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Mary J. Blige has joined ReserveBar’s newly formed “Spirited Change Initiative” as an investor in a move to help diversity the spirits industry.
According to Rolling Stone, the Spirited Change Initiative aims to provide exposure to minority- and women-owned alcohol brands. At present, minority women-owned liquor brands make up less than 5% of the sector.
ReserveBar, an online liquor store, has pledged $5 million through 2024 to provide brands with marketing services and exposure, including spotlighting brands on its platform.
“Investing in ReserveBar’s Spirited Change Initiative was an easy decision for me. When I was first creating my wine, I was told less than 5% of the spirits industry represents BIPOC and/or female entrepreneurs. That statistic is unacceptable. We need to make actionable change within the industry and begin to empower, support, and provide tangible resources to minority entrepreneurs as a first step toward inclusion and equality. I look forward to working with my fellow investors to make that happen,” Mary J. Blige told Bevnet.com.
The singer added that her addition was “was a natural fit,” it is an opportunity to give back.
Other investors include producer Sean “Diddy” Combs and Thirty Five Ventures, the investment firm founded by Brooklyn Nets star and newly-minted Olympic gold medalist Kevin Durant and his longtime manager, Rich Kleiman.
Blige is not new to the spirits industry.
Last year she launched her Italian wine brand, Sun Goddess. Her collection kicked off with a full-bodied Pinot Grigio Ramato and a velvety-smooth Sauvignon Blanc.
Blige said she decided to create the brand during a tasting visit at the Fantinel Vineyards. “In that moment, I felt the same magical energy I have long tried to capture from the sun and knew this was an incredible opportunity to partner with someone who shared that passion.”