CREATIVES: Entrepreneurs to Watch – Louise Van Winkle Breen, Carrie Van Winkle Greener & Chenault Van Winkle James
We have had the distinct privilege of being a cheerleader during the launch of Pappy & Co by the Pappy Van Winkle sisters. The triplets met at The Southern C Summit in Athens this past summer for a fun sister retreat and to promote the new endeavor. Carrie Van Winkle Greener (Ketchum, Idaho), Chenault Van Winkle James (Columbus, GA) and Louise Van Winkle Breen (Louisville, KY) are smart and fun and we are so amazed at how fast their company is growing into everything they hoped and dreamed. Their online shop offers barware of course and great apparel, gift items and even handmade bourbon balls. These fourth generation Van Winkles are carrying on the strong family tradition and have found a special way to connect with fellow Pappy bourbon aficionados.
They are sponsors at our upcoming event in Charleston and we can’t wait to catch up and to try those bourbon balls, yum! Get to know the triplets and some of their inspiration here.
We didn’t have to look far for inspiration. It was all around us. The first person close to us that we became aware of doing something special was our Aunt Sally. She took it upon herself to put together what she thought was going to be a pamphlet for her children and her children’s cousins, describing the history of Pappy and the Stitzel-Weller Distillery. After a few years of dedicated work it actually became a beautiful coffee table book entitled But Always Fine Bourbon, that is now in its second printing. It is used as a reference point in the industry and she has since written a second book entitled, Saving Kentucky. The book is such a treasure for our family. Seeing her success, it wasn’t a stretch to imagine ourselves as successful Van Winkle women.
Stumped on this one….
Fave book or author:
To Kill a Mockingbird remains a favorite for all three of us to this day.
At this time our family is focusing on a young friend with sarcoma and we are doing what we can to raise funds to help her family with their needs.
Another organization dear to our hearts, Joe’s House, was founded by our cousin. Its purpose is to furnish cancer patients with information on affordable lodging options in cities across the country where they are being treated.
#1 skill/attribute needed to be an entrepreneur:
Trying to pick the #1 attribute is extremely hard, but looking back on our journey thus far, it seems we wouldn’t be where we are if we didn’t have passion for our business. You have to love and believe in what you are doing 100%, or the drive and determination will not last.
When we were growing up and our Dad left for work early every morning, we didn’t know what a big deal it was that when he got to his bottling plant in Lawrenceburg, KY, he was the guy that drove the truck (that often didn’t run), rolled the barrels, dumped the whiskey and ran the bottling line. He did this day after day, year after year, doing it all himself, not relying on others to run his business. So looking back, our attitude on how to run our business came naturally. Also, we have to mention our mother, who is the nicest person we know. She showed us kindness and fairness, which we feel is key to a well rounded, successful business.
Favorite social media:
“Above all, have a good time” – Julia Child
Interesting tidbit about you or your business:
Being identical triplets, it’s pretty interesting that we run Pappy & Co. from three different states. That means three different perspectives, three different schedules, three different personalities. We are working on blending these factors into one common goal.
The Southern Coterie is a social network (tscoterie.wpengine.com) with events (thesoutherncsummit.com) that connect influencers, entrepreneurs and marketing professionals with an affinity for the South.
Enjoy this series where we introduce you to Southern creatives we find inspiring-
- Nan Myers, Jay Ducote and Jane Pope Cooper
- TJ Callaway, Natalie Evans and Javacia Bowser
- Marquin Campbell
- Putt Weatherbee
- Jamie Meares
- Molly Jane Gravitt
- Ursula Reynolds
- Claire Bruce
- Ashley Schoenith
- Hillary Crittendon and Laura Martin
- Sarah Almond
Co-Founder of The Southern Coterie