North Bay Business Journal

Monday, June 24, 2013, 6:28 am

Women in Business 2013: Rebecca Faust, Rack & Riddle Wine Services

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    Rebecca Faust

    Managing member, Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services, 14100 Mountain House Rd., Hopland 95449; 707-744-8100; rackandriddle.com

    Age: 53

    Residence: Healdsburg

    Professional background: Finance, CPA

    Education: BA Business, Sonoma State University

    Staff: 50 employees


    Tell us about yourself and your company: I am very shy, but can get comfortable following an introduction. I run from spotlights, speeches and most meetings held for little or no purpose. I would much rather stick to a focused agenda each day that allows for accomplishment and progress. I love my children and take great pride in their success.

    Rack & Riddle has been a labor of love and seven-day work weeks. It has evolved from a simple beginning and a few clients to a very complex business with more than 150 clients. That is strategically challenging. We have an amazing group of employees and the effort they put in their jobs and the work they do on behalf of our clients leaves me humbled.

    We are lucky to have them all. I don’t know what the days ahead will bring, but the journey so far at Rack & Riddle has been filled with many twists and turns, a few surprises and tears and a great many moments of pride. I have been very lucky.

    What is a major accomplishment in the past year or so?: Launching a new sparkling wine brand, Breathless Wines, with my sisters, in memory of our mother.

    What is the achievement you are most proud of?: The establishment of Rack & Riddle, and finding my children still wanting me to be a big part of their lives.

    Rebecca Faust

    What is your biggest challenge today?: The need for capital to continue to expand the business. Getting a loan when you’re not wealthy, despite the success of Rack & Riddle, is difficult.  

    Words that best describe you: Shy, fair and I have a big heart for anything involving my children, my sisters or any of their children. I very much love them all.

    As a successful female professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?: That my entrepreneurial spirit was somehow less important. I never stopped dreaming about having my own business though. Launching a wine business, especially one dealing in service that lacks the glamour of its own brand, and succeeding during a period a time when so many businesses failed was proof about dreams and daring to try.

    How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?: The need for more innovation in reaching consumers must be a major driver for those in the wine business. Spirits and beer are always trying to find a pitch to reach consumers. Wine as a beverage waits to be discovered. It’s the wrong approach.

    What advice would you give to a young woman entering your profession or the work world today?: Find passion, work hard, be fair in your judgement of others.

    Who was your most important mentor?: My mother, Martha Faust. She was in business before most women knew what business meant. She worked hard to raise three daughters and to make them believe they could succeed. She gave us all a strong work ethic and a determination to succeed.

    Most admired businessperson outside your organization: Jon Dal Poggetto

    Current reading: Ownership Thinking by Brad Hams

    Most want to meet: Buster Posey

    Stress relievers: Planning trips and then visiting my daughter in Ireland

    Favorite hobbies: Soccer, running and watching my son play baseball

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