San Diego’s Devin Parr (a k a The SoCal Wine Gal) is the founder and managing partner of Devin Parr & Associates, a consulting agency for the wine industry. Learn about Devin Parr…
Hometown: San Diego, CA
First job: I moved from New York City to Los Angeles in 1997 after graduating high school, and before going to college at UC San Diego and got a job working as an intern at Rhino Records for the summer. Back then, I wanted to be in the music business. Or, at least I thought I did. Turns out, I just really liked music and going to concerts.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: My second greatest (non-human) love, after wine, is cooking. For me, there is nothing better than pouring a crisp glass of cold white wine, putting on some tunes, and digging into a new or old favorite recipe. I also recently took up karate and it’s quickly becoming an obsession, much to my husband’s dismay as he finds himself on the receiving end of the occasional sneak attack roundhouse kick.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: I thought about this question for a while, focusing more on my professional life. But I kept coming back to the same answer: My children. Not only was carrying and delivering them an immense physical feat, but watching these little people grow and interact with the world around them represents my life’s greatest work. The experience of being a mother has taught me so much about love, forgiveness, empathy, joy and sacrifice. I can honestly say I am a better, stronger human being because of my children.
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: The death of my father when I was 9 months pregnant with my second child, and not being able to attend his funeral. We had a troubled relationship and, when he died, I was absolutely sick with regret. I still am. I can’t say I have totally overcome this obstacle yet, but I work on it every day. Going through this heartache has underscored the importance of living this one life we have without any regrets. Whether it’s working harder on a difficult relationship, finding joy or being more open to taking risks and leaps of faith, I want to know that I can sleep at night feeling good about who I am and what I have done, and hopefully cultivate important lifelong memories in the process. I also find juggling the pressures of being a full-time working mom – as clichéd as it may sound – to be one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced.
Someone who inspires you and why: My husband. I can think of few people with the work ethic that he has. Whether it’s his job, his goals as a competitive runner, his education or our family, it seems he is at all times trying to figure out ways to be and do better, even when he fails. Especially when he fails! I know he drops into bed at night with the happy exhaustion of knowing he gave the day everything he had, which is something I aspire to. Now if I could just get him to channel that energy into rinsing the toothpaste out of the sink from time to time…
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Learn the art of cultivating, managing and nurturing relationships, both professional and personal. Let your work ethic and passion come through in everything you do. Shoot for the position beyond what you are qualified for, knowing you will do what it takes to prove yourself worthy. And smell everything! It’s essential in the study of wine!
Favorite quote: “No grit, no pearl.” I actually have it tattooed on my arm.
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I am not ticklish, and I am immune to mosquito bites. My husband thinks I’m a witch because of this.
What makes someone fabulous in your own words: A person with energy, integrity, positivity and curiosity, who shares joy openly, and views life as an ongoing opportunity to learn about and from others. Oh and shoes. Gotta have shoe game.