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 Moisture Balancing 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.