similarity between fashion and wine to you?
MO: Both fashion and wine have the ability to elevate an experience. They can both be basic and generic or transcend to a work of art that inspires and excites. Of course I'm more interested in the latter!
JO: When did you first realize the art of wine impacted you?
MO: Growing up in Napa, wine has always been a presence in my life. Something I took for granted at one point. Now it's something to learn about, explore and enjoy for the rest of my life! Working on Lorenza Rosé for the past 9 years has been a huge learning experience and I've grown up along with the brand. So grateful for the opportunity to work with such a beautiful medium.
Health and beauty are the moving forces behind January Labs so it is no surprise that when I learned about Melissa Wood I was thrilled to have a chance to speak with her. In an age where balance can feel seemingly impossible, there is a noticeable shift and an impressive can-do attitude when looking at (and getting to know) Melissa Wood. As a model turned certified health and wellness coach and new mother, the wide range of insight that poured out from this powerhouse of a woman felt natural, inspiring and incredibly sincere.
And while it’s clear Melissa’s mark into what feels like a lifestyle based on overall wellness, her mission has undoubtedly affected anyone who has come across her and her platform. Just hearing from her, one get’s the notion, nothing is impossible if you are connected to your truest self, which is your best self.
Below, learn even more as she shares with us some of her beauty must-haves, personal and professional inspirations in her life and how overall, she established space for women seeking to live their best and most whole lives and more importantly, how she equips such a mindset.
January Olds: How would you describe your style?
Melissa Wood: I would describe my style as sophisticated but comfy. In everything I wear, I always try to find comfort while looking put together.
JO: Do you have any daily rituals that you can't live without?
MW: Absolutely. - Reminding myself of what I'm grateful for in the morning - Reading my lesson in A Course In Miracles daily - Meditation - Mornings with my son, Benjamin
JO: What are your must-have beauty products?
MW:I am a beauty product junkie. I moved to New York as a makeup artist and if you saw my bathroom, you would see there is no shortage of beauty products. I've been using your Daily Brightening Tonic for two months now and I couldn't imagine my life without this now. I turned my team on to this and they both love it. I use RMS Beauty products. I love the creamy, natural look that RMS Beauty gives. I also live for a really good mascara-- I love Dior Show.
JO: What is your go-to workout?
MW: My go- to workout style is a yoga/ pilates style sequencing that I share on my Fitner App channel and I'll be teaching a bunch of classes in New York this summer.
JO: You are literally the picture of health....what lead you to this line of work?
MW: That is so sweet- thank you so much. That means a lot to me. What lead me to this line of work was feeling the complete opposite of this almost all of my life. From struggling with acne, anxiety and an eating disorder, I finally decided to take a deeper look inside to see what was really going on with me. JO: What has been the most exciting part of your career so far?
MW: Reading all the messages and feedback everyone gives me is by far the most exciting part. I literally cry reading some of the messages I receive about helping people change their life. I am constantly moved by the kindness people share both on my Instagram and especially with the re-launch of my website.
JO: Who has been most inspirational to you in your work and life?
MW: My husband has really inspired me to get clear with myself and to spend less time talking about what I want to do, and more time doing it. I also don't go a week without either watching one of Marianne Williamson's lectures or reading from her books. She is a constant life inspiration for me. JO: What advice would you give to other women you wish someone would have told you?
MW: Spend less time going with the flow of the crowd, focus less on doing things just because your friends are. Try to avoid things that don't bring you pure joy and happiness. Simply put, be your own person.
I am so excited to share this interview with Caroline Vreeland. She is not only an incredibly gorgeous, talented, and smart woman, she is a force. It is rare to meet such a beauty with an inner kindness that is so palpable. She is an inspiration and I am so excited to watch this babe’s career skyrocket! Oh and by the way … she happens to be Diana Vreeland’s great granddaughter—one of the most formidable women of all time!
JL: Do you have any daily rituals that you can’t live without?
CV: Face timing my sister, green tea from Alfred, and taking a selfie with my boyfriend for the app “Everyday.”
JL: What has been the most exciting part of your career so far?
CV: Having people come up to me on the street and tell me my music has meant something special to them! And shooting for Carine Roitfeld’s CR Fashion book (twice!) was a huge milestone for me as well.
JL: What inspires most of the songs you write about?
CV: It can be anything from a fight with a friend, to the art I see, or the book I’m reading; anything & everything inspires me. I’m like a freak with too much empathy. For instance, I will see someone in a painting. A farm girl maybe. Then I’ll daydream about what her life was like-no … it’s more like I’ll feel her life as if it were my own. Deeply. I really feel these people! Then I’ll build a world in my mind of what a day in her life is like or what she’s going through, and I the somehow write a song about it! So although something may not have happened to me specifically, I can truly feel like I’ve been there, felt those emotions, so, in a way, all I come across becomes a part of me.
JL: As a woman who is building a career, how important is the support ofother women?Who has been most inspirational to you in your work and life?
CV: Successful, confident women provide a sense of security to those searching to find love for themselves. One of the most inspirational things that has happened to me is having girls write messages to me explaining how I’ve given them a sense of pride in their bodies or big boobs, or the way they carry themselves, or in the idea that they can express themselves the way they want to. The number of followers one has on Instagram doesn’t matter. What matters is that I could have some kind of influence on women. One girl wrote to me last week saying she’s always hated the scar on her face but since seeing how I embrace the scar on my forehead, she’s learned to find the beauty in hers. This brought tears to my eyes. This, to me, is the importance of influence through social media.
JL: What advice would you give to other women you wish someone would have told you?
CV: Never give up on what matters to you, never give in to what you are not, and never compromise who you are at your core. Be kind to everyone and I mean everyone because you never know what someone’s truly going through, and a small kindness from you could change their day or even their life.
JL: Lastly, your Great Grandmother Diana Vreeland is one of my favorite icons of all time, how has she influenced your life?
CV: I’ve said this before but it is the bare bones truth. Nanina (as we call Diana in my family) is in my blood, a part me, flowing through me. It sounds crazy but I know she is inside me, guiding me. Because of her I am not afraid to be imperfect and brave.
For more insight, check out her website http://www.carolinevreeland.wine