Meet your Matchmaker: Vicki Carlew
Here at Dovetail, we're experts in brand matchmaking — and now, we're introducing you to the pros who make the matches. Meet Vicki Carlew, Dovetail President.
Before Dovetail: Vicki began her career as a journalist and then took her communications skills to the marketing field. “I basically describe my career as the life cycle of a locust,” she smiles — seven years in newspapers, seven years each at two different corporations, so on and so forth. “It was a wonderful education in all the aspects of business strategy and marketing’s role in it. I’m a Type A person and those are Type A jobs, but I got to the point where I wanted to focus on one thing and do it well. That’s why I bought Dovetail. I’ve always said that if I’m going to implement somebody’s stupid idea, I’d rather it be mine.” She stresses, though, that she strives for brilliant ideas.
Why she loves being a brand matchmaker: It’s a job with incredible freedom, plus she loves making connections. “They say entrepreneurs are people who work 80 hours to avoid working 40, and there’s freedom in that. I get up every day because I love what I do and I want to work on building great brand partnerships.”
Best match she ever made: Freixenet plus Boomchickapop. “Wine and popcorn are my two favorite things. It brought back memories of my parents . . . they’d always watch the Friday night movie while drinking champagne and eating popcorn.”
The one that got away: Two pairings top Vicki’s matchmaking wish list — first, Spam. “We’ve always wanted to put Spam with something!” Then there’s the pet market. “What pet parent hasn’t bought something for their dog or cat when picking up wine for themselves?”
Proudest matchmaking moment: Vicki points to the ongoing partnership with Woodbridge and Butterball. “Holiday 2016 will be the best one yet. We can’t wait for it to hit the market!”
Match gone wrong: Vicki’s worst date ever was with a blind date with a very sweaty man. A good friend from Boston set Vicki up — but, as she found out a little too late, the friend hadn’t seen the guy in 10 years. “He looked nothing like my friend described him!” He sweated profusely during the entire dinner at an upscale restaurant, wiped his face with his napkin, drank his soup from his bowl, and more. Out of the kindness of her heart, Vicki said yes to the second date, and that one was worse. Needless to say, there was no third date.
Matchmaker, matched: Vicki met her new love on, yes, Match.com®. Having gone on many first dates with zero connection, she was just about to give up hope. But a funny and refreshingly honest profile caught her eye. Vicki’s first email was just 10 words long — “you had me at ‘sarcastic and puts the seat down.’” They’re happily going strong today.
Outside work: “My idea of heaven is being inside with a glass of wine, a good book and a fire — while it’s snowing outside,” she says. (And yes, she lives in California.)
Favorite drink: Everyone in the food and beverage business has a favorite, and Vicki’s is a glass of old-fashioned, buttery chardonnay. “But gin is a close second,” she laughs.
What she tells herself on tough days: Even pro matchmakers have a bad day every once in awhile. When the going gets tough, “I remind myself of my corporate days when the people you called on weren’t nearly as happy as people in the food and wine world. Quiet isn’t always bad, and when I do connect with someone, it’s almost always a positive experience.”
Best tip for a lasting love connection: Trust, respect and fearlessness. “When it clicks, be willing to jump in.”