Name: Lindsay Trivers

Name of business: The Tasting Class

What do you do?
Provide fun and interactive wine and Belgian beer classes, private tastings and professional consultancy for curious drinkers and hospitality professionals alike.

How did you get started?
I've been working in the wine and hospitality industry for more than a decade, and it's taken me around the world. I moved to the UAE for a role as a sommelier in a five star hotel about two years ago. I quickly realized that people craved more wine and beer knowledge, beyond just chugging it down, but it wasn't widely available to the public, or even to all reaches of the service industry in Dubai. I love helping people understand wine and beer, and helping them find the drops that suit their tastes and budget so offering educational consultancy was a natural progression for me.

Who and what inspire you?
Madeline Puckette, creator of Wine Folly, is on the same mission as me to make wine approachable for everyone, and she's having a great time and huge success while doing it. I also admire Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, She's killing it in the corporate world on her own terms and counts being a woman among her strengths. In the early days of starting my company alone her quote, 'done is better than perfect', became one of my mantras.
What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?
It means taking control of my time and future. It also means that I get to bring a product I truly believe in to market. As a small business owner I love having the direct interaction with my clients. It feel proud to see people enjoy our classes, and I feel directly responsible to ensure that my clients are getting value from my services. The saying find something you love and you'll never work a day of your life again has new meaning. I still work a lot, and it's not always easy, but it doesn't quite feel like work anymore.

How do you split your time?
Between my desk, coffee shops, my car, client meetings, training sessions, and hosting tasting classes.

What is your workspace like?
It's never in one place. In client's homes, in numerous F&B outlets around the UAE, in cafes and in my office ensure that it's never dull. I love the freedom, mobility and constant change ( so long as the traffic is in my favour J )

What three items can't you live without?
Laptop, mobile phone and my car is the honest answer. The more fun answer is quality wine, the correct glassware from which to drink it, and a good flat white coffee.
Which UAE companies do you admire?
The Tom & Serge group of restaurants. It's a successful business built by a couple guys doing what they know well. It's a down-to-earth brand that has managed to appeal to the people of Dubai's across a few different demographics. The speed at which the company is growing is very impressive too. There are a few drink consultancy and service providers in Dubai, aside from The Tasting Class. Our brothers in arms if you will. I appreciate their shared understanding of the importance that hard beverages play to tourism and hospitality in the region. We're all bringing our international expertise on a mission to improve, standardize and evolve professional beverage services and establish Dubai as one of the greatest culinary, and bar culture cities in the world.

Why is supporting small businesses so important to you?
One familiar slight I hear about Dubai is that it's fake and soulless. I see why some people might think this, but even in the two years I've been in the region I've seen a lot of 'soul' emerge, and it appears to grow alongside small businesses. Small businesses have a lot to prove and a lot to lose which drives innovative and soulful projects, plus when every client and transaction matters so much you can bet the sense of personally responsibility is high and the service will be great.

How can the community get involved in your business?
Book a private wine or beer class for you and your friends for a fun night in, join us for one of our classes around Dubai, or get in touch to see how we can improve your restaurant's wine and beer services. It's all on TheTastingClass.com, on our Facebook page or you can sign up for our monthly newsletter which announces all upcoming classes and tasting events around the UAE.
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