The adage “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” is often quoted by successful entrepreneurs. And it would stand to reason that the more opportunities you have, the luckier you’ll be. But how do you best position yourself to create more moments, chances and meetings that might change the trajectory of your business?
Austin Cocktails co-founders Kelly Gasink and Jill Burns, who founded the brand in 2012 and helped usher in a new era for premium RTD cocktails, say that the answer is two-fold: be okay with being uncomfortable and strive to “expand your luck surface area.” Doing so helped them land deals with Madison Square Garden and Virgin America airlines. It also led to an unexpected and pivotal meeting with the CEO of Constellation Brands.
Introduced in 2016, Austin Cocktails markets full-strength canned cocktails made with premium spirits and natural ingredients. The products are distributed across the United States at a variety of retailers, including Whole Foods, BevMo, Target and Total Wine.
In this episode, Gasink and Burns explained how they identified the opportunity for a premium tier of RTD cocktails, why they didn’t emphasize a specific target demographic, how an unorthodox but highly effective sampling strategy unlocked new retail and distribution opportunities, and how they assessed the timing for a sale of Austin Cocktails to Constellation Brands.