Javi Strohm, the Senior Tasting Room Manager at Michael Florentino Cellars, didn’t plan on a career in the wine industry. “I fell into the wine industry as a fun thing to do,” she reflects. Starting almost two decades ago by helping at a wine shop in Bothell, her love for wines, meeting winemakers, and engaging with people grew steadily.

“The more I learned about wine, the more I saw women being recognized for their winemaking skills,” she recalls. “It was inspiring to see women breaking barriers in a historically male-dominated field.”

Defining Success: Becoming a Recognized Judge

For Javi, a pivotal moment came when she was asked to be a judge at a significant wine award event. “I was shocked but extremely pleased to be recognized for my knowledge and tasting skills,” she shares. The experience not only affirmed her expertise but also fueled her desire to further her knowledge and tasting skills.

Navigating Challenges: Supporting Each Other in Tough Times

Challenges are inevitable in the hospitality industry, but Javi believes in the power of community support, especially in Washington. “Staffing and retaining employees can be challenging,” she admits. However, she finds solace in the collaborative spirit of the industry. “When someone is in a jam, everyone is willing to work together.”

Staying Innovative: Trends in Women-Driven Hospitality

Despite being rooted in a working winery, Javi embraces innovation to enhance guest experiences. “Observing events like Ladies Nights and seeing women gravitate towards women-owned wineries inspires me,” she notes. Interacting with guests provides valuable insights into evolving trends.

Empowering Through Mentorship: Women Uplifting Women

Javi actively engages in mentorship, particularly with colleagues in her Seattle location. “I’m a good listener and always ready to help,” she says. “Women are the backbone of our community, and supporting each other is crucial.”

In conclusion, Javi Strohm’s journey exemplifies the empowerment of women in the hospitality industry. Through challenges, successes, and mentorship, she advocates for a supportive and inclusive environment where women can thrive and excel.