Trying to Restart

September 15, 2016 § 26 Comments

I am shaking my head as I type this … where do I begin? It’s IMPOSSIBLE to share what has been going on in my world with a single post – so I am going to begin with a “restart”. I’ve had months of “publish block” — unable to hit “publish” on posts I have taken hours to write. Why? Because of fear. SOOOO appropriate considering the last post I DID publish was on how to PUSH THROUGH fear! Ugh.

So on the 8hr+ flight home to NYC from Paris yesterday, I asked myself: what are you ACTUALLY afraid of with regards to this blog? Not being perfect? (kinda, but not really). And then I realized: I just can’t talk exclusively about “whisky” … my life is so much bigger than that one topic, and since whisky IS my life, they are interwoven so tightly that I do not know how to separate them. For me to write authentically, I simply can’t just share about whisky.

“SO F*** IT” I told myself, “The Whisky Woman” doesn’t have to mean anything beyond my “nickname” so to speak. I can just share the happenings of my life because what is happening is so wild I feel like some days I am living inside a really incredible movie.

In fact, when things have become nearly paralyzingly tough this year, the catch phrase that my friends have started saying is, “Well, it’ll be GREAT for the book!” And to repeat, since my life’s work IS whisky, our favorite topic will always be invariably involved in the subjects.

In January I had a sense that this year was going to be “big” … how big I did not know. But at least I was right about that. One of the awesome things that happened was that I have been blessed to welcome Katie Schloss to my team – an incredibly savvy woman with an eye for design, a brain for social media that intimidates me in the best possible ways, and a heart as big as Manhattan. Katie has taken Brenne’s Instagram from my “of the moment/on the fly” posts to a page that actually helps tell our story and inspire people (myself included!).

My last email before boarding my flight was to Katie. In it, I shared how I wanted to recommit myself to my blog and really start sharing again. That I am going to do my best to move through my fears and actually DO IT. To that, she responded with this:


“Erin Fetherston had a collection of dresses titled “Urban Flowers” when I was a freshman in college.  “Urban Flowers,” to her, are the tiny, little weeds and flowers that look dainty, but who are able to work their way through the elements, through the concrete, and grow through the surface into the light.  Being one of the only women to own her own whisky company (period, end stop), going through everything you’ve overcome this year, you have a beating-the-odds story of resilience that resonates; it just needs to be told, and it’s been an honor helping shape your story and watching your brand come to life on social platforms. :)”


Urban_Flowers_(4710820834).jpg

Photo credit: Emmanuel Huybrechts from Laval, Canada

So with this, I am hoping I follow my own lead and truly “restart” my engagement here. No matter what happens, I am so incredibly grateful and blessed that you all are still here, still supporting me, still behind my goals of being a successful entrepreneur igniting the conversations of “French Whisky” and “terroir-driven Single Malts” around the world.

With a lot of love and a dram raised way up, THANK YOU. xo – Allison

 

Overwhelming Joy – Brenne Turns 2

October 1, 2014 § 16 Comments

First, I want to THANK you ALL for continuing to stay with me throughout this journey of launching my whisky, Brenne.  I certainly do not blog as often as I use to but it’s amazing to me to see how many of you are still here, how many new people are following along and how much traffic comes to this site from all over the world. THANK YOU. I hope to continue conversing & sharing with each of you.]

Brenne Turns 2

On the morning of Brenne’s 2nd Anniversary of being on the market, I find myself having flashbacks to some incredible points over this past year.  The things I think most about are not the gains I’ve made business-wise (though those are awesome!), but rather the people who have stepped into my world to cheer me along and extend a hand. You know who you are; you send me the most amazing tweets, FB comments, text messages. You write to me through the Brenne website to share with me your 1st experiences of enjoying Brenne. You’re store owners who tell me about your patrons telling other patrons about my whisky.  You stand around my table at the whisky events bringing other strangers over to try what you’re proudly shouting to be “one of the best whiskies of the show!” You’re the group of Scotch distillers who told me that your brand ambassadors brought some Brenne back for you from the States and you stash it secretly behind your stills to enjoy a nip at the end of a long day (true story!!!). You’re the people who promise to come back to my tasting event with friends … and actually do. You tell me about the times in your life you pull out “the” Brenne; with your sons, your brothers, your sisters, fathers, mothers and friends – and the sweet moment you shared with that loved one while sipping my whisky.  You don’t see it, but I’m holding back tears.

YOU bring me the most overwhelming sense of JOY I have ever felt in my professional life. It makes my hands shake just typing this.

My blogger friends (i.e. the #whiskyfabric) have been with me since Day 1 and have continued to support my Brenne dream. That, coupled with the incredible strength, smarts & support from my husband & Brenne co-founder, Nital, has always been my foundation. That is what gave me a confidence boost when I had to step out into the world in those very early days, pounding the pavement with an army of 1, knocking on the windows of bars and retailers around Manhattan with my face cupped to the glass, mouthing to whomever was inside if they’d let me in to have a quick sample of my whisky and, somewhat famously, delivering my hooch on Citibike.

Bike Brenne

And when that #whiskyfabric family-like support extended beyond the bloggers into the mainstream, well, that’s when my fears started to melt a little and my husband and I could look at each other and say, “this might actually, really, work!”

On the morning of Brenne’s 2nd Birthday, I wanted to highlight a few people’s comments and share with you some of your own words that have humbled me beyond anything I have known.

———–

Allison and all the crew that helped make this extremely unique, delicious single malt whiskey. I was hesitant to purchase this product because I work for a large Scotch distillery, but I always enjoy trying other products. One day a friend/colleague said to me close your eyes and smell this, and tell me your thoughts. I said, it has the aroma of a fine single malt scotch with a semi sweet nose similar to drambue but much fainter. He said good nose, now taste! I did and said I need a bottle of this right now. I wish you much success with this truly amazing product.

I just read the reviews on Brenne, I can almost taste it! I NEED this whiskey in my life. I’m in Miami and can’t find a single retailer….HELP HELP HELP, Please… I would love to introduce this French Whiskey to my fellow female cigar snobs.

Congratulations to you on this fine accomplishment!

(Editor’s note, we’re now selling Brenne in the Miami market and I did get back to this person with a list of stores) 🙂

I’ve just started your blog, and had to pause to let you know how proud I am of your vision, your enthusiasm, and your determination. 

On the product side, Brenne is the most exciting surprise/discovery in years.  A great new wine at a good price is always fun, but seldom does one find a unique take in an existing category of spirits that so exquisitely succeeds.  There we were in Lewes, DE at this darling new brasserie…  We had asked for Oban, and the manager said let me bring you a sample of something we just got in!  (see, everybody “gets it”)   It had us at the first sip ~ a soft velvet hint of Armagnac and flowers and elegance…  so very mmmmm! So, yes, it’s on the Christmas list! 
OMG OMG
I am having a Brennerific moment
Been talking up this fine whiskey at my local liquor store–The Bottle Shop in Spring Lake
Just popped in and what did I see???
Brenne
In all it’s blue label glory
Perched upon the shelf
I grabbed one and skipped (ok that’s a stretch) bounced over to the counter with a big smile on my face and the gentleman said:
“Yes we carry it now. It’s been doing great. People are buying it–not just you. We are real happy. I can’t wait to try it myself.”
Yay! I now have Brenne literally in my backyard!
Brenne_2
So from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. Last year, we celebrated Brenne’s 1st Birthday with a little party and since then, it’s been a whirlwind of activity, travel and hard work.  This year, I plan on sitting quietly with a good glass of Brenne, mindful of how far we’ve come already – and how much more I want to do.
PLEASE check out Brenne’s Event Page and come out to see me if I happen to be coming to a city near you! http://drinkbrenne.com/events  I’ll continue to do my best to post here, on FACEBOOK, TWITTER & INSTAGRAM.
BagPipes
And in the strangest of life’s moments, there is a bag piper playing on the sidewalk below the window of my NYC apartment. I’m tempted to throw on my tartan-best and have a dram now! 🙂

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