Founder, FOU-DRÉ Vodka
Operating in the male-dominated spirits industry has certainly presented its challenges, but it hasn’t stopped Chanel Turner. In just under a decade, Turner has taken her FOU-DRÉ vodka company from a small East Coast–based start-up to an international brand with sales reaching to Japan and Singapore.
“As a young black woman in this industry, some of my toughest challenges have been obtaining distribution, getting brand placement and shelf placement. I’ve seen the males on my team walk into an establishment and get a ‘yes’ faster than I ever could,” she says.
And knowing what it takes to open those doors and new markets for her brand, Turner was quick to reach back to help other black entrepreneurs. With the objective to create community, she created the annual Black Owned Wine & Spirits Festival, which is described as the largest gathering of minority-owned alcohol brands.
“It sends a message to our community, who spends the most money on alcohol consumption, that they can find just as good, if not even better-quality products being made by our own [and] that they can support and circulate the dollar into our communities.” —N.H.R.