An Interview with Boutique Vintner Chrishon Lampley, Founder of Love Cork Screw

2014 has been a whirl-wind of a year for Chrishon Lampley , founder IMG_8971and CEO of emerging wine brand, Love Cork Screw. Since launching her company in December 2013, her brand has risen in popularity, landing at over 40 Chicago-area restaurants and retailers, including all local Marianos Fresh Markets. She is currently in the process of striking deals in California and the UK.

Although Love Cork Screw is quite young, Lampley is no stranger to the wine business. She was the co-owner and resident wine-connoisseur of Three Pea’s Art Lounge, a bar and art gallery previously located at 75 E. 16th St in Chicago, until it was destroyed by a flood in 2010. Despite the tragedy of losing the space, Lampley says she has no regrets.

WMG: How did your losing Three Peas Lounge inform the way you have built your company and brand?

CL: Every business owner, every successful person understands that failure is just as important as success. Adversity is an opportunity to learn and mistakes are the necessary raw materials for building a successful business. If it wasn’t for Three Peas I wouldn’t have LCS now. The relationships I built, the experiences of being an owner molded me into the woman I am now. I wouldn’t change a thing. My character was built and I succeeded.

WMG: What is the Love Cork Screw brand all about?

CL: The LCS brand is all about sophisticated indulgence. Love Cork Screw Wine isn’t simply a beverage, its a cultural marker that signifies cutting edge engagement with life, leisure, and love.

WMG: What part of wine-making and the wine industry do you find particularly attractive?

The fact it’s so subjective is a thrill. To guess what peoples tastes may be to seducing people with my labels. I’ve met serious people I respect as well as I’ve taught people how to enjoy wine. What makes it work is that before I even thought about being an owner of a wine company, I was a fan and avid drinker of wine. That will never change. I love it all.

WMG: What has been the perception of your brand? How do people respond to it? 

CL: Brands aren’t built overnight. They take time to mature and take hold in the marketplace. But it’s a fascinating journey, the likes of which may amaze you. From Feast to famine. There are people who find it hard to fathom I’m the owner while others are convinced I’ve reaped a whirlwind of economic benefits, but one thing is clear is that I work hard and built a brand that people respect.

WMG: What are some of the adversities you face as an African American woman in a male dominated field, and how do you overcome them?

CL: I stand on the shoulders of unknown sheroes who’ve paved the way for me to make this happen. While there is sexism, disbelief, being called the promo girl to God knows what’s next. Although I’m not a fan of cliché’s, it really just makes me stronger and work harder.

WMG: What is your ultimate dream for Love Cork Screw?

CL: To create the best brand possible, to grow and expand, and most importantly, to inspire women to follow their dream and influence as many people as I can. I want to leave this earth knowing I’ve changed lives and pushed the envelope for people to go for it and never give up.

Love Cork Screw can be purchased directly from the company website, or at any of the retailers below:

Binny’s Beverage Depot 1720 N Marcey St Chicago,IL

Binny’s Beverage Depot 1531 E 53rd St Chicago,IL

Binny’s Beverage Depot 3447 W 95th St Chicago,IL

Binny’s Beverage Depot 231 W Grand Ave Chicago,IL

Mariano’s Fresh Market  110th S Cicero Ave Oak Lawn,IL

Mariano’s Fresh Market 4700 Gilbert Ave  Western Springs,IL

Mariano’s Fresh Market 3025 E New York St Aurora,IL

Mariano’s Fresh Market 1615 S Clark St Chicago,IL

Mariano’s Fresh Market 1800 W Lawrence Chicago,IL

Mariano’s Fresh Market 2112 N. Ashland Ave Chicago,IL

Mariano’s Fresh Market 40 S. Halsted Chicago,IL

Mariano’s Fresh Market 2021 W Chicago Ave  Chicago,IL

Mariano’s Fresh Market 5201 N Sheridan Chicago,IL

Mariano’s Fresh Market 3145 S Ashland Ave Chicago,IL

Mariano’s Fresh Market 333 E Benton Place Chicago,IL

Lucky’s Sandwich Co. 1635 N Milwaukee Ave Chicago,IL

Famous Liquor 7714 Madison St  Forest Park,IL

Farmhouse Restaurant 703 Church St Evanston,IL

Tradition Chicago 160 N Franklin St Chicago,IL

Michael’s Wine and Spirit 1455 W Taylor St Chicago,IL

D & D Food and Liquor 2006 W Division St  Chicago,IL

Matteson Wine and Spirits 4239 Lincoln Highway  Matteson,IL

Woodman’s Market 151 Hansen Blvd  North Aurora,IL

West Town Wine and Spirits 1925 Mannheim Rd  Westchester,IL

The Noble Grape  802 N. Bishop (at Chicago Ave) Chicago,IL

Kimbark Beverage Shoppe 1214 E 53rd Street  Chicago, IL

L26 (South Loop Hotel) 2600 S. State St. Chicago,IL

Maria’s Community Bar and Package Goods 960 W 31st St. Chicago,IL

Nouveau Tavern 358 W Ontario Chicago,IL

Bites Asian Tapas 3313 N Clark Street Chicago,IL

Madison & Vine Wines 1340 W Madison St Chicago,IL

Refuge Live 416 S Clark St Chicago,IL

Winestyles 20214 S LaGrange Rd Frankfort,IL

Winestyles 2775 Showplace Drive Naperville,IL

Winestyles 1145 Brook Forest Ave Shorewood,IL

Pier 31 Restaurant 31st Street Beach Chicago,IL

Linkin House 2142 N Clybourn Ave Chicago,IL

Prestige Liquors 6249 S Cass Ave Westmont, IL

Go Grocer 2060 W North Ave Chicago, IL

Go Grocer 2930 N Sheridan Rd Chicago,IL

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