Curating Wine Experiences for Black Women is Not Only a Passion but Necessity for Winepreneur Shayla


Written by Renee Hart

What do you get when you mix girls night with a glass of wine? When it comes to Shayla Varnado, you will get a memorable experience of fine wining and pouring good decisions in a glass. Whether it's having a glass of wine with girlfriends, relaxing after work, or simply toasting to success there must be a place where both the woman and her passions are celebrated. Black Girls Wine was founded in 2016 by Varnado to celebrate Black girl magic by offering rich experiences, decadence, and indulging in a movement through sisterhood and wine. 

Renee: When did you have a first love of wine?

Varnado: I learned the beginnings of wine and my love for wine over the experience of having time with my girlfriends. 

Renee: What type of wine skills can we expect to learn?

Varnado: BGW is about creating that full experience with wine. I do my weekly show Wine Down Live. I teach my Wine Friends what I learn. You may learn how to hold a glass, how to properly open a bottle of wine, of course you’ll learn the wine basics, but you’ll also learn more about your palette. I kind of take people through the experience of their first sip.

Renee: What challenges have you had to overcome especially being a minority in the industry?

Varnado: Honestly the challenges of being a minority in the industry, I don’t believe I’ve scratched the surface yet. The biggest challenge for me in business has been getting out of my own way to create something that my audience will like and really tapping in and listening.

Renee: What brand are you creating for yourself outside of BGW?

Varnado: I know that my purpose is to help entrepreneurs move their business forward or strategy or systems that creates income. Outside of BGW, I am building around helping entrepreneurs make their vision boards come true. Vision is not the problem; it’s execution and you need a strategy to execute.

Renee: What are some best practices for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Varnado: 1. Research your industry. Knowing what is available and what’s not is how you’ll hone your products and services you have to offer. 

2. Who is your target audience? If you’re not clear on who you’re talking to, nobody is going to listen. You can’t plan your business around your life. You must plan it around your customer. 

3. Figure out how to add value. You can’t figure that out unless you know your audience. 

Renee: If you could be any wine, which wine would you be and why?

Varnado: Anything sparkling or bubbly but I’ll go with Prosecco. I’m a real bubbly person. I feel like bubbles go with just about anything, especially fried foods.

Black Girls Wine is more than just wine, it's the perfect pairing. Catch Shayla Varnado and her Wine Friends every Wednesday on Facebook Live or Instagram to wine more!