We had the good fortune of connecting with Shai Ellison and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shai, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind the success of Velvet Vino Tours is the commitment to treat each client with the same type of kindness and hospitality that we would treat family. By treating our clients like family we ensure that we always go the extra mile to create a fun and memorable experience.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve always been a lover of wine and would frequently visit one of the local North GA wineries when I would go up to Helen to tub. I didn’t realize there were so many wineries until my husband and I participated in the GA Wine Highway Tasting. Once I realized that there were a ton of hidden gems I just knew that I needed to provide a service that would give local metro Atlanta citizens the opportunity to explore and visit the wineries without having to worry about driving to and from the city. Once I decided that I would start a wine tour company I started going up to the wineries almost daily which allowed me to foster relationships with the wineries while learning what made each of the wineries special. There are lots of other wine tour companies so I also made sure to foster a relationship with them and was able to identify another company that mentored me and answered a lot of my questions. It took months of passing out business cards, talking to people at the wineries, attending local wine tasting events and just networking and letting people know that we were available for tours. Once clients started booking we quickly learn the importance word of mouth and referrals. We absolutely love hosting our clients especially capturing all their moments by photos. Taking photos for our clients is one of the things that sets us apart from other tour companies. I have a love for capturing moments and typically provide our clients with about 350 photos from their wine tastings experience.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well if I had friends visiting the first thing I would put on the itinerary would be a wine tour of course! Otherwise we would go to Breakfast at Barney’s for brunch, I absolutely love their fish and spaghetti and Red Velvet Cake. Next we would do a tour at the Aquarium and the Civil Rights Museum. Our day wouldn’t be complete without a visit and ride on Atlanta’s Ferris-wheel and a ride on the streetcars. For dinner we would go to Capital Grill in Dunwoody. I can always depend on them to provide top notch service and food. Later that week we would hang out at Truist Stadium and stop by Cru Wine Bar for a quick tasting. On Thursday I would take them to NIKO’S’s which is a wine shop that has wine tastings every Thursday we would finish our evening at Sam’s on Main for dinner.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband and family have always supported me as I pursued my dreams and aspirations. I wouldn’t have made it this far without their unwavering support and encouragement.

Website: www.velvetvinotours.com

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Image Credits
Shai Ellison

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