JASMINE DARY

FOUNDER & CEO

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I was born and raised in Chattanooga, TN. It’s a relatively small town where everyone knows everyone. I knew I wanted to eventually make roots in a city that moved a little faster.

 

I began my college career in Murfreesboro at MTSU but finished back home at UTC, where I received a degree in Mass Communications and got the amazing opportunity to study abroad in France. I spent two months there… one month in Paris and one month in Angers (in the Loire region). My study abroad experience was something I’ll never forget and contributed greatly to where I am today. The credit hours from that summer not only expedited my college journey allowing me to graduate in 3 1/2 years, but it also created a huge spark inside of me. Living with my French host family who didn’t speak English challenged me but also helped me grow in many ways. I was able to connect with them beyond language and many times through culture, food and wine. This experience, plus encouragement from my family to be cultured and to step out of my comfort zone, created the foundation for what is now my business.

 

My career path fresh out of college started pretty traditionally. I moved back to Murfreesboro after landing a full-time job working in MTSU’s admissions department. I really loved parts of my job, like connecting with prospective students, but the politics of higher education were just not for me. At the time, I was picking up brand ambassador work on nights & weekends for various alcohol brands. This eventually led to my next job working for the largest wine and spirits distributor in Tennessee. That’s where I grew my industry knowledge expeditiously and confirmed my passion for wine. Working there was fun and presented me with an endless amount of learning opportunities. I will always be grateful for the experience. It also opened my eyes to the extreme lack of diversity in the industry with both women and people of color. Being a Black woman, I often stuck out and had to overcome barriers of assumptions and flat out racism. My company treated me very well, but the wine & spirits industry as a whole had a long way to go. These barriers, combined with my passion, led me to starting my own company, Twisted Corks- specializing in private wine tasting experiences.

Jasmine Dary, CEO