Coworking Member Feature: Karen Ruocco of Five Flights Wines and Spirits

It's always inspiring to see entrepreneurs bravely pursuing their passions despite the challenges brought about by the global pandemic. Karen Ruocco is just such a person.

According to her, she established her business in 2019 and then had her first sales in November of the same year. Soon afterwards, Covid struck the world, disrupting business operations - but instead of being discouraged, Karen pushed through. "It's been an adventure," she told us, "complicated a bit by the pandemic of course, but I’m so happy and grateful to be doing what I’m doing!"

For this week’s Coworking Member Feature, it gives us great pleasure to introduce you to Karen Ruocco, founder, owner, and president of Five Flights Wines and Spirits:

Q1. What is your line of business?

Import and wholesale of artisanal Italian wines and spirits.

Q2. What is your professional background?

Legal and technology background, specifically project management both for technology companies and large corporate law firms. I became a certified sommelier during my career change.

Q3. Tell us about your business goals.

I’m working to grow my business into one of the finest small portfolios in the wines and spirits space.

Q4. What apps or tools do you use the most in your business?

I use Vinosmith for invoice, inventory, and order management, and SevenFifty for marketing and sales support. Otherwise, I mostly use Excel for practically everything.

Q5. What do you love to do during your free time?

I’m a longtime distance runner, and never happier than when I’m training for a marathon. Favorite running spots include Hudson River, Riverside, and Central Parks.

Q6. What’s the most meaningful advice you’ve ever received in life?

To do things now rather than wait for the ‘right’ time, to not be afraid to fail, and that if you love what you do the money will follow. Not so much advice as lessons I’ve absorbed over my career. Oh, and to not be afraid to make the move. No fear.

Q7. When and why did you opt for a coworking space at The Farm SoHo?

I needed a New York office for my licensing with the NYSLA and The Farm SoHo fit the bill. Great location, easily accessible by multiple transit lines. Excellent value, too, for an early-stage start-up business.

Q8. Has your work-life balance improved since you started using coworking spaces? How so?

I pretty much use my office as a staging area before I go out on client calls. It helps me focus my business activities and separates them from the work I do at home.

Thank you so much for doing this with us, Karen. For those interested to learn more, you can find Karen Ruocco on LinkedIn, plus you can also check out Five Flights Wines and Spirits on Instagram and on their official website.

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