Type ‘entrepreneur’ into any search engine and next to the definition should be a picture of Andi Whiskey.
When asked what is her favorite thing about being an entrepreneur she says, “is being able to create things in a world of endless possibilities. I love new experiences and stories and feelings, and everything I do with business is to create those for others.”
Skin care products. Soaps and beard oils. Candles. A barbershop. She has taken an amalgam of seemingly separate businesses, melded them into one incredible brand. Whiskey Business started in 2013, and in four short years, she has crushed the statistics of new business and – spoiler alert – she has more on the horizon for 2018.
In the beginning
Andi’s Whiskey Business brand started with Whiskey, Ink, and Lace, a line of body care products. Edgy with a rustic twist, the various products are created in small batches. Locally sourced with only sustainable ingredients, they are all vegan, and 100% made in the USA. With beard care, soap, natural deodorant available for purchase, there is something for anyone.
And then it happened
About six months after the launch of Whiskey, Ink and Lace, she started getting requests for candles. Clearly she’d hit the mark on quality, and customers wanted more. She resisted at first. Here’s the history in her words: “I did NOT want to make candles initially. I was making soaps and beard oils and general skincare, and my customers kept asking me to make candles, too, and I was always like, ‘No, just buy my soaps!’ Six months into the business, I gave in, but not without being a bit stubborn, still. I wanted the candles to be candles I’d like, not candles that smelled like shooting stars or unicorns (whatever those smell like…). They needed to be a part of our story, and so I decided that they would tell a story. So our first candle was Leather & Smoke, reflective of my upbringing in a rural town. And since I was going a different direction, and I wanted them to be clean and non-toxic (unlike 95% of candles out there), I found the wood wicks, that crackled while they burned, adding more to the experience. Wood wicks burn clean like a fireplace, whereas cotton wicks can put out carcinogens and other nasty things in the air. We keep it clean with whatever we put out.”
The end result? Whiskey Wicks. Vegan soy and kosher-certified.
All of the candles have a story and a place in which they are inspired. A personal favorite is of Andi’s is the English Toffee. While living in Washington, a local candy shop requested a candle created based on their best- selling candy – toffee. The first sample she sent was returned with the request to make it smell “more brown.” With literally no idea what brown means, she gathered her team and got it on the second try.
Ironically, she no longer makes soaps, but the candles are selling like hot cakes. (Flavor inspiration!)
Whiskey....neat. Well-groomed. Beard-wearers paradise
Setting up her warehouse in Nashville (which Whiskey Business is now based), Andi found herself with a considerable amount of space. With a nod to what started it all – the beard oil – she did a bit of remodeling and opened Whiskey Neat Barbershop.
They call it ‘the urban gentleman’s respite.’ Get a haircut. A beard trim. Have a drink. Or just simply take a break. Ladies are welcome, and plans are in the making to expanding to include more women’s services.
The most popular products they sell is the beard oil – yes, the product that started it all. Recently, the deodorant has taken off as news has gotten around how well it works.
The product that gets overlooked is their eye cream. Andi is not only the creator, but a faithful user. It is great for reducing puffiness, wrinkles, and those pesky under-eye circles. With her 100 hour work week (oh, yes she does), Andi says the cream does a great job of making her look fresh and bright.
The future for Whiskey Business is bright. There is a subscription box on the horizon and then a coffee shop. Both are due to launch this year.
Andi is passionate about her brand. Everything pertaining Whiskey Business in done in-house, including shipping. A rarity for most small businesses. She and her team want that connection with the customer and knowing their hands were the last to touch it. Every product, order and package is a gift to the customer.
When Andi is not working (and when is she not?), she can be found in the gym training as she is a competitive body builder. And in the few hours that are left, she is curled up with a book. In 2017, she read an impressive 62 books.
Andi Whiskey: entrepreneur extraordinaire.
Written by Heather Clift