carol bailey

Fabulous People: Carol Bailey

Carol Bailey is the founder and Chief Tasting Officer of The Princess & The Bear, the only online wine shop, wine club and Seattle-based tasting room offering the small-batch wines of the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France. Learn about Carol Bailey…

Hometown: Houston, Texas

First Job: I started working at age 14 selling men’s furnishings at the Neiman Marcus store in Houston Texas. I loved it because we got to get dressed up to go to work.

Favorite ways to spend free time in WA: We have a small house in the high desert of eastern Washington near Soap Lake. Because of abundant water and sunshine over there you just add plants and the most magnificent gardens are created. I love spending time in our eastern Washington garden!

The biggest obstacle you overcame: The impulse to give up when things don’t feel inspiring. I am an inspiration junkie, but in order to succeed you also have to have the discipline to figure out what is wrong and how to fix it when things are not going as you expected.

Someone who inspires you and why: I feel incredibly inspired by single mothers who are able to figure out how to work to support their children and also meet their children’s developmental needs. It is an incredibly difficult thing to do because women have challenges in the workplace and in their ability to generate significant income, particularly while also carrying the demands of childcare.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Start small and build slowly. Being a artisanal French wine importer is an incredibly fun and rewarding job because you meet so many fabulous, small wine makers and their families, and you see how beautiful this earth is traveling across the south of France. Selling wines in the US that people have never heard of is a much harder job and takes many layers of skills to succeed. So starting small and figuring out how retail sales work is very important.

Favorite quote: “If you hold on to the handle, it’s easier to maintain the illusion of control. But it’s more fun if you just let the wind carry you.” –Brian Andreas

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I took a trip alone around the world when I was 26 years old, which included the Soviet Union, many Middle Eastern countries that are no longer safe, Africa, the Near East and Asia. It completely changed me because I realized that people all over the world, even though they look different, have the same fundamental kind heart, and what they care about is seeing their families safe, healthy and happy.

What makes someone fabulous: Overcoming the obstacle of self doubt. Once you do that, you can trust yourself, drop the façade and shine with authenticity and confidence.

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