When you think of a Bad Ass Woman, you think of Tara Nimmo, owner of The Saratoga Winery. She is a fearless, motivated, and a unstoppable force. She has had to face unthinkable hurdles and not once did they stop her, they pushed her to work harder and make her dream a reality. Side by side with her husband they are the epitome of an American business owner. A true family ran business, she put everything on the line to pursue her dream. There was no other option, she was going to succeed no matter what the obstacles. She is a mom, wife, business owner, amazing friend, and the most badass woman I know. I was able to interview her to see where she gets her drive and passion.
Q. 1 When did the entrepreneur bug bite you?
Tara: In my early 20s, I knew that I wanted to work for myself. Honestly, the initial motivation was to have control of my paycheck and my schedule. After a successful sales job led to opening my own division of a marketing company, I became passionate about training and teaching young people to become successful entrepreneurs. The idea of controlling your future and creating your own job security is what I was taught and is what continued to motivate me. Since then, my husband and I have started and succeeded at four small businesses and multiple real estate endeavors.
Q. 2 What is your passion?
Tara: Building! Building a barn, structure, addition, event, landscape, menu, marketing concept etc. I love creating with no boundaries. I have the mindset that anything is possible, and I am the only one standing in my way. I love to turn ideas into reality. I love the entire process, from concept, design, layout, steps of execution, setbacks and new directions, and my favorite, of course, is completion. To be able to take something that exists in my mind and see it with my eyes.
Q.3 Who were the women mentors that encouraged you or inspired you?
Tara: My mother and sister for sure. My mother’s a life has been filled with hardships and tragedies but speaking with her you would never know it. Her ability to stay positive through everything, work harder than anyone and never make an excuse for any shortcomings has given me an unmeasurable amount of strength. She built her restaurant from scratch and has successfully operated it for 27 years. Seven years ago, she became a widow for the second time. She lost her business partner and the love of her life. She chose to continue running the business on her own and still musters up the energy to get up at 3am for work every day.
My sister showed me that no matter where our beginnings started us, it did not dictate our future. She overcame insurmountable challenges and blasted through them like they didn’t exist. She didn’t just pave her way to success, she bulldozed that shit and left nothing in her path. She had a goal, and nothing was going to stop her. Her work ethic, perseverance and determination are awe inspiring. She is a creator of her own happiness and truly lives her best life. She has always led me to see what is possible.
Q.4 Why did you pick your business niche?
Tara: My husband and I always loved to entertain and realized that we were pretty good at making wine, so we decided to combine the two. What started as a small tasting room, with intentions of growing a wholesale business turned into a 6000 square foot entertainment venue with a full restaurant, beer and spirits menu, live music and public and private events. I guess we were better at it than we thought, and it took on a life of its own. It has continued to grow and evolve for thirteen years.
We also started A1 Power Washing Services, that we have owned and operated for eighteen years. We provide residential cleaning services for over 700 homes each season and provide commercial cleaning for hotels, large condo communities, shopping centers, hospitals, churches and schools. Seven years ago, we started a commercial snow plowing business where we provided service for Stewarts shops and shopping centers. We now remove snow exclusively for Skidmore College. Ten years and we sold our HVAC service company to focus on growing the winery.
We are currently starting our next adventure which has been a lifelong dream. It is still in the planning stages, and we are excited to share it soon.
Q.4 Was this something you went to school for etc?
Tara: No this is not at all what I went to school for. In fact, besides a few college courses under my belt I do not have a degree in anything. I joined the Marine Corps when I was 17 and had a medical discharge at 18. My mom was just opening her restaurant when I came home, and I had to beg her for a job. She thought I was a little rough around the edges to be a waitress, but I think I became one of her favorites. She taught me more in those four years than a college could have. I experienced the true grit that it takes to build a business from the ground up, and the strength that it takes to stick to it.
Q.5 What do you do for encouragement or to be motivated?
Tara: During the first eight years of owning the winery, I didn't know what day it was and I couldn't count on three hands when the last time I had a day off was. I think I operated purely on the will to survive, and the wine helped. I was operating three businesses with two toddlers, serving as a landlord for nightmare tenants, and continuously building another addition on the winery to make more room. I just kept pushing because my true motivation had always been to create a life where I can be financially successful while being completely devoted, available and present as a mom. I didn't want to give up on that. Over time, things evolved, improved, grew and got better. There are always lots of ups and downs so encouragement and motivation are incredibly important components. My family and the love that I have for my kids has always been my why. Now I can build my work schedule around my kids. Before I achieved that flexibility, I embraced being able to bring them to work and teach them a work ethic and the possibilities that come with it. Making people happy, watching my ideas come to life, and being present for my family all motivate me.
Q. 6 How do you balance your entrepreneur life with friends/family that don’t understand the challenges we experience?
Tara: Balance is important and requires daily work. I think I was borderline clinically insane for a few years. One minute, you think you've got it figured out, then you get thrown a curveball, drop the balls you’re juggling and next thing you know, you don’t know which balls to grab. One by one you pick them up and try again. The key is to be flexible, don’t worry about things that you cannot control, don’t be too serious, get rid of things that cause you stress, laugh at your mistakes (when you’re ready), breath and try something else. I wear a lot of hats for sure and I find that the people that matter most in my life understand that I can only give what I have. My two boys always come first and everything else comes after.
Q.7 What Is the mission of your business/job?
Tara: The mission of my business is to provide the community a special place to get together with friends and family, relax and forget about the stresses of the world. It is also to provide our team a supportive place to work where they can achieve growth and have balance in their work and home life. We have always nurtured a family atmosphere welcoming to all who come through our doors.
Q.8 What do you want readers to know about your business?
Tara: I would like people to know that we are so much more than a winery. We also offer beer, spirits, and a full restaurant menu. We are open for lunch and dinner on Thursdays and Fridays and serve an amazing brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. We offer flights of wine, beer, cocktails, and mimosas. We have live music every Friday night and have awesome monthly events including comedy shows, holiday celebrations, pairing dinners, pig roasts, and incredible live music events. We also host private events from small celebrations to large weddings. We are family-friendly and have a huge backyard for bonfires. cornhole and beer pong.
Q.9 With many challenges with being a woman in business, what about being a badass woman has benefited you and your business?
Tara: Running a business takes thick skin. Running three businesses, being a good mom and having a life; takes planning and unwavering determination. I could never recount all of the incredibly challenging and impossible situations that I have been in as an entrepreneur over the past 20 years. When you own the business, you can’t just quit and find a new job, you must find a solution to every problem and move forward. Cliche as it sounds, it truly takes blood sweat, tears and probably a kidney (or liver;) to succeed. Overall, it takes incredible mental and emotional strength, vision and purpose. I have worked in every position at each business, from admin, marketing, kitchen line, dishwasher, busser, bartender, toilet scrubber, cigarette butt picker upper, power washer, painter, certified HVAC service provider, snowplow driver, planner, designer and builder. It takes know how, flexibility and an attitude that I am not above any job. As the business owner I am responsible for every job. I can learn from everyone, and the best ideas can come from anyone. I approach everything confidently like I know what I’m doing, even if I don’t, cause I know I will figure it out. I never focus on the fact that I am a woman, just that I am capable and deserving of the success that comes from my efforts.
Q.7 What is your favorite quote?
"Stop searching for your happiness, create it."
To learn more about how this Bad Ass Woman can help you visit their site! This business is a fantastic, unique small business locally that deserves our support! Please follow her on her social media pages to give support!
The Saratoga Winery & Tasting Room
462 Route 29, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
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