Lydia Addis: Uncorking Excellence

Born and raised in the city of Addis Ababa, Lydia’s childhood was shaped by the wisdom and work ethic instilled in her by her beloved grandparents with whom she spent the better part of her childhood. Her mother’s desire for early marriage initially raised eyebrows and sparked hesitation with her grandparents. However, the remarkable strength and character exhibited by Lydia’s father soon dispelled any doubts. A self-made man, he emerged as a beacon of reliability for Lydia. He showcased the extraordinary power of hard work and resilience that she took after.

From an early age, Lydia discovered the joy of reading, a cherished pastime inherited from her grandfather. Her educational journey led her through various high schools before she embarked on higher education at Addis Ababa University, specializing in educational and planning management. After completing her undergraduate studies, Lydia found herself at DHL, where she started as a customer service agent. Little did she know that DHL would be the springboard for her professional growth. She gradually ascended the ranks to become an esteemed HR manager. Lidya kept honing her skills and leadership qualities during her impressive 14-year tenure.

But Lydia’s story takes an unexpected turn, driven by a passion for wine. Inspired by her husband and their wine-loving friends, Lydia recognized the untapped potential in the Ethiopian market—a lack of a sole wine importer. Seizing the opportunity, she fearlessly founded her first business, “La Domaine”. They import meticulously selected wines exclusively for the hospitality, restaurant, and catering (HORCA) sector. With a small but dedicated team of two, she embarked on an extraordinary journey. Lydia was fueled by her immense passion and a relentless desire to conquer challenges.

In 2011, fate smiled upon Lydia, offering her an exciting partnership with the esteemed Castel Group from France. This collaboration birthed her second venture, “Le Chateau,” as Lydia became the pioneer in importing Castel Winery products into Ethiopia. In a short span of time, she transformed the wine industry by introducing shipping containers as a more efficient means of importation, reaching customers across Addis Ababa and beyond. Lydia draws upon her valuable experience at DHL. She strategically deployed her knowledge of systems, processes, and effective distribution channels, propelling her business to new heights. Today, Le Chateau boasts a workforce of 40 employees, predominantly empowered women who contribute to its remarkable success.

As the owner and managing director of Le Chateau, Lydia’s positive attitude and unwavering determination have been instrumental in her ascent. Her favorite aspect of the job is the opportunity to connect with a diverse array of people, forging personal connections and providing them with exceptional service. Lydia takes great pride in meeting her customers one-on-one. Sharing her passion for wine with them, she ensures they receive nothing short of the finest quality.

Always seeking new avenues for growth, Lydia has embarked on an exciting new partnership with 54 Capital as a distributing agent. This collaboration allows her to expand her empire, catering to the ever-growing demands of the HORCA sector, and introducing a wider range of exceptional products.

While Lydia’s professional achievements are undeniably impressive, she holds her role as a mother in the highest regard. Raising her two beautiful children with discipline, a strong work ethic, and a thirst for knowledge has been the most significant accomplishment of her life. Her son is currently pursuing his undergraduate studies in Economics at a French university. He stands as a testament to her devotion and the values she instilled in her children. 

Lydia is not one to shy away from challenges. Alongside the demands of her work, she finds solace and strength in maintaining an active lifestyle. Two times a week, you’ll find her engaging in kickboxing sessions – a powerful outlet for releasing the stresses that come hand-in-hand with running a business. When she’s not in the ring, Lydia cherishes moments spent with friends and family. She also enjoys sharing stories, laughter, and, of course, a bottle of exquisite wine. She also extends her gratitude to her supportive husband, who has been her confidant, companion, and pillar of strength throughout her journey.

Ever the dedicated learner, Lydia firmly believes that knowledge is an unfolding journey. Wherever her travels take her, she eagerly seeks out seminars, lectures, and conferences. Her active learning ensures she remains locally and internationally competitive in her field. Her advice to the younger generation is beautifully simple yet profound – value hard work, believe in the power of your ideas, exude confidence, and unleash your full potential to achieve your long-term goals.

For Lydia, leadership encompasses setting tangible, long-term goals. This included inspiring and empowering others to join in the pursuit of those objectives. She has recently embarked on her journey of giving back through her involvement with AWiB. She now happily serves as a mentor in the Meri Program. Lydia applauds AWiB for her focus on nurturing the leadership potential of women. She cherishes the opportunity to learn from other esteemed leaders within the business sector through FCBC.

With unwavering determination, a refined palate, and an entrepreneurial spirit that knows no bounds, Lydia Addis continues to redefine the wine industry in Ethiopia and inspire women to conquer their own aspirations.

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