Although women around the world consume nearly as much alcohol as men do, the liquor business primarily targets men.Tiffany Hall, a former marketer, turned lawyer, turned entrepreneur, who has previously worked for one of the world’s largest spirits conglomerates, is out to change all that, launching a brand that celebrates and honors women, while also catering to their distinct tastes.
Empower Cocktails is a ready-to-pour line of delicious cocktail drinks, including its first product, the refreshing but not too sweet, Empower Cosmopolitan Martini, made with Sweet Potato Vodka, locally-sourced from a family-owned farm in Northern California.
Empower Cocktails is Hall’s first entrepreneurial venture. The brand has empowered Hall to believe that with unwavering focus and determination—as well as a supportive network of family, friends and work colleagues—anything is possible. Having little experience starting a new business, Hall used into her own savings, while also dealing with a limited marketing budget in a space that thrives on heavy advertising. Fast forward, two years later, Empower Cocktails is in over 30 stores in the U.S. and still growing.
Can you point to one event that triggered your interest in your career?
My interest in becoming an entrepreneur started early in my life. I wanted to make an impact on my community via a small business. However, my heightened passion for starting a business came after I finished law school and spent several years as a marketer in NYC. At that time, I felt confident about my skillset and had funds to start the brand – Empower Cocktails.
What about this career choice did you find most appealing?
It provides me with a rare opportunity to execute my vision to create and promote a cocktail brand that celebrates and honors women.
What steps did you take to begin your education or training?
My undergraduate and law school education, as well as work experience, have been incredibly valuable tools throughout this process. However, I also attended small business training courses in NYC, read various books regarding entrepreneurship and the beverage industry and met with many people who had followed a similar path.
Along the way, were people encouraging or discouraging?
My family and most of the people I shared my dream with were very encouraging. They are elated that I decided to create this business on my own.
Did you ever doubt your decision and attempt a career change?
I never questioned my decision to create Empower Cocktails. I kept pressing forward despite not knowing whether anyone besides my parents would buy my product.
Can you describe a challenge you had to overcome?
After several months of working with a particular distributor, it became clear that the relationship would end and I needed to locate a new channel to sell Empower in New York. This was a major challenge. If I was unable to find a distributor, Empower would not be available for sale in New York. After months of searching for a distributor, I secured one not only for New York but also for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. The challenge transitioned into a major win for the brand.
What single skill has proven to be most useful?
Determination. My strength has always been determination. I work tirelessly and diligently on my goals, and that is a required skill for an entrepreneur.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the fact that my product Empower Cocktails’ Cosmopolitan is actually available for consumers to purchase online and in stores in the Northeast. Every time I see Empower on a shelf I still cannot believe that my dream has become a reality.
Any advice for others entering your profession?
Surround yourself with positive people, educate yourself on the business you wish to pursue and maintain an unwavering focus on your dream.
Photos courtesy of Tiffany Hall
For more information, go to the website for Empower Cocktails.