Mommynoire: What made the two of you decided to get together and create Viva Diva Wines?
Carmen: Christina became a brand ambassador and was given small ownership opportunity at the beginning. It was recently that we were given the opportunity to buy it completely and change the company around to suit us more.
Christina: I have always loved wine and have spend many nights with my girlfriends around a bottle of wine so the opportunity was a great fit! We were really excited to have the opportunity in June to purchase the brand so that we can really personalize it more. We partnered with Robyn Santiago who did the PR for the brand and now the three of us are working hard to take Viva Diva nationally and add some incredible new facets to the brand in 2015.
Christina, what are some of the best (and worst) parts of working with friends and family?
Christina: I am fortunate to say that it has been all a positive experience both working with my mom and Robyn on this brand. We were all always on the same page when the company was previously owned so now that we are all in this together, our vision is the same and the way we all would like to execute our vision has been in unison.
What have you learned about each other since working together on Viva Diva?
Carmen: We all have our own strengths and working together on Viva Diva has been so great because all three of us put in all the effort to make this a successful venture.
Christina: We have all learned how hard we are willing to work to make this a success and that has been our biggest success thus far. Our distributors and sales team that we have on board have brought to our attention that the passion behind Viva Diva is what sets us apart from many other competing brands in the market right now.
Christina, so many men launch liquor brands (only Bethenny Frankel comes to mind with her Skinny Girl brand). Did you face any challenges being a woman in the spirits lane?
Christina: Quite the contrary, actually. I think my mom, Robyn and I have experienced that this is a male driven [industry] that we have had the pleasure of entering and dominating in some areas. It’s been fun working and changing this industry while learning from other brands at the same time.
Christina, how has being a mom affected the way you work and the choices you make career-wise?
Christina: In a positive way, yes! Being a mom makes my drive even stronger than it ever was to succeed and go after my dreams because at the end of the day, I am setting an example for my daughter and providing a life for her by the choices and decisions that I make in my career.
Carmen, what is your favorite part of being a grandmother, and a working grandmother?
Carmen: I love every part of being a grandmother and a working grandmother. I have the luxury of working from home on our business and managing Christina and my other daughters Lizzy and Danielle so I also get the luxury of time to spend with my grandchildren, too.
Viva Diva is obviously marketed towards women, what’s your perfect idea of a girls night?
Christina: At home and then out on the town. A perfect girls night is at home with my girlfriends over a glass or two of Viva Diva Wines and some fun appetizers that my sister Lizzy creates for us! A night on the town would definitely include a great restaurant, I love food, and a cold glass of Viva!
Carmen: I love staying in with friends and family and entertaining. It’s fun when all my family gets together. Lizzy, my daughter, is a great chef and always makes great food plus we make some great Cuban food that we all enjoy and we never miss an opportunity to share a glass of Viva together.
Christina, your show “Turned Up” sounds like fun just from the name, what are we going to see on your E! show?
Christina: Everything! It’s exciting that it is airing January 18th on E! channel! Your going to see everything from my music, time with friends, time with family, conquering fears, fun trips and some great sister time!
Carmen, are you on the show? Was there enough turning up for you or too much?
Carmen: I am on the show! Turning up in the title is really more about turning up Christina’s career, our family, friends, businesses, more taking things to the top, not just “turning up” but we did that too! I am always in business mode for my family, so it takes a lot for me to “turn up.”
Would you two like to work together on any other projects?
Yes, we have an animated series that we are working on called “Shelby Star.” You will see a lot more of that in 2015.