As we celebrate International Women's Day, we are delighted to showcase our very own leader and inspiring entrepreneur, Johnna Rossbach. As the Co-Founder and President of Mixly, Johnna's drive and passion has helped Mixly become an emerging brand in the cocktail mixer industry. As a mother of two girls, Johnna is passionate about carving out space for the female perspective in a male dominated industry. In the interview below, Johnna will give her perspective on what it's like to be a woman entrepreneur and share her advice for women who are aspiring to start their own companies.
I never dreamed to be an entrepreneur. But after 15 years of working in corporate America, I was so frustrated with the lack of creativity, autonym and values that didn't align with my personal belief system. When I became a mom, everything changed. I wanted to set an example for my daughters and show them that no matter what stage of life you're in, you can control your destiny. I wanted to show my girls what it looks like to be empowered, and that if you're not happy with something, change it.
I think the biggest challenge for me as an entrepreneur is the unknown. Working a corporate job you typically have a pretty clear roadmap for success. When you start a business, there is no map. Every day it's a struggle to overcome self doubt and fear of failure as you address 100 different decisions that need to be made. Yes, we've made mistakes, but we learned from those mistakes and they made us better and wiser. And when I think back on how far we've come in our short time in business, and every time we get a positive review on Mixly, it's an amazing reminder and motivator that we're on to something special.
It's an amazing time to be a female entrepreneur. Our culture has made great strides in supporting female business owners. Many companies are eager to support women in business and recognize the value of a female perspective. There are so many opportunities and access to support for women entrepreneurs that were not there a decade ago.
Consumers, especially millennials and Gen Z, are rethinking their relationship with alcohol. There's this whole movement of conscious drinking, where people are more mindful of how they consume alcohol. They're dabbling in the sober curious movement or participating in Dry January or Sober October. But we also see premium spirits continue to increase in sales year over year. When you look at these trends together, you see that consumers are thinking about their drinking holistically. They understand the benefits of cutting back on alcohol, but when they do partake, they want a quality drink. For brands like Mixly, we're really speaking to and celebrating this consumer mindset, and it's exciting to see retailers recognize the need to rethink the non-alcoholic category.
Sara Blakey has inspired me in so many ways. I remember as a young girl watching her tell her story on the Oprah show, and how she overcame being rejected over and over again. She believed in herself and never gave up. Here's one of my favorite quotes from her that I have hanging up on my wall " "Embrace what you don't know, especially in the beginning, because what you don't know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else."
Just get started. You don't need to have all the answers or clear path to success to start. Sometimes it's best to jump in and iterate as you go. We've learned so much more by doing vs thinking about our plans. I would also recommend surrounding yourself with other entrepreneurs, join a group or listen to podcasts. There's a wealth of knowledge out there that people are willing to share, so you're not alone.
I'm so excited about our growth in retail. We've demonstrated success in-store here in Minnesota, and now we're bringing that to new markets across the US.
I've really gotten into tequila, and I'm loving Inspiro Tequila, one of the few women owned and made tequilas out there. I mix that with our Grapefruit Jalapeño, and a little splash of soda water, and it's just a wonderful light and refreshing margarita.