In French Beauty Expert we love celebrating the great success and magnificent personalities of Women in Business across many industries! Through our conversations with them we hope to learn more about what makes them powerful and keeps them growing personally and professionally and be inspired by their spirit.
Today we are speaking to Evangelia Tevekelidou, Brand Manager in Hallgarten & Novum Wines, one of the UK’s leading specialist wine merchants, with over 80 years of experience importing wines from producers around the world.
Tell us a little about your role.
I work as a Brand Manager for various wineries distributed in the UK, coming mainly from Italy and the Med. I am in charge of promoting the wines both in the ‘on trade’ and ‘off trade sector’ via tastings, promotions and other relevant marketing activities.
How did you find yourself in the world of wine?
After doing a master’s in Media & PR in Newcastle University I started working as an Account Manager in a global IT company. Even though I was very happy to work for such a big company, I wasn’t doing what I really studied, neither was I particularly enjoying working in IT. I have always been a wine-lover, but after doing the wine tour in Santorini I properly fell in love with the magic world of wine and I started looking for jobs in the wine industry.
My intention was to promote Greek wines in the UK. When I went to the first Greek wine festival organised in London, I was at the right place on the right time and I found a job as a Brand Manager. The rest is history…
What is the most exciting part of your role?
The tastings and masterclasses where I am talking about the story of the wines or the wineries, and the people and the dream behind these bottles. I particularly enjoy the trips to the wineries or the inbound visits of the winemakers when they narrate everything about their wines. I love wines so the opportunity to talk about them makes me happy.
What do you think makes women excel in business?
Women have a more aspirational vision when they are in love with the product or the business they work for. Women like to dream big and they focus on the sensation of the experience or the products they work for. Even though technicalities are important, dreaming and creating the perfect ambiance can achieve great results.
What do you consider your biggest success in your career?
The loyalty and the trust the suppliers I work with have in my work.
Share with us your biggest lesson in business.
If you see your work as a vocation then you work harder and with better results.
We’ve opened two takeaways, alongside the restaurant over the years, both of which have been learning curves to say the least.
What women have inspired you in your life and career?
A Californian winemaker I have worked with in the past, who decided to build her winery in South Africa in a region that was not on the wine map originally, but which became a recognised wine region a few years later starting from scratch was a huge inspiration for me. If you want something a lot, you can do everything.
What actions did you have to take to help your business survive the Covid 19 crisis?
Working in the hospitality sector meant that we had to be furloughed for a few months. It has been stressful but it gave me the opportunity to realise how much I love what I do. I have organised things that I didn’t have the time to properly work on during the normal work schedule and I managed to help sell quite a lot of wines on different sectors than the ‘on trade’.
What do you hope the world of business to be like for women in the future?
I hope that businesses will give equal opportunities to women moving forwards (as I still believe there are sectors where women are under-represented) and that there will be more flexibility for working moms.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
I always think of the suffragettes who fought with their lives so that we can vote and be able to work and be independent today. I am grateful to those women.
How do you envision your career to grow going forwards?
I would love to get involved with sales by becoming an export manager or working with the board of Wines of Greece, organising campaigns to promote the Greek wines globally.
Describe the 3 characteristics about yourself that you believe led to your career success.
Passion, Patience, Resilience.
How does your work positively impact women of your city and/or women of the world?
Promoting wines made by female winemakers gives me lots of joy. I love the female touch. I hope people can see this in my work too.
What’s a daily or weekly ritual you have that contributes to your ongoing success?
Prioritising tasks, trying to see the bigger picture and being loyal to my values.
What’s something interesting you’re currently working on? Personal or professional.
During quarantine I created a new Instagram account where I post pictures from my quarantine walks by the sea. My aim was to remember how quarantine looked like and to promote my hometown’s seaside. I am focusing on the sea, which in Greek it’s also a female.