October 1, 2017 § 7 Comments
Yes. Half a decade ago I was jumping on a Citibike in NYC with a case of Brenne in the front and started peddling around Manhattan to see if my little-whisky-company-that-could, could. Could become something that would ignite conversations of the possibilities of terroir in Single Malt Whiskies. Could become something that would be enjoyed in the homes of people I have never met. Could become something that was bigger than me.
Half a decade later, I am jumping on and off planes and just this week alone will be in 5 cities in 5 days. And the answers to my questions above is a resounding YES.
While I started working on Brenne years before I launched, there’s a lot of me that feels that Brenne wasn’t really a reality until I launched it as a completed package. And in these 5 years, I feel as though a lot of my personal growth has been in parallel with Brenne’s.
So let me start with my thanks:
- THANK YOU for saying Yes to me when I was at times a little unsure of this dream myself.
- THANK YOU for staying with me all of these years later.
- THANK YOU for talking, sharing, buying, evangelizing Brenne in all of those moments that you do – especially when I am not personally present.
- THANK YOU for asking your bartenders and stores for Brenne — trust me, that made (and still makes!) a real impact.
- THANK YOU for supporting me personally as I have grown, as I have become more comfortable talking to you, to the press, to rooms full of hundreds of people … this Brenne thing really did become so much bigger than me!
1 former ballerina with her life-savings and a single (complex) dream later…
BRENNE in a dram:
- 35 states in the USA (moving into 50!)
- 2 countries: France & US (launching our 3rd TODAY! Hi UK!)
- 100,000s of pieces of cork, glass and labels purchased and used
- 1 billboard in Times Square (what!?!)
- 3 Icon’s of Whisky Awards
- 2 World Whiskies Awards
- 2 “93 points” by Wine Enthusiast
- 2 American Graphic Design Awards
- 1 Wizards of Whisky Award
- 1 Drammie Award
- 1 Sip Awards
- 1 magazine cover
- 1 TV sighting
- 1 radio spot
- Multiple blog mentions & interviews (THANK YOU!)
- Not-sure-I-want-to-go-back-through-and-count-them-all “number” of mentions and articles in nationals and international press
- COUNTLESS of incredible connections to You — the amazing souls who carry this dream forward.
ALLISON in a dram:
- 5 years older and about 50 years wiser
- I’ve traveled to 7 different countries and 33 states in the US with Brenne
- I’ve created something that absolutely did not exist and turned it into something that continues to grow while I sleep.
- I am most proud of how I set myself up mentally every morning; reminding myself of the ultimate WHY (to build community and connection through an incredible glass of whisky) vs the WHAT (endless To Do’s, sales figures, production hiccups, etc) as it’s the WHY that helps me create the pulse and stand in front of thousands of people sharing a message I have now shared multiple times a day for 1,825 days.
- I still don’t speak French fluently (LOL!)!
- I have some well earned gray hairs that frankly, I’m very proud of.
- I am more relaxed
- I became unmarried (that took a long time & added some grays!) while working extremely hard and consciously to move through this massive life change with grace, love, gratitude, and optimism. Not. Easy.
- I changed my name!
- Some day I’ll talk more about it but for now, I’ll just share this: about a year ago, I was attacked and walked right up to deaths door … and chose life.
- After that, I became REALLY comfortable at letting go of the “shoulds” (I “should” be X, we “should” be doing Y, this “should” look more like Z…).
- I moved into my very own apartment for the first time in my life!
- I challenged myself to learn an entirely new way of looking at life and the world, at every situation, at every moment, and at how I want to shape whatever time I have on this precious earth.
- Another thing I’ll talk more about in detail later and for now I’ll share this: I made a partnership deal with Brenne + an amazing company called Samson & Surrey, another choice that has changed the course of both my life and Brenne’s.
- I have fallen in love again… and it is oh-so-extrodinary
- Despite working hard, I’ve learned the importance of and do carve out regular quality time to sit with myself, my family, my incredible friends, and make space for regular personal, mental, creative, spiritual, and emotional growth.
In all of this, just as for all of you, life truly is a journey! We wake up every day and while we may think we know what that day holds, the truth is we don’t. Every day is a big mystery with life – and possibility!- renewing each second. … This is a thought that use to be terrifying to me (too much pressure!) and now occurs for me like a big, amazing, GAME (I can let things GO as life is renewed now … and now … and now again!). So in these last 5 years, Brenne has grown a LOT, I have grown a LOT! I’ve learned a LOT, created a LOT, met a LOT of you, hope to meet many more of you(!!!!), faced death, faced life, become a LOT more relaxed, and am TRULY grateful for and enjoying every single moment and dram.
If we’ve met, then you may have heard me say this: “If we are lucky enough to realize we are alive, then the only other guarantee we have is that at some point unbeknownst to us, we will die. So thus, everything else in the middle is up to us to create.”
I am definitely drinking Brenne tonight and hope you’ll join me in raising a glass to all of you; without whom NONE of this would have been possible. That’s a fact.
With so much love, Allison