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Cori Lee Seaberg of Out East on Transitioning Into Full-Time Entrepreneurship


Cori Lee Seaberg’s journey is a perfect example of the magic that can happen when you find the common ground between personal passion, professional experience, and entrepreneurial spirit. In 2017, she realized it was time to take the leap and turn her love for wine into a full-time pursuit. A year later, she had left her job in the luxury fashion industry and founded Out East, her NYC-based lifestyle wine brand.

The consummate adventurer, Cori Lee has infused her personality into the Out East brand, creating “a perfect combination of premium sustainable wines from France with a destination-inspired, purpose-driven lifestyle.” By blending the tradition and techniques of old-world winemaking with the vision of a new-world wine experience, Out East has consistently broken new ground and blazed new trails in the wine industry.


In addition to Cori Lee’s innate sense for uncovering new excitement in traditional tastes, her business instincts led the way to Out East’s success as a DTC brand during the pandemic in 2020. What started as a decision made out of necessity became a core staple of the business, with Out East now available online, shipping to 41 states. But even with the success Cori Lee has had navigating the wine business, she says that is exactly where she felt the least confident at the beginning.


Speaking of her transition into full-time entrepreneurship, Cori Lee says, “One of the biggest challenges I’ve had is learning the ins and outs of a completely new industry, one steeped in tradition. I've had to learn (and continue to learn every day) the wine and spirit industry over the past four-plus years, from both the American & European side.” It’s safe to say that whatever the challenge, Cori Lee has risen to the occasion. And we’ll raise a glass to that.


Question: What motivated you to pursue Out East full-time?


After leaving corporate America from the luxury fashion industry, I was seeking a fulfilling outlet which combined my 13+ year past professional experience and my desire to create an experiential, contemporary wine brand to stand out in the traditional wine industry. I've had a love for wine and winemaking ever since I can remember. I've traveled to vineyards around the world enjoying the element of “bringing people together” that a great bottle of wine fosters.

Question: What would you say to your younger self when she was just starting out as an entrepreneur?


Learn from your mistakes quickly and don’t question everything. Becoming an entrepreneur and going into a new industry, I had to learn a lot and of course didn’t have all the answers. That is OK…. be confident in the choices you’ve made and give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve started something that is yours so be proud of that.

Question: What piece of advice have you held onto as your North Star?


“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” I’m still working on this at times as it’s not always easy, especially when you’re a key decision maker in a growing company. When you have a start-up, you will go through a lot of the ups and downs and experience rejection. Not all the decisions you’ll make will be easy and not everyone will be on board (which is OK!). Stick with your gut and be confident.

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