Wine is more than just a drink for the Nichols sisters, it’s a lifestyle!
Nichelle and Nicole Nichols are co-founders and SHE-eos behind The Guilty Grape, a wine brand that is committed to breaking barriers and showcasing representation.
These are not just your average sisters, Nichelle and Nicole are identical twins who took their frustration of the lack of minority representation and turned it into wine!
We sat down with them to discuss their why, their commitment to lifting and their climb, and their idea of longevity within the wine space through their brand.
On The Guilty Grape
Before they were running a wine business, both Nichelle and Nicole had similar paths, both working in corporate retail management and the entertainment industry.
“We reached a point where we were coming home and we just weren’t passionate about what we were doing anymore,” said Nichelle. “It wasn’t making us happy.”
They wanted a business in something that not only piqued their interest but something they were both passionate about, and for them, that was wine.
“Wine is a lifestyle for me and Nicole,” Nichelle said. “Our entire lifestyle is surrounded by wine. It’s just a vibe for us.”
On Lifting As They Climb
“Supporting other minority businesses is important to us not only individually, but through our business as well,” Nicole said.
Whether it’s branding, marketing, videographers, PR, you name it, the Nichols sisters are committed to partnering with Black businesses. They reveal that not only do they typically work with other Black-owned businesses in various spaces, but an added bonus is that majority of them are women.
“We don’t see Black-owned wineries or retailers as our competition,” said Nicole.
They also have plans to expand the number of minority businesses they currently work with.
Lifting as they climb is not only important for them when it comes to other businesses, but they aim to help aspiring entrepreneurs in the wine space as well.
“We try to be accessible to people. We get emails daily on how to break into the industry, guidance in the industry…. It may take a little time to answer every email, but we do get back to people,” Nicole said. “We are here to break cultural norms and without representation, we can’t do that.”
On Longevity & What’s to Come
“Our goal is to create a company that is emotionally connected to our customers,” Nichelle said. “The Guilty Grape brand will discover our true roots in the wine industry and our cultural existence in a world that we are always left out of.”
The Nichols sisters want their customers to not only see themselves within the brand but to know that when they purchase a bottle of Guilty Grape, that they are helping them give an opportunity to someone else.
“Our customers are helping us to gain the power and capital to break down other barriers that are in the industry,” said Nicole. “It really means a lot to us when people buy our products. It’s not just another thing. We feel it, we are grateful for every customer.”
In addition to new wine flavors coming out — including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a brand new sparkling wine just in time for the holiday season — they also shared that they are developing a lifestyle line.
“We’re really developing our lifestyle line so that we can come into our customer’s homes and be a part of their daily lives. So, that’s what we’re most excited about,” they both shared.
For more on The Guilty Grape and how to get your hands on a bottle of their delicious wine, visit their website here.