After talking about it for years, my wife and I finally jumped in with both feet and started our new Rum Brand.
It all started with a gallon of spiced rum that I made in the closet over 8 years.
Jenn and I were separated for over a year, and we were getting back together. We decided to renew our vows on the beach in St. Pete. We would be there for a few days, so we rented a house for all of our friends to stay in with us and turned into a big party. I was a Captain Morgan drinker so I decided I wanted to make spiced rum to bring to the party, but I wanted it to taste better. I googled "How to make spiced rum"... I gathered all the ingredients, then I grabbed some other stuff to flavor it with to make it taste better. It sat in the closet of our apartment for over a month. When we went to St. Pete, I poured it into a plastic bottle, and I wrote "Yo-Ho Spiced Rum" on it... the idea was born.
It took a lot of years and saving cash, but we finally got everything up and running towards the end of last year... January 30th 2021, we officially launched Yo-Ho Spiced Rum!
Starting a small business is like a roller coaster... that's over a lake full of alligators... and that roller coaster is on fire. The fun is really fun... the stress makes me want to run into traffic. The first steps are all exciting... it's like Christmas morning everyday. But when you hit that first wall, it's a punch in the face! Three days before the official launch, we were forced to refund 100% of our sales and start from scratch due to a small oversight. There was a few minutes when I wasn't sure it was actually going to even make it off the dock. Truth be told, almost two months later we still haven't fully recouped what we lost. We did manage to climb that hurdle, and we had a successful launch event... I was excited again. Of course, like any business, there are highs and lows... and for someone like me that stresses over EVERYTHING... that's tough to deal with. We have spent the last 2 months setting up and taking every meeting we possibly could. When we get in to a store, it's like hitting a homerun... when we get a no, it's like a gut punch. I try not to, but I take it personal. It's our brand... it's us... and I know the people we are pitching are running a business too, it hurts a little. As I write this, we are just under 2 months on the market... we have managed to get into 8 stores and 3 bars. That's a solid start... but some days I feel like it's behind where we should be... But we're pluggin' along!
The alcohol business is interesting to say the least... The rules and laws alone are all over the place. Everyone is dipping their hands in to take a cut... the government included... and the people are great, but a whole different animal from what I am used to working on the radio. On the radio, I am somewhat sheltered from the business side... when it comes to our Rum, I can't be. We are learning that not everyone shares your vision, not everyone shares your drive, and nobody will embrace your brand the way you will. And back to the everyone dipping into the pot thing... As I write this, we are the only ones on the money train that have not seen a dime... Everyone in the process has been paid... but us. That fact makes even the small bumps into Mt. Everest...
Which is why I asked the question... WHY ARE WE NOT RICH YET?! Everyone keeps referring to "Rum Money" but I have yet to see any. We are doing this because it's been a dream... we are doing this because we love it... we are doing this because we wanted to build something of our own... and lastly, we are doing this to make some money. We have a strong belief that if we keep putting all of ourselves into this, the rest will work itself out. So when someone says "Support Local"... I say do it as much as you can! If you have a dream... I say chase it...We are chasing ours... and what's the worst that can happen? We end up with 500 bottles of Rum?!
If you're a rum drinker or just want to check it out... CLICK HERE to find out where you can find it!