We had the good fortune of connecting with Leslie Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leslie, is there something you believe many others might not?
I disagree that there is only one way to success in certain industries. Now of course, if you are a doctor or an astronaut, there is specialized training you need in order to perform your job. But I have seen many people not pursue a dream because they do not feel they have the training they need to do so. I believe that is just fear holding them back. My bachelor’s degree is in political science and my sister/business partner’s degree is in law. We decided to open a wine bar with no education in the hospitality industry. We relied on mentorship, research and the resources we had at our finger tips (the internet) to learn how to start our business. Now after being open for less than 6 months, we have successfully brought a new concept to the city of Inglewood and the community has really embraced us. Don’t let a lack of education or experience stop or delay you from achieving your goal.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business is 1010 Wine and Events, the first and only wine bar in Inglewood, CA. 1010 Wine has the largest selection of black owned wines in the state of California. I am so proud of this business that I have built with my sister. Like many other entrepreneurs, our plans for opening were significantly impacted by the global pandemic. We opened our doors nearly two years after we were scheduled to open. We thought about giving up many times but because we stayed the course, we now have a successful wine bar in the city where we were born and raised. My favorite thing about our business is that we are able to support so many other black and brown owned business through our success.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Sunday morning we would go to Post and Beam for Brunch. On Monday, we would have a night in with takeout from Giti Thai. We would then visit Champ City for their famous Taco Tuesday. On Wednesday, we would, of course, go to 1010 Wine and Events for live music. Thursday we would head to Swift Cafe for lunch and would grab dessert early from Sweet Red Peach. On Friday, we would visit Fin and Feather for Happy Hour and on Saturday we would end the trip with dinner at Harold and Belles.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am grateful for my circle of friends from high school that are all entrepreneurs. Being surrounded by women of color who have overcome many obstacles to start and maintain successful businesses is extremely motivating to me.