Erika Moore and Raquel Ravenell started “Whiskey and Rosemary” within just a few months of meeting each other. Whiskey and Rosemary is a lifestyle brand that strives to connect with everyday people who love and enjoy the crafted lifestyle just as much as they do. They focus on Cocktail Experiences, Classes, Events, Creative Content, Craft, Food, Travel, and Community. We sat down to talk with Erika Moore about her entrepreneur journey, how she finds focus, and how we can use black dollars to change communities.
When did your entrepreneur journey start?
My actual entrepreneur journey started around second grade — basically, I was illegally selling candy. Then in middle school, my friend and I started a lawn business where we would mow the lawn and get $60 a yard. After college, a friend and I started E and O consulting which we hoped would lead to a marketing firm. My background is marketing and his was graphics so we thought it would be a good combination. Eventually we decided to do something different but when I went on job interviews, I kept finding companies that wanted me to do more desk work.
More recently, I started doing freelance videography, photography, and graphic work and I spent a lot of time in food and beverage. There is a certain aspect of touching base with people that I love. My mom always carried a camera and I think subconsciously I picked that up. I thought maybe I could learn a little more about taking photos and videos. I had an eye for it and knew what brands were looking for so I started merging the visuals with marketing a product. I love doing products and events or portraits geared towards telling a story.
Tell me how you started Whiskey and Rosemary.
My friend Raquel and I were working at a space called Studio no.7 learning a lot about cocktails and having a good time. We both noticed we would go home and try different recipes and go out to eat certain places and learn more about what people were using. We came up with the name at the bar while working with our friend Will Goosby.
Within 4 months of meeting each other we traveled to Thailand. We booked the first two days and decided we were just going to blog and have a good time. It wasn’t a business until we started posting and getting more attention. That’s when we started taking it more seriously and learned we could work well together. We registered our business in 2018 but 2020 during the pandemic is when things really took off. It was a blessing in disguise. We both started taking more time towards the business. We’re still figuring it out but it’s growing more and more daily. We’re content creators. We’re event hosts/curators. We do cocktail services/experiences and we teach classes and workshops for companies and friend groups.
We noticed it was best to grow small and organic. We’ve grown a lot by word of mouth and working with brands and partnerships. One of our goals is to spread awareness that quality lifestyle can be available to everyday people. Instead of spending money on other stuff, you can spend that on experiences.
What has been your biggest accomplishment?
Realizing it’s okay to let go and grow. Not being shameful of anything in the past. Being kind to myself. Finding the root of my issues and diagnosing that and finding the solution. I’ve found a way to be centered and that’s so important. It’s gotten me to a space where growth has been the mindset.
What has been your biggest challenge? How have hard times made you who you are?
Focus can be a challenge for me. Setting more time aside. I don’t sit down and read or pour more into my brain. I could do more. If I had to specify it, my biggest challenge would be discipline. It’s difficult for me to sit down and do it. I’m overcoming it. I’ve been reading a book called Atomic habits. It’s been helping me. It’s making me want to grow more and look inward to see what the actual issue is.
Do you have a personal mantra?
“I have the power to control my thoughts.” I can be a little scattered and anxious. It makes it hard for me to focus on one thing at a time. This saying helps me find stillness and focus on the task right in front of me.
What advice would you give someone starting a new business?
Plan. Specifically, know your why, your purpose, your goals, and your mission. What you don’t want is to be all over the place. If you feel like the mission is dolphins and you’re focused on seaweed – get one off the ground first and then start the other one. You don’t want to go too off-brand. Really define and go deep instead of going wide. Get your roots planted first in an idea and really dive deep. And network!
What are your motivations?
The challenges can be difficult but at the end of the day I focus on having a mindset where I realize I can grow from this and I ask myself ‘what can I learn from this.’ I link personal growth to my business. My motivation personally is to work towards becoming the best me I can be. The reason I love being an entrepreneur is because for me that’s the only option. I can work for myself and collaborate. It’s something I’ve always done. It’s what I need to live a good life for me. I had to look back to what I’ve always done. I’ve always done this and loved art. It encompasses all of me.
What are you doing when you’re not working? What are your favorite things to do? The things that calm you. Replenish you.
Every morning, I listen to Moogi or Sad Guru. Or I listen to a meditation. I love to start my day off peacefully. I love to cook. I love to whip it up. Hike. Try new restaurants. Roller blade.
What does it mean for people to spend with black businesses?
It means security. We’re putting each other in a secure space where we can take care of each other and take care of ourselves.We can rotate the black dollar. Some people don’t have the money and some people don’t make ends meet but if we spend money in our communities, we can control what’s offered to people. We can help them afford things they need. We can have more power and direct our dollars to schools and people who are underserved. It means security and a better life.
There is a lot that needs to be done for our underserved communities. I went to Philly recently and saw a man playing the guitar in the street. He said he’s been clean from crack for 3 years and he’d been smoking for forty years. People are still recovering from the crack epidemic. Hearing these stories and other peoples experiences makes me realize there are still things that need to be done within the black community. We can really change things if we rotate the black dollar and serve those who need us.
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