Tennessee Minority Owned Wine & Spirits Association

Spirited Talk with Minority Owned Wine & Spirits 

The Tennessee Minority Owned Wine & Spirits Association proudly supports a collective of liquor brands. The association prides themselves in being not just about selling their products–but creating a supportive community crucial to the success of each. In our newest episode, Ogechi Anyatonwu, Michael Frazier, and Stacey Thomas share the story of the Tennessee Minority Owned Wine and Spirits Association, and how the community benefits their own personal brands, and each other.

How did the association come about?

Association member and founder of Twisted Sistuhs, Ogechi Anyatonwu praises good friend, Jason Ridgel, for the creation of the Tennessee Minority Owned Wine & Spirits Association. His inspiration was to create a collective of minority owned wine & spirits brands that not only supported the selling of each product but build the strength of each brand among the US… from changing laws to distributing product.

Which brands are included in the association?

The group is composed of an impressive roster of liquor brands, including mezcals, tequila, wine, whiskey, and bourbon.

What do you think have been some of the big wins for your group so far?

The Tennessee Minority Owned Wine and Spirits Association, created by Jason Ridgel, is more than just selling a product, but building a community… Michael Frazier praises, “I think that one of the big wins for us is, me personally, is the power of collaboration. We move as one. And so if I go to a store, I’m more than just Reverence Bourbon, you know what I’m saying? I, I put word in for Twisted Sistuhs… you know, and so on and so on. And that’s the power of collaboration. I have a voice in places I’m not in that somebody else is speaking for me.”

What differentiates you from the market?

While Anyatonwu celebrates girlhood with her Twisted Sistuhs brand, and all aspects of that, Frazier takes another personal approach. “I was very, very intentional about making my product from the rap to me, somebody from Tennessee or Nashville or Memphis or a combination of all of it. So that’s how I differentiate mine because mine is about creating the stories, the name reverence, it comes from my childhood.” He prides his brand in celebrating perseverance, while also supporting other locals such as the designer for his label, being from Memphis themselves. Michael Frazier’s Reverence Bourbon is the first independent black-owned Tennessee bourbon ever.

How do you balance creating, distributing, and marketing to your ideal customer?

“It’s so funny. Everybody wants to be in the alcohol business until they’re in the alcohol business. I’m telling you, we make it look fun, and it’s fun, it’s fun… but it’s a lot of work.” Stacey Thomas shares before explaining the process. She names the big three wholesalers–Empire, Lipman, and Athens—and how each brand has to prove themselves valuable to their distribution process. In terms of marketing, Thomas pushes the importance of being a local brand, “Just those little things just let you know like, you know, being a local brand and people come from out town to buy your stuff, it’s like this helps grow the brand as well. And, and you create those intimate relationship with your customers along the journey. So definitely local brands are being pushed here more than like commercial brands.

What marketing tactic do you believe has contributed most to your success?

Thomas describes her success as a big boom, and then coming in waves after certain aspects of marketing. She odes these waves to marketing online, via influencers… and most recently, fraternity and sorority events, drawing in huge crowds. This next wave, she plans to narrow her focus to stores that do well with her brand so to not stretch the brand too thin doing tastings everywhere, but where she knows the success already lies. With regular tastings, influences, and big group events, her business has propelled greatly.

Resources and Links

Twisted Sistuhs

Website https://twistedsistuhs.com/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/twistedsistuhs/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/twistedsistuhs

Reverence Bourbon

Website https://reverenceenterprises.com/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/reverencebourbon

LaLayenda Mezcal

Website https://laleyendamezcal.com/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/theleyendamezcalusa/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Thelaleyendamezcalusa/

Tennessee Minority Owned Wine & Spirits Association

Website https://linktr.ee/tmowsa

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/tmowsa_tennessee/