Jaime Araujo, founder of Trois Noix. (Credit: Courtesy of Trois Noix)

Jaime Araujo says her Napa Valley winery, Trois Noix, was born from a lifelong love of wine. She’s not only passionate about what ends up in the bottle, “but also how it got there, what happens when it fills your glass, and how it can bring a table of people together.” Trois Noix, which launched in 2014, started as a collaboration between friends – who also happen to be winemakers and grape growers – after Araujo moved to California from France. It has since evolved into one of the only B Corp certified wineries in Napa. Today, Araujo is focused on building a business that functions as a force for good, while also making wine that is, “fresh, precise, and approachable – with structure to last.”

Here’s our lightly edited Q&A, from The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project.

How is your business different from others in your industry?

We are one of only three B Corp wineries in Napa Valley and we are woman- and LGBTQIA+ founded and managed. We straddle the gulf between “established Napa” and “new Napa” by using my heritage and experience to drive change.

Tell us about your biggest success so far. 

Our two biggest successes to date are achieving B Corp certification within the first five years of commercializing our wines, and growing our production tenfold in less than seven years.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?

Finding routes to market and getting the attention we need from large distributors. We have addressed these challenges through grassroots marketing initiatives (namely meeting the customers where they are) and building serious, long-term relationships with key distributor partners who want to support our mission.

Have you experienced any significant personal situations that affected your business decisions? 

I moved from France to the U.S. to work in Napa and start over again. I left behind a successful consulting business, got divorced and became a single parent to two children (which put an enormous strain on my already-stretched finances). 

What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs? 

Get professional HR assistance and guidance. Keep your personal finances safe. Know that the way you navigate difficult times will be seen by others, and you’ll likely be an inspiration without knowing it. Surround yourself with amazing people who love and support you, and who will call you out when necessary. Find a great coach and use them!

How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?

My team, friends, colleagues and coach are the best lights on dark days. They keep me grounded and honest, and hold me up when I falter.

What is your go-to song to get motivated on tough days?

“No Scrubs” by TLC.

Who is your most important role model?

I look up to Alecia Moore (the singer known as P!NK) and the way she lives her life honestly and unapologetically. I love her humility and genuine curiosity about grape growing and wine making. And, she has a very authentic voice. 

Instagram: @TroixNoisWine
Facebook: @TroixNoixWine

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