Exactly a year ago, I had made the massive decision to leave a job that I was unhappy in so that I could pursue something more freelance and closer to my passion.
That did not turn out at all how I expected and to be honest, in spite of the constant worry and fear, I am glad it didn’t.
I was so sure that becoming a freelance writer and full-time blogger would be easy peasy and the money would simply roll in. It didn’t.
So I panicked for a while, gave up my place and moved in with my then partner who gave me the best birthday gift I could have received at the time; A gin tasting.
That single event changed the entire course of what is now my career and for that I am ever grateful.
After that, I decided to make my blog more niche and started calling myself a gin blogger as I began interview distillers and creating gin videos. Still not making any money and unsure of how to start, I began toying with the idea of a gin based product. After much deliberation and contemplation, the original concept for G&T Bags was created.
Initially I was using tulle and hand-stitching the bags which I knew wasn’t viable in the long-term but the idea was solid and over the next few months, I worked it until I had something that could be produced on a scale larger than five individually stitched bags in one hour.
Original hand-sewn G&T Bags
The next thing to tackle was my fear. Anxiety has this icy ability to freeze me and prevent me from doing things because, “what if?” “What if people buy it?” What if they don’t?”
Again, my partner was so supportive and encouraging, helping me to grow the courage to put my product out there. The greatest part is that even in its raw state; my G&T Bags did surprisingly well! In fact, at one stage Inverroche distillery contacted me to do a shoot with their gins which was incrdible and took place even before my product had been perfected!
Shoot with Inverroche gin at Mootee bar
All of the people I had met along the gin blogging journey gave me support and advice to the point where I made it official. I printed boxes and after some months moved on to import 10 000 nylon bags from China.
All of this was toward the end of last year, just before the festive season.
At this point, things in my personal life took quite a heavy turn at that exact time but I knew that the holiday season was going to be the best time for my sales, so I mustered every last ounce of energy that I had left, channeled it all into by business and I am proud to say that I kicked ass.
I sold incredible amounts and can now brag that I am officially stocking my product to two different bottle stores, sold at an event and am in discussions with a number of companies over some potential contracts.
10 000 nylon bags from China
My first bulk order for a bottle store
It’s still not easy and the hustle is terrifying because I am not quite at the full self-sustaining part quite yet.
I am the one who hand-fills each bag myself; I fold the boxes and when the botanicals don’t arrive or run out, I am the one who dries my own citrus and runs around trying to find obscure spices.
But I am a proud small business owner and growing my enterprise.
There are one or two new products lined up for this year so keep your peepers peeled and for anyone interested in ordering your own set of G&T Bags, just pop me a mail on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The bottom line of this post is basically to encourage all of you.
That even if your dreams seem big and scary, that if you have a great support system and the dedication, you can make great things happen. And even if you don’t, the strength that is inside of you are far greater than you realise.
The most encouraging thing that I keep turning to, even when progress seems to be slow, is simply that hard work always pays off. And if I keep putting that time in, something good will come out in the end, even if it isn’t what I had initially been hoping for. The universe knows what is up.
So follow your dreams yall!