WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Confucius said "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." A Virginia woman took those words of wisdom to heart. She gave up a job with full benefits to start her own business and pursue her twin passions: wine and horses.
Kathy Gulick knew just where to come to get expert advice on choosing a new saddle for her 10-year-old American bred Hanoverian. Kim Pinello has been riding since she was 7 years old. She and her business, the Galloping Grape, have been fixtures in this part of Warrenton, Va. horse country for 8 years.
Kim Pinello used to be an accountant. She made that daily nightmare commute from Warrenton to her D.C. office until she couldn't stand it anymore.
She told us, "I hated accounting and my husband said, 'you should do something you love.'"
She added, "My two passions are wine and horses."
Pinellodecided to combine themunder one roof. She quit her job, found the original Galloping Grape location and opened it soon after.
"The banks back then in 2006 were extremely kind. It was fairly easy for a female small business owner to get started," recalled Pinello.
"We opened with brand new inventory, which cost me," said Pinello. "...That's why I went from brand new saddles and tack to consignment."
All the saddles she accepts are refurbished and made like brand new.
"That way riders don't have to spend$5,000 on a brand new saddle and they can spend a thousand or less," shared Pinello.
Pinello's customers can certainly drink to thatand without ever leaving the Galloping Grape.
According to Pinello, "We have over 800-bottles of wine here."
She added, "I taste almost 100 bottles of wine a week and I won't put it on the shelf unless I taste it myself."
They appreciate Pinello's personal touch so much, they havevoted the Galloping Grape the best place to buy wine in Warrenton four years in a row.
Pinello has two pieces of advice for women who'd like to strike out on their own. First, take take advantage of FREE social media like Facebook and Etsy to push your product.
"It's so easy to reach 7,000 people with a single sentence...and 8,000 people have seen it, want to know more about it and purchase it, hopefully," said Pinello.
Second, above all, love what you're doing.
"What could be better than this...no nightmare commute...and surrounded by wine and all these beautiful saddles," said Pinello.
The Galloping Grape is open everyday except Sunday. Kim Pinello also holds FREE wine tastings every Thursday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.