If you are considering leaving your corporate job to do your own thing

Joya Dass
2 min readJun 4, 2023

Lessons from my event yesterday

Three images hit when you walk into Marvina Robinson’s champagne tasting room:

🎨 Her love of graffiti art. A large intricate mural greets you as you enter the space.
🌺 Her taste. The walls are a peacock blue paint that sold me on my own apartment in Brooklyn.
🥂 Her craft. Bottles of her branded champagne B. Stuyvesant are stacked on floating shelves on the walls.

Then you meet her and learn that she is unapologetically who she is as an entrepreneur.

Yesterday, I hosted 7 women leaders around Robinson’s chef’s table. We tasted three of her champagnes. I interviewed her on the founding of B. Stuyvesant Champagne, which turns 3 this year.

Robinson spent years on Wall Street in risk management and gifted champagne. It was a spirit she enjoyed when she enjoyed growing up in Bedstuy, Brooklyn.

She travelled to France and began visiting local farmers, asking questions about the process. As relationships started to gel, she decided to create a “grower champagne” — — wines from the Champagne region of France made and bottled by the same person who grew the grapes. (This is different from a “Veuve Clicquot” — which typically blends together grapes grown by dozens of individual grape growers from across the region.)

It’s champagnes for purists.

“Eventually the love of champagne outgrew the love of my job on Wall Street,” said Robinson. She cleared out her desk. The day she would hand in her resignation, she planned to walk out with just the coat on her back.

And she did.

She didn’t have a business plan or systems in place. But, she is a firm believer in following her intuition and what her gut tells her.


If you are considering leaving your corporate job, and starting your own thing
a few takeaways from yesterday’s Women’s Leadership Lab event and Marvina Robinson’s story yesterday:

🔵 Be strategic about networking & opportunities. She has leveraged press with features in the New York Times and CBS News. She is a headliner at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic this year. When she does take a rare break, she has fun and insists on good company so she can recharge.

🔵 Take time to work “ON THE BUSINESS” versus “in the business.” Robinson logs odd hours given the demands of working Asian hours (She produces her own glassware for her tastings) and European hours (She visits her grapes quarterly in France). She arrives to the office 3 hours before her team does so she can think. She changes context throughout the day to get inspiration for new product and business ideas.

🔵 Build a body of work before welcoming in outside investor dollars. Robinson has had offers from investors, but has decided to self-fund and build a strong brand first. She knows that she won’t be for everybody, but she is unapologetically who Marvina Robinson is.

I host a business Mastermind for women leaders. Join the waitlist for the next event. https://lnkd.in/eZ2smwya



Joya Dass

If you have a goal and want the steps to make it your reality, I have a solution. www.joyadass.com