FOR THOSE WHO TAKE THE RISK
WITHOUT KNOWING THE REWARD.
Stories of risk-takers
From whitewater to whiskey
WOMEN WHO WHISKEY
Cocktailer for the Spirited
The Perfect Shot
I got dressed in the dark this morning. It’s not unusual for me, having spent the last 20 years leading backcountry camping trips through the Southwestern U.S. A far cry from tasting whiskey in a Baltimore bar.
But here I am.
It’s been five years since my family and I moved from Flagstaff, Arizona to Baltimore, Maryland to help run a start-up whiskey business dedicated to inspiring a global passion for Maryland Rye Whiskey. Despite the obvious differences, the journey of launching a whiskey brand isn’t much different from leading hikes in the Grand Canyon.
It’s about the people.
The young guys still go after the rattle snakes. Everyone picks up extra shifts. Most teammates arrive before 7AM and the last shift ends after midnight. We spend weeks planning for the season and mapping the terrain. There’s a lot of risk, without knowing the reward.
But thirty-five states later and a shipment to Japan, I can say – we’re trailblazing.
“The young guys still go after the rattle snakes.
I didn’t think being a woman in the liquor industry would challenge my identity.
I held leadership roles at my all-girls school for seven years. In college I was the president of my sorority. I published a thesis with a nationally acclaimed female political science professor.
But at major whiskey conventions, people call me the shots girl, grown men look down my shirt. Someone once asked if my dad owned the business.
There are times I’d look back on my prior life and think, “Maybe that’s just not who I am anymore.”
But one night, I commanded the room. I spoke about the science of whiskey and reverse osmosis. I spoke about the passion, the fight, the spirit in each one of my teammates and why I come to work every day.
It was a room full of men. And afterward, each one of them shook my hand.
Everyday someone is going to think I’m the hired help. And every day is a chance to prove them wrong.
“Everyday someone is going to think I’m the hired help. And every day is a chance to prove them wrong.
I can teach you how to make any cocktail, but it won’t taste the same as going to your favorite bar.
The beauty of a drink – a really good drink – isn’t about slicing or stirring. The best cocktails reflect your story, and everyone has one to tell.
And that’s where I come in – I make drinks to feature unique ingredients and to take you back… To favorite summers spent on the shore, to overgrown honeysuckle from your backyard, to deep smokiness from a late-night bonfire.
I create spirits for the spirited. Let’s celebrate yours.
“I create spirits for the spirited. Let’s celebrate yours.
As a swimmer at UNCW, I only know one speed. Go.
So, I got my accounting degree. I’m going for my MBA. And now, I’m launching a wedding photography business. Seems weird, right? But photography’s my first love, and there’s a beauty in not wondering why or how it works. Like a cold pool at 5AM, I just jump in.
People often ask me how I manage it all, because there are no days off. Monday through Friday is my day job. Saturday’s wedding day. Sunday’s editing day. I suffer from wedding hangovers, too; not the alcohol induced kind, but the on-your-feet-for-twelve-hours-managing-mother-in-laws-and-nieces-and-nephews kind.
And you know what? I still love it. I can edit all the pictures I want, but I can’t edit my life. You only get one roll of film. Shoot wisely.
“You only get one roll of film. Shoot wisely.
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