I am a wife, mother, business woman, athletic and social in my community. I'm a mother of two teenagers, happily married over 20 years and was a high performing software executive. It's no surprise I found myself drinking too much, turning to alcohol to relieve the stress of balancing a family, career, and appearances of an ‘ideal’ lifestyle while feeling broken inside. I needed to stop, so with hard work and support of those around me, I quit drinking and got sober 5 years ago. Giving up alcohol was hard but re-entering into social situations where alcohol was served was even harder because my only option was boring seltzer, leaving me feeling uncomfortable. Having the stigma associated with not drinking didn’t leave me with much to celebrate, so after a few experiences like this, I took matters into my own hands.
One specific experience sparked Mingle; I was invited to a girls’ weekend away and I knew there’d be some social drinking, so decided to concoct and bring my own mocktail, what is now the Cranberry Cosmo, on the trip. We were at a cabin in the Poconos when corks started popping and wine was flowing, so I poured myself a Cranberry Cosmo, sat down by the fireplace with girlfriends, and felt a magically joyful sensation! I finally felt part of the party and was delighted to discover that my friends, both drinkers and non-alike, also loved the Cosmo. With this enthusiasm in hand, and after researching the demand within the mocktail and mixer category, I was determined to bring this much needed new choice to the masses and launched Mingle Mocktails in 2017.
I am human like everyone else. I feel fear everyday that I may fail in delivering a great product that inspires a healthy lifestyle. I may have created Mingle with zero experience in the beverage industry, but I'm an expert in knowing how it feels to be left out of the occasion. That burning desire to enable everyone to feel 'part of' fuels me to build this brand with love, intention and intensity. The beverage industry is tough; full of failed attempts and broken dreams, but I follow the lead of women who inspire me, badasses in their own right - Sara Blakely, Reese Witherspoon, Beyonce, Brene Brown, Tory Burch, Blake Lively, JLo, Tina Fey, women who have pushed through adversity to make their dreams a reality. In my office you'll find a wall with images of these women to reminding me of the fact that I can do this, but I cannot do it without business acumen, funding, skill, marketing and quality production, and, most importantly, customers. So, if you're looking to support a brand with heart, founded by a woman fueled with fire, please reach out to me at email@example.com. I love hearing from real people about real things as it reminds me why I do this.
ANYONE CAN MINGLE
I created Mingle as a mocktail FIRST, which means if you're looking for an uplifting adult non-alcoholic beverage, it's for you! However, I wanted to create the vibe of inclusion, social connection and fun by ensuring that ANYONE CAN ENJOY MINGLE as a mocktail or mixed with spirits for a light cocktail. My husband and many friends are social drinkers. I worked with them to sample my mocktails with spirits to ensure it hit the mark as a light mixer. The Moscow Mule was especially fun to concoct with my husband, as it's his go-to cocktail. I was able to strike the balance of creating a lovely mocktail that I can enjoy, while he adds a splash of vodka, and we can mix and Mingle together. This is the spirit of Mingle - connection, inclusion and fun for everyone!
WHY MINGLE IS DIFFERENT
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE I've seen many non-alcoholic brands created to diversify a large portfolio, bump up sales and make money. Little thought is given to what the non-drinker wants and NEEDS to hold in their hand at social occasions. I attended hundreds of cocktail parties, business dinners, neighborhood BBQs and weddings where I constantly had to address why I was drinking boring seltzer while wistfully admiring the pretty cocktails held by those around me. If you've done that enough times you become an expert at knowing how it feels to be left out, and what one wants to feel 'part of'. Every aspect of Mingle; from the name and packaging to the colors and branding, was carefully curated with the intention of fostering social connection, inclusion and fun for someone wanting a non-alcoholic drink. It's harder than you think, which is why we're enjoying great success in the market with people like me who are independent spirits wanting a festive non-alcohol beverage!
TECHNICAL BACKGROUND I worked at companies like IBM, Accenture and Tableau, but my first job was as an industrial sales engineer with Rockwell Automation, selling industrial products in Chicago to companies that produce everything from steel (US Steel) to snack companies (like Jay's Potato Chips). I enjoyed watching Nabisco Oreo cookies get made, real-time, on a production line. I left that industry for software, but 20 years later I'm able to apply my industrial engineering background with Mingle. I understand supply chain and manufacturing to ensure Mingle is a quality product.
SHEER TENACITY I've been goal oriented from a very young age, always motivated to set and achieve goals with unwavering focus. I grew up with hard-working parents; my Dad was the plant manager of a soap company and my Mom ran the front office, both putting in long hours to support us. That grit & work ethic runs deep within me. My first job was helping my brother with his paper route when I was 9 or 10. Shortly after, my first entrepreneurial gig was picking oranges from our yard, washing and polishing them up with a little vegetable oil, and selling them door-to-door to neighbors. I applied that laser focus to my personal and professional life, and it shows. I conceived Mingle in February 2017 and, while working a full time job, launched the brand in November 2017. I spent every weekend conducting samplings at local grocery stores (thank you Carlinos in Adrmore, PA!) where I received valuable customer feedback which was used to improve and enhance the brand. Fast forward just a few years and Mingle is found in major stores like Whole Foods and Wegmans. I will not stop building this brand until I see it across the country available to anyone where alcohol is sold and served so everyone feels part of the party!
I am happy to share who I am, why I started Mingle, and what I hope to accomplish with anyone, anytime. It is an honor and a pleasure to share my story with anyone who will listen. Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers! Laura