As you can tell from the frequency of the blogs, things have been getting busy. It has been the first month that all three of us (Cicely, Clarice and myself) have been working full time on Sibling. This has meant we’ve had time to do more events and more importantly increase our gin making potential which is good news for everyone; a Christmas without Sibling Gin doesn’t bear thinking about.
Next month sees us mark six months of trading. I hate cliches, but time really has flown by. I’m already planning our one year anniversary party in my head…
This did get me thinking though about highlights of the year so far, so I’ve compiled a top five moments since launch, it’s been quite a year already…
5 – Our Launch Party
This might seem a bit of an obvious place to start, but until you have launched a brand you will never know the relief that you feel when you look out of the door at your launch Venue (Lilly Gins) and see a queue around the corner to get in. It took a lot of effort organising our launch party; there were plenty of sleepless nights in the lead up to it worrying that we’d only have a scattering of friends and family there so to see over 200 people drinking cocktails and having a good time was huge for us – especially as it was our first public event.
4 – Our First Online Order
We now frequently sell online, we see customers from all over the country frequently reordering to replenishing their personal stock, but the first time we got a notification of an order was quite a relief. It came from a man in Gloucester, which was fitting as it’s about seven miles from our base, but we never knew that so quickly we would have orders flying in from all over the place. We’ve now had online orders coming from as far away as Norway with the customers asking us to leave bottles at relatives residences and second homes for the next time they are in the country all the way through to orders from people within a couple of miles of the distillery. What a time to be alive!
3 – Our First Critical Review
Our first proper review from a genuine drinks writer was from Dave Marsland (@DrinksEnthusiast) a month or so after we’d launched. Since this we have had plenty of great reviews from people who’s opinions we respect, but Dave was the first critic/journalist/drinks writer who we met and showed around our distillery. Obviously we’ve always thought that our gin is great, but to hear it from somebody with the wealth of experience that he has was a massive boost to us and reaffirmed that we were moving in the right direction. Since then we have worked with Dave on events and he has even included us in some of his published pieces so it really was a good place to start!
2 – Mail On Sunday’s You Magazine ‘Must Buy’
We were approached out of the blue by the Mail on Sunday’s You Magazine and asked if they could feature on their ‘Christmas Hosting Must Buys’ which was a nice surprise! This gave us a bit of an indicator of how far we had come in our first few months of trading and also reassured us that we were getting noticed for the right reasons!
1 – Becoming ‘Buyer’s Choice’ at Harvey Nichols
Getting listed at Harvey Nichols was obviously a huge moment for us, but the icing on the cake was when we were marked as the buyers choice. We know that the head drinks buyer for Harvey Nichols is extremely well respected in the industry so to get his approval was a massive achievement for us. His pick also led us to being featured as editors choice in a Chelsea based magazine and has without doubt enhanced our reputation, so all in all a great bit of recognition for us.