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Voyage Houston

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Meet Brooke Sinclair of Velour Imports in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brooke Sinclair.

Brooke, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.

After high school, I went straight to college. When I enrolled in UH’s Theatre department I had big dreams of acting on Broadway, that’s when I learned I can’t act. So my plans changed. To achieve my goal of being on Broadway I had to switch to the “dark side.” I swapped to technical theatre and became a Stage Manager.

Raised in a family of engineers, I have always had an interest in problem-solving. But not for myself, solving the problems of others. My mom took the idea of creating a well-rounded individual to the max, I was in everything. I took ballet, tap and jazz dance classes, volunteered with the Special Olympics and auditioned for commercials and fashion shows in LA. Looking back, we were in constant motion. I don’t know how she did it all. My mom made sure I understood though people looked different on the surface, we were all the same underneath. It’s that philosophy which continues to inspire me today and continues to feed my passion for caring for others.

My mom did such a good job of teaching me sympathy for others that even as a child my thoughts were always focused on solving the problems of others in a big way. At four-years-old I told my mom I wanted to be a lawyer for the poor and I gave a priceless Sasha doll to the homeless children in Mexico because the teacher said the kids had nothing.  When I became a stage manager as an adult it was a great fit because it I could solve the problems of, and take care of, a large group of people at a time.

Inspired by John C. Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership I crossed into adulthood with an understanding of the importance of being influential.  Like a superhero I started practicing my power of influence then used that influence to gain a successful career in theatre for nearly a decade. Influence afforded me the opportunity to stage manage at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem and develop the highly competent level of problem-solving skills of which I use today.          

I started out leading with a soft heart which led to my free-spirited twenties which ultimately resulted in what you see now, my entrepreneurial thirties.  Though I had never thought about exporting craft beer, my interest had always had an interest in making a global impact on the world and looking back now I see Velour Imports wasn’t a business idea that happened on a whim.  It was what I had been preparing to do my whole life.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?

There have been SO many obstacles! Both personally and professionally. My single greatest struggle has been money. I started a global business without nest egg of cash and have bootstrapped my way to success.

When Velour was founded I was working at a nonprofit and living on a nonprofit budget.  Between paying bills, financially supporting my mom, and continuing my education my budget was being fully utilized.  I had no other choice but draw from my theatre roots, I used networking and my ability to influence and gain access to build the foundation of the company.  

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Velour Imports – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.

We specialize in using technology to enhance our distribution of independently owned craft beer, wine, hard cider, and spirits to the Caribbean, Central American and South American markets.

Established in 2015, we pride ourselves in opening the door to global sales for everyone interested in walking through. Built in the mold of today’s trending technology company, Velour Imports is known for providing up-and-coming “Instagram famous” contemporary brands to growing craft beer markets outside the states.

What sets Velour apart from its competition is the company’s integration of digital tools and social media into our sales and operations. For us, social media isn’t just part of the marketing plan. It is the plan. We used social media to announce the company, to procure brands, and to support other businesses in the craft industry because we are strong advocates of unifying the craft beverage manufacturers and supporters.  

So, what’s next? Any big plans?

The future is full of endless possibilities. I most excited about unleashing the full force of the Velour Imports’ team in the world. Part of Velour’s mission is to enhance the prosperity of those who dare to dream of being more than what they are today, I want to bring that philosophy to life by hiring highly intelligent digital leaders within each region of sales.

Phase two of the development plan for the company is to use Velour Imports as a platform for change exclusively reserved for independently owned manufacturers of craft beverages around the world by hiring technological staff in each region to support sales.  Offering jobs to the unemployed college grads laid off from oil and gas jobs can help each develop and grow the economy of each nation. We are looking forward to solidifying relationships with partners in Grenada, Dominica, and Jamaica and supporting the growth of the craft beer community in Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

For me personally, I’m looking forward to having fun again.  When Velour started I was working full-time and studying for a master’s degree, my work-life balance has been out of whack for many years now.  I’m most looking forward to concentrating on the simpler things in life. This experience, the experience of building a dynamic, multi-faceted organization like Velour Imports has helped me reevaluate my perspective on relationships. Its taught me that value of building a solid foundation, while remaining unapologetic and vulnerable, and now I feel like I’m ready for life’s greatest challenge: motherhood.

 

by Voyage Houston | May 2018

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