It is International Women’s Day is on Tuesday, March 8th and throughout the week we have shared stories about the achievements of women who have influenced our agricultural and maritime community. The series would not be complete without the story of Yvonne Lieblein, Entrepreneur, author, mother and community “composer”. Much like her newly published novel, The Wheelhouse Café, Yvonne’s life is an amalgamation of the nautical spirit of the fishing Village of Greenport, together with the farming values of a girl whose family worked the land and the docks for many generations. She attributes her success to the richness of Greenport’s diversity, the grit of her immigrant ancestors, and land and sea that gave way to her dreams, poetry and prose.
Born and raised in Greenport, Yvonne recounts the hours spending her childhood at Port of Egypt , her family’s fishing station, and her grandfather’s farm overlooking the Long Island Sound; which is now home to Kontokosta Winery. Her anecdotes range from work to play and she revels in the memory of it all. She chronicles what she learned about life through her countless hours of reading books with her best friend to selling Drake’s Cakes and making eclair boxes for worms at the fishing station. From her jobs bussing tables at the Townsend Manor Inn to waiting tables at Bruce’s, she learned how to run her own business and create her brand. It was through jobs like these where she could eavesdrop and gain a kind of insight into the human condition that she would someday share as an author. In addition to promoting her novel, Yvonne now teaches writing workshops, organizing poetry events and participating in community work. She co-founded a chapter of DECA , a national business club at Greenport High School that inspires students in grades 9-12 to learn about business and think about their future professional lives.
Tell us about the journey that led you to your current career? Growing up in Greenport had a huge impact on me both as a writer and as an entrepreneur. It was at Bruce’s Cheese Emporium is where I really learned about the foundation of hospitality and how much I love people. This is where my creative writing began. I always wanted to be a writer, but I knew I had to make a living, so I went to UNC Charlotte for English and philosophy to become a professor; then to graduate school (first San Francisco State and then to Stony Brook University). After graduate school I landed a dream job at an internationally recognized brand that just happened to take me back home, to the Village of Greenport, where I joined the National SCRABBLE Association. Having the opportunity to work there introduced me to a whole other way of serving the public and made me realize I didn’t want to be a professor. After working with the SCRABBLE team for seven years, I started my own marketing/branding agency, Lieblein & Associates. I worked with clients across the country and it was especially fulfilling to help businesses in our community achieve their goals. Many of these companies were agriculture and maritime businesses and my insight and a home-grown North Forker helped me to understand how to position them. However after a few years I realized that I was losing sight of my original goal of leading a creative and philanthropic life so I changed the direction of my business and become a consultant so that I could write my book and work on other creative projects. was.
When considering that we are celebrating International Women’s Day, how do you feel your career choice can inspire other women to improve their lives and their communities? So many people inspired me, that I hope I am able to empower young women and women of all ages. One part is to share the power of words and importance of expression and communication. I definitely like to share my belief in the power of words and the importance of expression and communication. Also the energy that comes from collaboration and working together with others, strategizing to find a solution. Women know how to get it done, they really do and when they unite for a cause, they are in they are indescribably powerful. Solutions to the big things come from bringing different people together who may not have crossed paths otherwise.
Please share your views on the economic viability of your career choice and how can it be possible for other women to support themselves in the pursuit of their aspirations? The world needs writers, entrepreneurs, creative producers…..there will always be work if you hustle and stay humble.Take your chances! Take jobs that let you get your chops and show world what you can do. Know yourself. No one else can sell your brand or build your dream for you. You have to know yourself.
What advice would you give your younger self? I would have said create more space between the notes. Your life is like a song, and music is music because of the space between the notes. If you didn’t have space between the notes it would just be this cacophony. So be conscious; force yourself to create space. Try to automate things that aren’t as important and make it easy to conserve the energy for creativity. That set’s the stage for the really good stuff to happen.Share on Facebook