Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Suzanne Henricksen, Founder of The Crafty Cask, located in Cottonwood, AZ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Crafty Cask celebrates and supports craft alcohol makers. Our customers are a mix of the craft alcohol makers themselves (online marketing education and marketing services) and craft drinks enthusiasts (events, education, entertainment, and our monthly craft alcohol subscription club, SipScout).
Tell us about yourself
I'm a marketer by trade but love traveling through food and drink. As I traveled, I met so many amazing craft alcohol makers who were so passionate about their products but struggling to gain traction to grow their businesses. So I turned my marketing expertise to an area and community I am passionate about, and The Crafty Cask was born! I love helping craft alcohol makers thrive and compete effectively with big booze to win over the hearts and minds of drinkers. And I love helping drinks enthusiasts discover new brands to support so they can vote with their dollars and help support small businesses with every sip.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
To date, I'm most proud of the results we achieved during the pandemic, which was hard across most industries and particularly hard for small craft alcohol makers. Despite everyone drinking more during the pandemic, the benefit was mostly felt by the big mass-made brands, while smaller, more premium brands suffered. At the very start of the pandemic, we created and designed a new offering, corporate virtual tastings that only feature craft alcohol. Throughout those 2+ years, we were able to support craft alcohol makers directly by selling over $750k worth of craft alcohol through our trusted vendors and introducing over 5,000 consumers to their craft brands through our virtual tastings and mixology classes. We love that this approach also allowed the big companies that hired us for these events to use their event budgets to support small brands during a time in which it was needed most.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Honestly, feeling like I wear so many hats and have to do so many different jobs until we have the resources to build out our team more fully. While we all think entrepreneurship is living the dream, in reality, it's often working harder than you ever have for less money than you've ever made...so passion to keep you going is key!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Plan for it to take more time than you hope or think it should.
- While building a brand is very important, make sure at least some of your energy is focused on driving revenue from the start.
- Find trusted people to talk to so you have a network of advisors and advocates who know you and your business well.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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