So how does a 19 Year Old Start a Successful Winery when she is not even old enough to drink?

Lauren Maillian figured it out. And it is that focus and determination that drivers her today… 

From partnering with corporations and brands to develop strategies and products that make a statement and fill a void, to working with entrepreneurs and advising start-ups on various paths on their journey, Lauren has the experience and insights that one would expect of a seasoned executive nearly twice her age. 

At age 19, Lauren co-founded a boutique winery that quickly became an internationally recognized award-winning wine brand, making her the youngest self-made winery owner in the country. She served as the Chief Operating Officer of the company from inception through the brand’s acquisition in 2011. After selling her winery Lauren founded LMB Group, a strategic marketing and brand advisory company where she currently serves as CEO.

From 2011-2013 she was a Founding Partner at Gen Y Capital Partners, an early stage venture firm focused on investments in mobile and consumer facing technology enabled companies.

Lauren conceptualizes, creates, and implements brand innovation that drives consumer connection. Through stories that strengthen engagement, insights that lead to new opportunities, strategy and execution that pulls it all together, Lauren’s efforts resonate with the target segments and deliver meaningful results for her partners.

Recognizing her unique expertise, brands such as J.P. Morgan Chase, DeVry, Cover Girl, Bumble and Bumble, and Secret Deodorant worked with Lauren to humanize their brands and to tell stories that more authentically connect with the consumer. Her approach is to leverage media, culture, strategy and technology, along with her deep understanding of people and products to create an emotional connection through storytelling. She develops strategic marketing initiatives that are rooted in authenticity to build brand identity, influence and notoriety.

A detail-oriented and global strategist (having traveled the world to more than 40 countries), with a deep understanding of business operations, management, and formation across various industries, Lauren has a unique perspective and a fresh forward-looking approach that is sensitive to the cultural nuances faced in global media and in-tune with the highly-engaged, and rapidly changing,  digital consumer landscape.

Lauren shares her insights and experience through speaking engagements on stages around the world. She has spoken at prestigious institutions including Harvard University, Columbia University, Cornell University; Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Shell, Dell, JP Morgan Chase, Ernst and Young (EY), Prudential, Ogilvy, Weber Shandwick, HSN, L’Oréal and Bloomberg; and at industry leading conferences and events such as Social Media Week, ColorComm and AdWeek.

She he has invested in several startups and serves on the Board of Directors of Digital Undivided, a social enterprise that increases the active participation of minority women in the digital space; CoSign, a technology company that allows you to monetize your social media and shareable content; LIQS, a brand of pre-mixed single serve cocktail shots; and Pipeline Angels. Lauren has advised and invested in over 50 companies that have generated over $75 Million in revenue

Lauren has been featured in various national outlets including Forbes, American Express OPEN Forum, Interactive ONE, Sirius XM Radio, 1010 WIN’s, HuffPost LIVE, AOL Build, Inc. Magazine, Mashable, UPTOWN Magazine, Jet Magazine, CNBC’s Nightly Business Report, MSNBC, FOX 5, CBS New York, Business Insider, Fast Company, and Black Enterprise.  she was recognized at The White House by the Kauffman Foundation as an Empact100 Award honoree which lists the top 100 entrepreneurs under 30; Essence named her a “Shot Caller” to watch in business; the New York Urban League’s Young Professionals awarded Lauren the honor of Philanthropist of the Year for her charitable involvement and dedication to giving back; Kia Motors and UPTOWN Magazine awarded Lauren for being Inspirationally Crafted for her leadership and fearless entrepreneurial journey; Smart CEO Magazine awarded Lauren the Smart CEO Brava Award and Walker’s Legacy named Lauren to their WL50Power List that honors women making strides in the business and philanthropic community.

Realizing the uniqueness of her path, Lauren decided to share her story with others and wrote her instant bestselling business memoir, The Path Redefined: Getting To the Top On Your Own Terms. Lauren’s expertise was also seen by many when she co-starred on the startup focused docu-series, Quit Your Day Job, on Oxygen (NBCU).

Philanthropy is extremely important to Lauren. She serves on the Advisory Board of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Multicultural Audience Development Initiative (MADI) Committee; as Vice Chair of The Apollo Theater Foundation Young Patrons Steering Committee; on the New York Urban League’s Development Committee; is a founding member of the Young Entrepreneur Council, and a Lifetime Member of the Children’s Aid Society.

Lauren has a Bachelor of Science, Magna Cum Laude, in International Trade and Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She currently resides in New York City with her two children, Jayden and Chloe, and her partner, Robert.

How Lauren started her entrepreneurial journey

1996: Started first lemonade stand

2001: Spent time living and modeling in Paris

2003: Spent time vacationing and ultimately working as a model in Buenos Aires, Argentina and quickly learned Spanish

2004: Returned to New York City and began collegiate studies at The Fashion Institute of Technology thinking she was going to launch a fashion brand​

2006: Decided to turn a successful grape-growing vineyard operation into a winery and began building and overseeing the construction of a winery and tasting room. She was also busy planning her wedding and got married that Spring

2007: Opened the winery and tasting room doors of Sugarleaf Vineyards to the public in August, graduated Magna Cum Laude from FIT with a Bachelors of Science in International Trade and Marketing in December and gave birth to first child, son Jayden days after completing studies in December!

2009: Had her second child, her mini-me, Chloe entered the world in September! Life as Lauren knew it suddenly changed; her marriage ended and immediately became a single mother with 2 children under the age of 2.

2011: Was honored at The White House with an Empact100 Award by the Kauffman Foundation for being one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under 30 in the United States.

2011: Started Luxury Market Branding and became heavily involved in the technology, venture and startup communities as an advisor and investor. At the end of the year, Jeremy Johnson and Lauren started Gen Y Capital to invest in early stage consumer facing technology companies.

2012: Sugarleaf Vineyards was acquired; Lauren sold her interest in the business — her first major exit as an entrepreneur!

2013: Essence Magazine named me a “Shot Caller” to watch in business.

2014: Lauren’s book, The Path Redefined: Getting To The Top On Your Own Terms, was published by BenBella Books and became an instant best-selling business memoir.

2014: The New York Urban League’s Young Professionals awarded Lauren the honor of Philanthropist of the Year for my charitable involvement and dedication to giving back.

2015: Kia Motors and UPTOWN Magazine named Lauren as one of their Inspirationally Crafted entrepreneurs for my leadership and fearless entrepreneurial journey and Smart CEO Magazine honored me as a 2015 Smart CEO Brava Award Winner.

2016: Lauren officially began her career in media, with her new TV show, Quit Your Day Job premiered on Oxygen (NBCU) March 30th 10p/9C