In 2008 Melinda Kearney, a wine industry veteran from Napa Valley, and her daughter Michèle Lorenza Ouellet, an international fashion model, decided to take their love of Provençal Rosé to the next level. The mother-daughter duo founded Lorenza wine, a California-made "wine of intention" that was vineyard driven, delicate and dry. Fast forward to 2021, the pair joins forces yet again as the faces of Chico’s newest Spring campaign. We couldn’t help but fall in love with their effortlessly chic style and close-knit bond, so we asked them to share their perspective on personal style and what lessons they have learned from running a business together.
How would you each describe your personal style?
Melinda K: Classic, casual.
Michèle O: Classic, chic with a dose of fun.
Who/what has influenced your style?
Melinda K: My lifestyle in wine country + a lifelong appreciation for nice things.
Michèle O: Living in NY, spending time all over the world and working in fashion with such stylish and inspiring people.
What is the best style advice you have ever been given or always follow?
Melinda K: If well designed, a piece can be timeless and transcend seasons.
Michèle O: Wear what you love and what makes you feel great. And have fun with it! Fashion can be a mood booster.
What are some of your favorite pieces from the newest Chico’s collection?
Melinda K: The So Slimming Girlfriend Ankle Jeans are really flattering with the Fresh Chic No Iron Linen Shirt.
Michèle O: I always love a crisp white button down. I wear one at least twice a week!
Do you ever share clothes or accessories between the two of you?
Melinda K: We often find that we’ve purchased the same items.
Michèle O: Sometimes we show up to something wearing the same exact thing. Maybe a striped shirt or the same jeans and button up white shirt. We don’t always mean to match, but the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
In addition to being mother & daughter you also co-own a business together (Lorenza Rosé), how is it working with your mom/daughter?
Melinda K: I am so lucky to work with my daughter. She’s amazing.
Michèle O: There is a level of trust and comfort with each other that I don’t think we could have with anyone else. Plus we get to hang out a lot.
What inspired you to start Lorenza Rosé?
Melinda K: A shared love of rosé and to pass along my knowledge and passion to my daughter.
Michèle O: Like my mom said, a shared love of rosé and a desire to stay connected and build something together.
What do you admire most about one another?
Michèle O: My mom is so inspirational. I’m so proud of her ability to be a total boss lady and super kind and loving at the same time. She brings a special magic and tone to all her relationships which is why she is so loved in the wine business and beyond!
Melinda K: I am proud of Michele’s grounded nature, her kindness and generous heart and for her discipline and creative contributions to our company.
What business lessons have you learned as a female-owned and run business that you would want to share with other female business owners?
Melinda K: Dare to dream and push yourself to do one scary thing every day.
Michèle O: Although starting a business is one of the hardest things you can do, surrounding yourself with people who deserve your trust and just going for it is really rewarding. You can’t reap what you don’t sow – so go for your dreams!