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Alc vs non alc legalities with Master Distiller Morgan McLachlan, co-founder of botanics brand AMASS

by Female Startup Club
November 4th 2021
00:45:09
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Today we’re learning from Morgan McLachlan, a master distiller and co-founder of AMASS. 

This was an insightful episode for those of us venturing into the alc and non alc space. We cover lear... More

This is morgen Mclaughlin for female startup club. No, hello everyone it's doing here, your host and hype girl today we're learning from morgen Mclaughlin a master distiller and co founder of a Mass. This is a super insightful episode for those of us venturing into the ALc non elk space. We cover learnings around the legalities when it comes to spirits, verse non out spirits. We talked through the key hires you need in this space and why you don't need an M. B. A. To build a successful brand, You should save your dollars and use it as start up capital instead, headquartered in L. A. A. Mass makes clean premium botanic for modern life from alcoholic and non out spirits to personal care products including hand sanitizer. Hand soaps lotions, A Mass uses natural botanicals to transform social and self care rituals. Their products are proudly stopped in all 27 global locations of Soho house.

So do check them out if you remember as well as in five michelin star restaurants and four of the world's top 10 bars. And by the way, if you love the show and you like to consume things on email, we send out a weekly recap with a bunch of other cool stuff like jobs at female founded companies and small business spotlights, we like to think it's pretty cool. You should definitely check it out and sign up at female startup club dot com. But let's get into this episode. This is more organ for female startup club. Get are you working around the clock to build the business you always imagined. Do you want to communicate with your fast growing list of customers in a personalized way, but in a way that gives you time to work on the rest of your business? Do you ever wonder how the companies, you admire the ones that redefine their categories do it? Companies like living proof and chubby's, they do it by building relationships with their customers from the very beginning, while also evolving in real time as their customers needs change, these companies connect quickly with their customers, collect their information and start creating personalized experiences and offers that inspire rapid purchase, often within minutes of uploading their customer data.

Clay vo empowers you to own the most important thing to any business, the relationship between you and your customers and the experiences you deliver from the first email to the last promotion to learn more about how clay vo helps you own your growth visit Clay vo dot com slash F S C. That's K L A V I Y O dot com slash F S C. Female startup presence morgan. Hi, hello and welcome to the female startup club podcast. Hello, thank you so much for having me doing very nice to meet you. I'm super excited today to speak with you. Obviously for selfish reasons like I was telling you before wanting to speak to people in the Alex space and the non Alex space, so I can understand what's working, what's not working, you know, what makes a brand successful, what the really tricky bits of being in this industry are, so I'm particularly very, very excited about this today.

What do you like to tell people in your introduction and elevator pitch in who you are and what you do about me personally about my brand, both okay, so people, when they ask what I do, I uh it's funny, I usually just say that I'm making drinks taste yummy, that's kind of my job, although in the case of a mass, we also um I also do product development on home fragrance and personal care products, but yeah, it's a it's a difficult thing to really encapsulate, but I'm a maker by trade, I'm a distiller by trade, and I have a really fun job and that I get to formulate delicious beverages, Oh my God, yeah, I love that you make yummy drinks, I know that you grew up with a love of nature, and you grew up in a creative household, you grew up in Canada and I know this is a big part of your story, so where do you kind of like to start your entrepreneurship journey?

Well, it's actually funny because my sort of caveat is I did grow up in this artistic family, I mean that's said in a funny way, people in the arts are often self employed, so like growing up, my parents were kind of always hustling, they might have, you know, be selling art or they might have a job for eight months, but that while we weren't necessarily, my family aren't necessarily business people in the traditional sense of the word. Um I think that and even my, you know my grandfather is a visual artist so that made me comfortable with the risks involved and not taking a conventional career path, going to college, getting a job at the telephone company, you know with good benefits or you know, that kind of thing, not that that happens so much anymore, but in hindsight, I think well you know, I don't even, I don't even know if I could tell you my family are good, good business people there, certainly independent and entrepreneurial in their spirit, so that was I think actually a good foundation for moving into entrepreneurship.

That said the way I grew up, there's kind of a narrative business people were these bad greedy people and or squares who just crunch numbers and so the thought of going into business was never even a consideration for me when I was younger, but and then my movement into my previous career, I worked in the motion picture industry and then I sort of just transitioned into this particular career path, you know, it just started as a curiosity, I was curious about, well I had this love of nature and then was sort of interested in experimenting with how we could celebrate nature through beverages and taught myself how to distill, So this was really my current career really started as a hobby. I wasn't like I woke up when his little girl and I was like I want to be a distiller when I grow up or make booze. It's always interesting hearing how people get into things and that's really kind of started almost more of an intellectual curiosity and then I moved into developing this trade, the skill for this craft really, which is distilled spirits that have moved into other beverage categories and then from there kind of thinking, well maybe I could do this as a, as a business and really having no concept whatsoever.

You know, I didn't know what a cap table was, I didn't know what liquidation preference was. I didn't know what a financial model was for that matter. I barely ever clicked around in excel. So I was a little bit intimidated and sought the help of people who I thought were at the time I thought were maybe business experts because they had MBS and the, this is actually a funny story, one of the people that I sort of engaged to help build my financial model early on, I trust and this is a theme of my life, trusting professionals because they have professional degrees, so they must know what they're doing, whether it's a lawyer or somebody with a different type of professional degree. Um I kind of discovered pretty quickly within several months of working with this person that they were little dyslexic with numbers and this is the person who is building my financial model. So the funny thing was this is a business pre prior to a mass.

The funny thing was it was sort of trial by you know baptism by fire because I had to learn to fight my modeling, which is a whole business plan can really exist in a financial model. I had to learn modeling because I audit every single cell and every single equation in our financial model because this guy was so sloppy. Um and that but that made me learn and and and then what I also learned is actually I actually absolutely love modeling, not fashion modeling, financial modeling, I guess it's like a recipe, right? You're working on a recipe within a document and you're making it come to life, you're making it look good, taste good. Absolutely, so so it was sort of interesting, I think from there that that force function me to develop a lot of skills and then of course when you're fundraising, you know, you have to have answers to all of the diligence questions. So I kind of just did it, I didn't go to school for business management, I just kind of did it and I also found, you know, I myself found early on several mentors in the industry in the beverage industry as a whole, who are very helpful and you know, I was like, well should I go get an MBA and they're like oh my god no don't do it, just like start this business and you're going to learn.

So that's my very long winded way of encouraging people who don't have a business background but have an entrepreneurial idea to just go for it, you know, it is a lot of work to learn business principles, but I would really encourage people to do it. Absolutely, and I think it's so spot on. Sometimes you're thinking about everyone else has the answer when really you're the person that cares the most about your business, you just need to get in the knuckle down and learn it yourself and you're going to do it the best ever and yeah, I guess an M. B. A. Is like building a business, sorry, is like an M. B. A. Times a million in real life. It really is and that's you actually bring up a good point which is nobody you when you're an entrepreneur, nobody's going to care as much about your business as you do what any consultant, it doesn't matter how expensive they are, any employee, you are the one holding the bag in the end and now you just have to accept the fact that no one's going to care as much as you and this is also the other kind of sad part of it that you have to kind of understand is you know if you're in a founder role or a ceo no one's actually going to, people aren't going to care about you, your employees.

I don't want to I know this sounds kind of dark but like you know the same way that you care about your employees and your people, you shouldn't really expect them to care about you so much. So it's a little, I'm really glad that you're doing this podcast because being an entrepreneur is kind of lonely a lot of the time and it's a really, it can be a very difficult trying endeavor in every sense of the word. It's certainly the hardest thing I've ever done and it's good for entrepreneurs to connect because you know, they also know how difficult it is. Sometimes it can also, it's also incredibly rewarding. Yeah, there's like highs and lows in every day. I totally agree. Talk to me about a mass, how did it come about? How did you meet your co founder Mark? And what's the journey there? So I have previous business that I founded which is I found it a craft distillery located here in Los Angeles pretty soon with that business. I realized that our strong suit and this is talking about pivoting wasn't on the marketing, sales and marketing side of spirits, it was actually in the product development and production side of spirits and that was for a number of reasons, but frankly sales and marketing isn't my area of expertise for my interest, I'm good at distilling and product development and we just didn't really have the resources to launch our own brands successfully.

So I pretty quickly pivoted into doing product development for other brands which was really honestly just that's such a great pleasure because that's a really creative part of being of my profession. And then also I really enjoyed collaborating and in a way assisting my clients develop their brands. Some of them like Mark lin who's my partner at a mass are industry veterans and incredibly knowledgeable and and very very talented entrepreneurs. I learned something from him still every single day and I deeply appreciate having the opportunity to collaborate with him. It's a real joy. So some are like Mark who serial entrepreneurs have lots of lots of business happy and some people who this is their first thing kind of like when I started out. So a Mass actually started as a client. And so Mark came to me before the mass was anything really and and said I had this idea for this business and we want to look at that time he wanted it to be sort of more of a traditional spirits portfolio and he wanted to start with a gin and he wanted it to be a Los Angeles gin.

And So from there you know I start we kind of played around with the idea of what that would look like and the sort of the mood and the spirit of this region and the inspiration behind it. And we developed Arjun which that particular product is as 29 botanicals in it. And um is sort of inspired by both the landscape terroir and the cultural landscape as well of Los Angeles. Now a mass as a botanic brand, not just an omni channel beverage category. And in fact omni consumer packaged goods category company was really an evolution. So we launched a few products and this is this is a great testament to having the runway being open to pivot and being able to respond to consumer feedback and insight and data. You know when you have a vision or a plan for your business. I think you know we say strong convictions loosely held like you know we have a thesis about why this is going to be a success but being open to the business looking completely different I think was very empowering with a mess.

And that's something that didn't really have in my old business with my old partners. So it started as a traditional spirits portfolio. But my passion and my area of expertise in spirits really is in botanical beverages and celebrating plants and the whole concept of biophilia. This connection connection to nature and reverence for nature is actually something especially in modern modern society that we really need. We might just not have the words for. So we decided to just instead of doing what all the other liquor brands are doing, we decided to just really focus on exploring and celebrating botanicals their beverages. Um And having that be sort of the overarching thesis of what we did and from there we just sort of started exploring what that would look like in different beverage categories or even new beverage categories. So things kind of evolved there. And then actually soon after that were like well botanicals really are a central part of fragrance and also personal care products.

So why don't we just play around in that space too and see what happened. So I actually got to develop fragrances um for a company to that are out of out of botanicals and that was really fun and you know there are a few, it was fun but also it was really interesting because you're talking about You know ways to connect with consumers before you have a $50 million dollar marketing budget. We just really as an experiment we produce these home fragrance and personal care products that embodied our brand. But you know what we discovered was people were starting even though we've been in the liquor market and bars and restaurants and off premise stores as well for a couple of years we started to find that people were becoming learning about our brand and becoming intrigued by your brand by these personal care products. So it was a funny way it was like another way for people to kind of learn about a mass and in sort of a realm that would not that's just not a traditional marketing channel.

And I imagine also a lot of potential to reach your customers directly when they're not. There are so many legalities around shipping alcoholic products to every different state in America and all the things surrounding that. It's a way to connect with people directly without having to go through those millions of hoops definitely. And yeah you touched on you know the complexities of working in the liquor space. I know the laws are different in the U. K. But it's still very regulated and also heavily taxed. It's very you know in the liquor industry it's very difficult to a like I don't think there are any digitally native liquor brands. I mean maybe house but it's very hard to sort of develop and sell and market liquor brands on the internet. It's just starting to happen and there's a lot of evolution happened with sort of force function because of the pandemic. But yeah the regulations around shipping alcohol are quite draconian. You know you have to get pretty crafty. I bet I have had some people on the show before.

I talk about you know the challenges that they face building spirits brands and alcoholic brands. I'd love to keep talking a little bit about your early marketing strategies when it came to finding retailers and building your kind of direct to consumer relationships with customers even though you weren't able to ship directly to them and how you kind of, what was it that you were doing to gain traction in the very beginning, before you had big marketing budgets and before you had kind of the momentum. So I mean, I'm sure you've heard this before, you know, and by the way, like, you know, we are primarily a beverage business. We have our, our personal care products, which you know, are in really incredible, you know, five star hotels and stuff like that. But you know, that's really our folk, that is our focus, you know, when we're in, in the beginning, because you know, you can't really do direct to consumer and also you just, we, our strategy was to just focus our products are in looker industry considered super premium.

So they are absolutely in that top tier. Our strategy was a two higher, absolutely killer VP of sales jennifer marks, she, that was, she was sort of like a secret weapon she came from, you know, and she really engineered how we would enter the market whatever markets we would go into the accounts that we would target. And really we worked on just focusing on getting into a cup like the California, specifically Los Angeles and new york and Miami markets in our first year. So we did not go spread ourselves out too thin. We didn't have the resources to do that. Those are the biggest worker markets in the United States anyways, we did hire boots on the ground salespeople, which um is something that not all a look, we did have the capital to do that, which is very important. It's also very capital intensive in terms of headcount, but we did hire very talented salespeople in each of those markets and then really it was, you know, a gorilla effort just going out and going out After those top 100 accounts in each city and trying to get back part placements and many placements.

No, you know, traditionally when at the very least with with, you know, higher end products and liquor categories, most bands when they're starting out, generally speaking are heavily weighted towards on premise before they move, start selling in the op premise, you kind of want your bartenders to be your brand ambassadors and you want them to be knowledgeable the product and be able to share with their with their consumers. So we did do that a little bit of a convention in the liquor industry, we did do that and we're just starting to get into a little bit of chain retail through working with our distributor, our liquor distributor right before the pandemic. And so the pandemic was very interesting for challenger brands who had only been in the market for a couple of years, because or little craft distilleries, et cetera, who didn't have good retail distribution because in a lot of cases, like 80% of their of their sales happened at bars and restaurants that shut down so that put back a lot of brands back new brands back a little bit In our case.

We're lucky in that we had just started to get into chain retail and we went from being a brand that was 80 on premise bars and restaurants to a brand that was 65% off premise retail. So we're very lucky that we're able to do that. But I will say that time was very difficult for new brands Doing here as we get deeper into the holiday season. You might be thinking about ways to keep your business connected through the madness with things like employee holiday travel by our behavior changes and Q4 wrap ups, staying connected has never been more important from marketing to sales and operations. A hubspot crm platform is ready to connect all of the touch points of your business, whether you're just getting started or scaling to what's next hubspot is consistently working to make its platform more connected than ever. Improved forecasting tools, give you a bird's eye view of your entire pipeline to see what's around the corner, see how your quarter is going inspect new deals and use customizable data driven reports to improve team performance as you grow with custom behavioral events.

You can get into the details of what makes your customers tick track site behavior and understand your customers buying habits or within the platform, learn more about how a hubspot crm platform can help connect the dots of your business at hubspot dot com. You mentioned that for you in the early days, you were able to hire a VP of sales and you were also able to hire a team of sales people on the ground and that that was capital intensive. Are you able to share kind of what kind of, you know, budget you need to have to be able to launch in that way or like what kind of runway do you need ahead of you to be able to do that right out of the gate. So yeah, this is this is a funny thing with with what we were doing specifically in the in the liquor industry and I would say any other consumer packaged good or business, you probably don't need this kind of head count. Like the liquor industry is very archaic and that you need those boots on the ground people visiting account.

But for us, you know, it was really like, you know the the seed seed round was really, I think it was $1-$2 million dollars to be honest. That was before I joined the company. So I can't give you an exact figure but it was around that. So it is pretty capital intensive. I would not, you know, I know I have obviously lots of friends in the liquor industry and friends with young brands and what I've seen is you really do, you can you can bootstrap and you can do it for less money starting out, but it's just much longer, bit, much, much longer path to getting into market. And so, you know, we're lucky because Mark is, you know, he is a brilliant business person and he there investors really know and trust and love him. So he was able to raise that that c capital really easily, but particularly for liquor brand or beverage brand.

You know, I see brands trying to, you know, do grassroots and you really do need a great salesperson. That's definitely an investment. That's absolutely worth it. They're also really hard to find in the liquor industry. So, yeah, so that's that's definitely part of the equation I would say. Mm that's such a great insight and great to know your thoughts on that. There was something else I really wanted to ask you about and to talk about, which is that kind of difference of legalities around an elk drink versus a non ALc. Because of what I'm wondering, what I've been looking into myself recently is What are the kind of laws that apply to a zero zero or 0.5 Non alc. Bev like, do you still need to jump through hoops? Or is it just the matter of it literally is like a soft drink and you can do all the things. Yeah, I don't know about 0.5 and of course it depends on the country that you're in. But in the States here, you know, you fall, you shift from being in the alcohol category, which is governed by the Trade and Tax Bureau, which used to be the ATF, I would like to tell people, I have to talk to the ATF all the time.

But um, and you know, and, and there's both state and federal taxes on alcohol on all alcoholic beverages, which depends on, you know, it's a different tax rate depending on what state you're in to. You know, you're really solidly in the food category, which is regulated by the FDA. So, um, while you're not dealing with the taxes that are applied to alcohol as well as the district three tier distribution system. You know, working through a third party liquor distributor, you can't, you're not really, you're not supposed to self distribute alcohol in the United States with non alcoholic. You don't, you don't have any of those things. So it's non alcoholic. It's much more appropriate for direct to consumer channels because you can easily legally self distribute mm hmm. What are the kinds of hoops that you need to jump through with the FDA? And when it comes to that side of things, um, really, you know, you the FDA doesn't approve every label. For example, the way that they do in the liquor industry.

But the FDA, you know, there are Food safety regulations that you have to adhere to and labeling requirements that you have to adhere to, and you have to produce your product at a registered food production facility. So you have to work with co packers, that that's what they do. You can't just, you know, make a drink in your home and distribute it. Uh Unfortunately I always want to do things myself. But yes, so you have to work with, you know, like a licensed food production facility, but that's not that difficult actually. Um and you, you know, to be, unless you're a food scientist, you probably want to hire food safety consultants. That's a good one. That's a that's an interesting thing that I I haven't considered a food and safety consultant before, but that is obviously going to be on my list of things to do now when it comes to, this leads me kind of nicely into your non elk and your body care products.

You're obviously able to build more of your director, consumer ddC side of the business when it comes to marketing, what are you doing with your DTC channel that's really working for you and helping grow and propel the brand forward. Yeah, that's a good question. And and and to be honest, you know, I'm really the maker of the products and more of the Creative Director. I'm we have an incredible digital team at our company that we really only fully put together about a year ago. And so, you know, there's definitely, you know, the traditional ad targeting, um, we have a pretty good, you know, email list, but beyond that, I wish I could tell you what we do, that's really not my area of expertise. So I feel like a little bit of a jerk like saying what we do and I think honestly, you know, they've just been trying all sorts of different things to see, to see what works. We're really still in the experimentation phase, but I wouldn't feel like wood.

I shouldn't say that I have really any, any good knowledge of how we do that. I'm trying to understand myself. I love that. Okay, well let's not, let's not focus too much on that then. What do you think is the best advice you could give to an entrepreneur like me who's entering the non out space or someone listening, who's entering the ALC or non out space, the beverage industry, I guess coming into 2022 what do we need to know? What you need to know is you need to be very patient building a beverage. A liquor brand takes A lot of time. You know, if you look at Tito's Tito's was actually founded 20 years ago And this is actually also important if your fund raising and you are like, just to sort, of to set expectations with investors. The idea that you're going to build a build a brand and it's going to scale and you're going to do $50 million dollars in revenue in, in two years is just like that's just not how it works in the liquor industry even, and also non alcoholic on honestly, even though you're not subject to the same regulations and the three tier system, nonalcoholic brands really for the most part still have to, you know, do the same sort of dog and pony show that liquor brands do in the market to a certain extent.

So I think it's important to just really know like a knowing that it's going to take awhile, like on average it takes maybe like 7-10 years to build a liquor brand just also for yourself because you know, I remember when I didn't know that in the early years of my entrepreneurial entrance into this, it was so frustrating, you know, even getting a distributor and stuff, just these things just took so long and you know, it caused me a lot of, a lot of anxiety and the heartache, whereas I wish that if I just knew this is going to take a while, not just, I would have been much happier also. Um, you know, I wasn't, you know, I was doing and just as an entrepreneur, I wasn't taking care of myself, I was working all the time and you know, I didn't take a vacation for years and I think entrepreneurs on being an entrepreneur is a very creative job, it doesn't matter what what field you're in and you have to step away from your work and go back to it to recharge to get perspective, even if that means you're just going to an art gallery for the afternoon and I didn't, I just didn't take any breaks for years, I got really burnt out and you know, in hindsight, if I took a week off here and there, it wouldn't have moved the needle at all.

So I recommend that people take a week off every quarter just to step away when you come back, you have fresh eyes and you're inspired. That's so true. And it's something that, I mean, I'm experiencing this already, I was like, yeah, we're gonna develop this non alec wine company, it's gonna, you know, we're gonna launch by christmas, you know, a year later, nearly, I'm like, okay, well it's three times slower, three times more expensive. It's taking a lot of time, but I also kind of appreciate that time because you learn a lot in the process and you have time to get other things in order, like your branding or you're trademarking or, you know, early um consumer feedback and research and all those other good things that you kind of do need to prioritize. So yeah, it's definitely one to keep in mind, even though it's so frustrating sometimes when things move slower than you obviously want them to, definitely, but yeah, I mean, I guess I can really relate and, and you know, self compassion is really key to, you know, there's so much that, especially when you're a first time entrepreneur, there's so many factors that are beyond your control, fundraising, working with consultant, you know, there's a, there's a lot that's beyond your control and you have to be able to be in a state of grace with that and be able to, you know, do what you can with things that are in your control and then also be in the flow if things circumstances that you can't control and that's a big one too.

Mhm. That's such a big one. At the end of every episode, I asked a series of six quick questions, some of which we might have covered, some of which we might not have, but I asked them all the same. So, question # one is what's your why? Why are you doing what you're doing? That's a great question. I think well, you know, I'm really more creative director or you know, the product person. So, you know, there's the why of a mass, there's my personal life, there's a real uh you know, I have a real passion for what I do and it really does come from this place of intellectual curiosity, but you know, when it comes to divergence and you know, whether it's non alcoholic or alcoholic, you know, we're not saving lives, but I like, I like to make things that delight people and enhance their everyday life. It's sort of a quotidian, I like the idea of creating things that give people a little quotidian pleasure specifically and specifically with a mass our portfolio.

I'm sure you've noticed is we have non alcoholic products, we have low alcoholic products. We actually and traditional spirits. Um we actually just launched a cannabis beverage. So we're really interested also and I'm personally also really interested in inclusivity creating products for people. Also beautiful celebratory products for all sorts of people whatever whether they're drinking, not drinking whatever the reason is. And you know, for me for all of our products at a mess, you know they're very sensual products like whether their fragrance driven, you know our lotions, et cetera. And then of course our beverages. And for me they do fall into these two different categories which is social rituals. I think ritual is very important in modern society. But we don't again like we don't quite have the language for understanding that we need ritual social rituals, people connecting and then personal rituals, people connecting with themselves and connecting with nature. That's something I think we all make urine for and it's all part of our health but we don't quite maybe understand the physics and the metaphysics of it.

Mhm. Yeah. I love that. What a nice answer Question. Number two is what do you think has been the number one marketing moment that made the business pop you know, for us. I don't know if you call this marketing but we did develop a strategic partnership with so House International and that was actually a great opportunity because it allowed us to you know to connect with their clientele and then um and there's a really good like brand synergy there, you know we did we've been fortunate enough to get a lot of really good press, a lot of awards and accolades and critical acclaim. We've been in the new york times and Forbes and I was actually just on the phone with Monocle this morning so that that kind of consistent press I think people are kind of there's a lot of liquor brands but there's something a little editorial about our company and so we've been lucky to get a lot of press there.

Mm You have a lot of great pieces online. Yeah. Yeah. But yeah, I don't know I mean you have to keep keep with when it comes to marketing you have to just keep keep going at it from all sorts of angles and trying new things. I wish you know there's this is why Mark marketing companies are paid millions and millions and millions of dollars. Like nobody really knows that the secret magic sauce is there there's a few things, you know conventions but just try stuff out And so her house is a pretty good one. It's a pretty great partnership Question # three is where do you hang out to get smarter, what are you reading or listening to or subscribing to at the moment? I am a little bit of a lead. I I'm the type of person that I think with love podcasts but just in my life haven't really had the opportunity or the time to listen to a lot of them with the type of work I do and I also recently had a baby like 18 months ago.

So in normal circumstances I'm a bookworm. I do a lot of research online. But I love reading books. I love reading physical books and I mostly sort of look for book recommendations from people that I know and trust and respect And that's really that's still might go to my mother worked in the publishing industry I come from actually my family's been in publishing since the 18th century. Big reader. My God. Well yeah just drop that in there casually at the end. But so I've always been a big reader and I like reading biographies of artists. You know, I like reading technical things but I also really you know I read I do read a lot of I think good thoughts pieces online but I think it's really important to read nonfiction. I think none. There's something that happens to your brain when you read nonfiction that it just it kind of re wires your brain and in a funny way.

I think it teaches you to think differently. And so I think it's like brain good brain exercise to read nonfiction. So you're not necessarily picking up data? But I think that's a very good thing. And of course it's fun. Do you have a recommendation for us? Top recommendation or a recent faith? This isn't if you're depressed, don't read this. But I'm a big fan of Michelle Welbeck. I think he's quite the french writer, I think he's quite fascinating. Um, he's a little galvanizing, but I recently read The Map and the Territory and the thing that's interesting to me about his writing and his, you can tell that his worldview has actually evolved as he's, you know, gotten older and put out more books. Is he kind of looks at at Western culture and He looks as, you know, often really the grotesque parts of capitalism and western culture. And he dials them up to 11 and puts them in some sort of hypothetical future setting. So it's not like some, it's not like The Hunger Games are some horrible things like that, but he really explores the human condition on the, you know, in the in the millions of, you know, sort of hyper capitalism, which I would say we're already in that situation and I really appreciate that because I can relate to it.

I'm definitely going to link that in the show notes for anyone who wants to check it out and who is not depressed at the moment? Question number four is how do you win the day? What is your am or PM ritual or habit that keeps you feeling happy and motivated. I'm a big fan of baths. I'm a big brother. I'm also an introvert so I don't, you know, the pandemic didn't really bother me. I like alone in my tower in the sky. But you know, I'm a big fan of bathing. I realized I was an introvert during the pandemic. I didn't know before. Well it's good, it's good to find out right, because then you can find out how you recharge your batteries and you know, honestly just reading that's a, that's a big thing. I love a good reading session myself. Question number five is if you were given $1000 of no strings attached grant money, where would you spend it in the biz what's the most important spend of a dollar in your opinion?

Really, really working capital for product is essential if you don't have product. So you're not really in business. So, and you know, especially with the pandemic, you know, just in time, manufacturing is a bit of a thing of the past at the moment, but you know, I probably put a little bit of it into actually producing the product, but a big part of it into our people and that this phase in the business, in our business. You know, we're a couple years in, but we're really still a nascent brand, Having really a talented team is an important foundation for, you know aggressive growth. you have to have that infrastructure before you grow, so that's why what I would do at this point, love it. Nice And last question question # six is how do you deal with failure? What is your mindset and approach when things don't go to plan? That's that's that's also a great, great question, I love these questions doing there, so they're really intelligent, you know, I think any, any entrepreneur who's, who's been at it for a while has had tons and tons and tons of failures and I'll say early on, you know, the stakes are often really, really high, but early on I used to get really, really affected and have a lot of anxiety and now things just don't really like as long as I can learn from the failure, things don't really like things don't really bother me anymore, you know, failure, it's a cliche, but failure is part of the process and as long as you don't make it mean anything about you and you, you have takeaways from it, of course we'll try to do our best to avoid failing, but you know, being an entrepreneur is risky and I would say if you're not failing, you're probably doing something wrong, so it's just important, it's important to just learn Absolutely, absolutely, I totally agree morgan, this was so awesome, thank you so much for taking the time to share about a mass and your journey and some stuff in the not Alex space.

I'm so grateful to have had some of your time to learn from you. Thank you so much. Well, good to meet you. This is a real pleasure. Thank you. Do. Hey, it's Doom here. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Female Startup Club podcast. If you're a fan of the show, I'd recommend checking out female startup club dot com where you can subscribe to our newsletter and learn more about our D. I. Y. Course. The ads, M. B. A. I also truly appreciate each and every review that comes our way. It might seem like such a small thing, but reviews help others find us. So please do jump on and subscribe rate and review the show. And finally, if you know someone who would benefit from hearing these inspiring stories, please do share it with them and empower the women in your network. See you soon, mm. Mhm. Yeah.

Alc vs non alc legalities with Master Distiller Morgan McLachlan, co-founder of botanics brand AMASS
Alc vs non alc legalities with Master Distiller Morgan McLachlan, co-founder of botanics brand AMASS
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