Starting off washing pots and knocking on doors – Kirsty’s first memories of Hospitality weren’t entirely positive… But she found a real love for sales. Over the years, she’s moved from being a brand ambassador for a big company to starting her own business supporting craft beverages, reigniting her biggest priority: sticking to her values. An amazing story in which Kirsty has not only become a successful business woman (and visionary entrepreneur!) – but now shares her learnt knowledge of when to step down and take some time for SELF LOVE in the crazy hospitality world.
00:00:00 Marks introduction
00:02:44 Meeting Kirsty, setting the scene in Clapham Common
00:03:16 What are Kirsty’s first memories of Hospitality?
- 00:04:30 “The whole family used to go in and work there – mother’s day, father’s day, Christmas – things like that. We used to absolutely hate it.”
- 00:05:50 “Somebody answering the door – they were always quite rude to you. But it gives you a real resilience to keep going – I didn’t want to let my family down which added to the challenge. One in a hundred you might actually sell.”
00:07:20 Going to uni, and Kirsty’s first job working for Budweiser
00:08:01 Going on to working in Marketing
- 00:08:32 “I really enjoyed telling the story to the bars and restaurants – setting my own journey plans, setting my own targets.”
00:09:07 Was Kirsty trained to tell stories, or is this a natural skill? Talking techniques in selling
- 00:11:23 “Weve got such a strong relationship with them. You just want their brand to go out and do well – its authentic. It’s not a faceless big brand lining some greedy shareholder’s pockets.”
00:11:34 Does telling the story work?
00:12:51 The challenge of getting bartenders on board, as well as consumers
00:13:39 2007 – What triggered Kirsty to go off on her own?
- 00:14:27 “After being made redundant twice in three months, I was like… I don’t want anybody taking control of my career.”
00:15:35 Going from sales, to a big brand rep – what did this leap teach Kirsty?
- 00:15:47 “Ignorance is bliss. If I would have known then what I know now – I would have never of set the business up. So thank god ignorance is bliss.”
- 00:17:18 “As I’ve progressed, I have realised that my talents definitely lie in being a visionary entrepreneur – not a CEO, which I apparently am at the moment!”
00:19:04 The struggle with recruitment
00:19:37 Kirsty’s stress during the business start-up – fear of failure
- 00:21:00 “I’m a people pleaser! I’m proud to be a people pleaser.”
00:21:15 What does Kirsty wish she would have known when she started her business?
- 00:23:12 “Never ever move away from the most important thing – which is values.”
- 00:24:25 “How can you keep all of those people happy? You can’t. It’s impossible. But I NEED to!”
00:24:40 The original idea for love drinks & start of the story
00:26:16 Why was the quality of the brands that Kirsty chose to use, so important to her? Chatting ‘liquid’
- 00:26:25 “Something that is really laboured over tastes amazing.”
00:27:04 Drinking less and drinking better – Kirsty spotted this trend 13 years ago
00:27:54 Choosing brands, is it getting harder to choose just one or two in a big pool of newer craft producers?
- 00:29:27 “There’s a lot more choice out there, but you’ve really got to find the brands that have the authentic story. Lots of brands can create something now and create a back filler story – but we need real authenticity.”
00:30:10 The flip from pleasing the bar staff, to pleasing the consumer – Kirsty’s struggle
- 00:30:36 “Spiced rum has become really popular. There’s no way on this earth while I’m breathing am I going to encourage Goslings or El Dorado to put spices in their amazing rum. It’s never going to happen – it doesn’t need to happen.”
00:31:12 A rant about proper PINK GIN! Did you know it used to be a cocktail?
- 00:32:19 “Therefore consumers are being duped really, into drinking what they think is ‘really healthy’ pink gin, with honey and rhubarb in… But it’s just packed with sugar and artificial flavours.”
00:34:18 How does Kirsty ‘cut through the noise’ of bigger brands advertising online and push out the authentic stories that she promotes?
00:36:36 Chatting about the importance of health & fitness, particularly working in the hospitality business
00:38:08 Does Kirsty have an ideal number of brands she’d like to represent?
- 00:38:36 “My personal strength is gins and rums. I always navigate towards them.”
00:39:32 Going back to health & fitness: where did this stem from?
- 00:40:27 When working for Budweiser… “The environment I was working in was quite exciting, and I started having these awful panic attacks. So I’d be going to do an event… getting in the car to drive home at 1 or 2am in the morning and feeling awful… That’s when I realised the only way to have a healthy lifestyle is to keep excersising.”
00:43:01 What’s ‘Love Well’? Kirsty’s initiative regarding health & wellbeing
- 00:44:31 “We never give up. We are very persistent – the turnout will sometimes be 2 or 3 bartenders, sometimes 5 or 6.”
00:46:08 The change in Kirsty’s role – what is she up to now? How many people does she employ?
00:48:13 Kirsty’s favourite part of the job – sales and being creative
- 00:49:00 “It’s not about just finding it and throwing it away – its having that drive and getting it somewhere…. Making an impact with that idea.”
00:49:31 How did it feel hiring an MD of a company you’ve built?
- 00:50:23 “It’s lifted a huge weight off my shoulders, and it’s made me embrace my failings and gone ‘Do you know what? That’s fine.’”
00:50:57 Kirsty’s business advice – good and bad
- 00:51:50 “It’s really explaining to people that no one is going to come in and work miracles in your business. It has to be you.”
- 00:53:01 “The world is changing. Stop looking back, always look forwards. Take a deep breath, you’re thinking too much – stop thinking. It’s gone, it’s in the past – just focus now on what you can change.”
00:53:25 Looking into the future – what’s next for Love Drinks?
00:54:59 Where can you find out more about Kirsty, Love Drinks and the brand stories they represent?
00:56:05 Marks final thoughts & sign off
If you’d LOVE to learn more about Kirsty, Love Drinks & all the brands they work with – check out their website and social media channels below… Or, listen to the full podcast here.