Meet Taylor Simpson
Born into a farming family in Northern Michigan, Taylor grew up with her roots established in cherries and wine grapes long before she uttered her first word. Upon completing college, she moved to Chicago to learn the trade of wine distribution and focused her energy in sales to fine dining restaurants and personal and professional wine education. Taylor headed back to Northern Michigan in 2009, and she and her brother took over the reins of the family business and are now running the family winery Good Harbor Vineyards.
What inspires you?
There are many things that inspire me in different ways, however, the one that comes to mind first and foremost are the people in my life that love their job and have no desire to formally retire. I have heard so many individuals talk about the excitement of retirement. It is an idea that I too thought I should strive for one day, that life is more fulfilling and fun without work. I believed in the common notion of retirement until I moved home and now find myself surrounded by many people who have no desire to stop working because they love what they do. They acknowledge that at times their jobs are work, but at the end of the day, the work portion pales in comparison to the sense of achievement they feel. My father once told me to find something I loved to do, because at the end of the day it all becomes work. I believe this as I have had many days that I would have preferred to be relaxing on a beach, but also believe that if you do something you love as your job, the idea of retiring makes less and less sense.
What is the most outrageous things you have ever done?
One of the most outrageous things I have done in my life was riding an ostrich. Many people may not like to know that I dislike most birds. Growing up on a farm gives you a different perspective toward wildlife that effect your livelihood. This being said, while visiting my brother in South Africa, we stopped at an Ostrich farm. We were offered the opportunity to ride an Ostrich around a fairly large arena. Obviously, I was hesitant. The bird it over six feet tall and apparently can rip though a human’s spine with its middle claw. Not a bird you want to mess with. After a moment of deep breathing I decided I was only going to get one shot in my life to ride an Ostrich, so I had best suck it up and get on the bird. They brought the Ostrich into the arena and put a bag over its head so it would stop moving. I slowly made my way on and got into position. Once ready, a gentleman pulled the bag off and the Ostrich took off. I was able to stay on and the gentleman was able to corral the Ostrich so I could get off safely. I will tell you that I have a new found respect for the large bird.
What do you suck at?
I am a TERRIBLE liar. I can’t hold a straight face for more than a few seconds if I am lying. In fact, the few times that I have actually held it together long enough to convince someone that I was “telling the truth” I admitted that I had lied to them about one minute later. I would lose all of my money in a game of poker, without a doubt.
What do you geek out about?
I geek out about wine and food. I love to learn about different wine regions and the differences in flavors and growing and production techniques. I love how when a wine is paired perfectly with a course, both the wine and food are enhanced by one another. Neither the food nor the wine will taste as good when consumed alone.
What do you believe?
It may sound lame, but I believe that you treat others the way you want to be treated. Karma is real. I believe that there are actually only four degrees of separation as we get older and if you treat a “stranger” with disrespect or in an inappropriate way, you will ultimately wind up hurting someone you care about. Everyone has bad days, I do realize this, but if you do the best you can every day, good things should come your way.