If wine and shopping are two of your favorite things, you have that in common with this writer—and Elaine Turner, who last week announced a new series that will merge the two on a monthly basis. 

“Tastemakers: Women Who Inspire and Empower” is the partnership between Turner, the Houston designer behind the eponymous brand and retail business, and California-based Cambria Estate Winery, a division of Jackson Family Wines.

Each month, a Cambria wine of Turner’s choosing will be brought into her Houston stores (in Rice Village, CityCentre, and BLVD Place) for charity events. The series’ goal—to fundraise for women’s causes and celebrate women leaders—mirrors what the Tastemakers partners already have in common: Both family-owned businesses are run by female entrepreneurs, and both heavily emphasize philanthropy. 

For Turner, that means hosting over 300 fundraising events each year for charities related to women, children, and cancer through the brand’s “Glamorous Giving” program.

“We use our platform to change lives and make a difference,” Turner told Houstonia. “Wherever we have a store, we are very much ingrained in the community and how we want to give back.”

Here, that work has benefited the Houston Area Women’s Shelter, Dress for Success, Heroes for Children, The Women’s Home, Kids’ Meals, The Boys and Girls Club, and more.

“Any sort of support toward women is always at the forefront of the brand and what we do and what we talk about,” Turner said. “I believe that every woman that you can touch ultimately changes the world … it’s not just about what I do here in Houston; it’s how that extends to the world that we live in.”

With a similar charitable mission, Cambria was a natural partner for Turner’s brand. Proprietor Julia Jackson—daughter of Jess Jackson, the famed winemaker behind Kendall-Jackson wine—started the business’ Seeds of Empowerment program in 2014 to award $100,000 annual grants to women leaders and entrepreneurs. 

Passionate about the environment, Jackson found herself gravitating toward projects with that focus, which led Cambria to modify the program and—after a chance meeting at a Halloween party—a partnership with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. LDF, which has raised over $80 million for environmental causes, named Cambria its official winery partner. Together, the organizations are launching a global initiative to award two women $25,000 grants annually to further their environmental leadership efforts.

“I have a passion for women’s empowerment, finding and celebrating really strong women entrepreneurs and leaders, and for the environment,” Jackson said. “It’s a great marriage of the two.” 

Last Wednesday, Jackson and Turner celebrated the start of their own partnership in Turner’s BLVD store, where guests tried Cambria wine and cheese and chocolate pairings and shopped Turner’s newly debuted Spring 2018 collection. A portion of event proceeds benefited non-profit Women of Wine Charities, which holds wine-related events and educational programs to benefit the Houston Area Women’s Shelter. 

Beyond charitable efforts, Turner uses her brand–and designs–to celebrate and empower women, too. The trademark pink found in so many Elaine Turner products is a tribute to Turner’s mother, who’s battled breast cancer on and off for years. (Jackson, too, watched both her mother and grandmother fight the disease.)

“Watching my mother battle this disease for as long as I have really led me [to] other women’s causes and [showed] that I can have a voice for women,” Turner said. “We want women to feel empowered when they come into our store, that they have access to that, it is attainable to them—not only financially, but also through body types. Our brand really represents a democratic point-of-view toward women.”

Moreover, Turner’s next fall collection was designed in homage to the women’s movement, a decision borne out of international masculine-meets-feminine trends and a nod to the resurgence of the crusade, particularly in the time of #MeToo, which gained traction as Turner was in the midst of conceiving her forthcoming collection. 

“[Supporting other women] is a part of our DNA; it’s a pillar of who we are and what we believe in,” Turner said of her business. “We just do what we can and light our candle where we can, whenever we can. I believe that all change really starts right in front of you.”

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