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We’re Recapping Chilled 100 ELEVATE 2023: Behind the Schtick: Janell Bass of Ponyboy Slings

Behind the Schtick: Using Your Bar Tools to Build Your Own Business was an ELEVATE panel moderated by Janell Bass of Ponyboy Slings.

Panelists included Leah Dufresne, beverage consultant at Cocktails & Grace; Aaron Joseph, co-owner of CAnE Collective; De’Qustay Johnson, a mixologist and the owner of Mobile Bar ATL; and Mike Bass of Ponyboy Slings.

“Everyone here has been a bartender,” Janell began, “[and] all of the skills that we’ve learned behind the bar … translate so well into going into your own business and becoming an entrepreneur.”

She explained that she and her husband Mike were creating cocktails for big-name bourbon brands via their consulting company, Punchbowl Projects. But soon enough, they realized they had another potential business venture on their hands. Utilizing everything they learned as bartenders, they created Ponyboy Slings. Today, their ready-to-drink craft bourbon canned cocktails are available in numerous locations throughout Kentucky.

Janell and the panelists offered their advice to ELEVATE bartenders who are looking to branch out and build their own businesses. Janell’s advice was to create a timeline and be OK with it. Certain parts of the journey might take longer than is ideal, but it’s important to be realistic about how much can truly be accomplished within a certain timeframe. She added that it’s unlikely that a new business will be profitable right from the start, so entrepreneurs must be OK with doing other work on the side to generate an income.

DeFrey said that it’s critical to embrace the process in its entirety and try not to take any shortcuts by skipping steps. Doing everything sequentially and with care will help you get to your end goal slowly but steadily. Grace added that when problems do arise, accepting them will help you create solutions and build a stronger business.

Mike added that it’s important to stay authentic to yourself throughout the process. Other people might have ideas about what your brand should be, but at the end of the day, it’s your business. You must make sure that the time and money that you invest are working toward what it is that you want out of it all.

In that same vein, Johnson urges new business owners and entrepreneurs not to compare themselves to anyone else. There will always be competition; there will always be a similar brand or product. But if you do your research, you can help your business stand out and succeed.

The post We’re Recapping Chilled 100 ELEVATE 2023: Behind the Schtick: Janell Bass of Ponyboy Slings appeared first on Chilled Magazine.

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