We had the good fortune of connecting with WALTER EASTERBROOK and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi WALTER, what do you attribute your success to?
When launching Arte Agave I didn’t think about making money. I know that might sound counterintuitive, however I wanted to create something that was valuable to our brand partners, guests and the community that we were representing. If I was worried about money then I would have cut corners and I would have never hired the best performers, artists and the space at the event would not have the decor that an event like Arte Agave deserves. Build it correctly and the money will come when everyone involved sees the value. We built Arte Agave to last decades, not just to make money for 1 year.
What should our readers know about your business?
My Company is the Bowery Collective and we create marketing festivals that feature some of the best alcohol brands in the world. These experiences are both in person and virtual. These events are not boring trade shows or all you can drink drunkfests. They are an experiential hybrid of education and fun. My events are not cookie cutter, which means more time, effort and money goes into the production. This creates a better guest experience.
Every aspect of my business was self taught to an extent. I didn’t go to school for marketing. I was bartending and running bar programs in NYC for 20 years and just decided that I needed a change and that I wanted to start my own business. I utilized every person I knew and every person that came into my bar. I bought them coffee, lunch, cocktails which gave me face to face time with business owners, CEOs and marketing professionals. These groups of people became my masterminds and helped me with every aspect of starting a business. It took me several years to get my business to a point of making money. The first several years were extremely difficult.
I had a newborn baby at the time and I decided I would put every ounce of energy I had into creating a life that she could benefit from. When the business was still not where I wanted it to be 3 years later, my wife and I had another child, this gave me the energy to keep going. Building a business became about the women in my life. I would not fail.
If you are going to start a business or create an event or even a product, make sure it’s something that you love. Don’t just do something for money, there is no passion or creativity in that and the chances of you succeeding will decrease because you are just not into it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would spend the week drinking tequila and Mezcal while eating tacos!
I would spend the day shopping at Spanglish Boutique, https://www.
Then check out the art around town by Nomadic Manny (Emmanuel Rivas) and Imagin Ink (Ruby Chavez).
For dinner we would head over to Alma Cocina and enjoy agave spirits and the best contemporary Mexican cuisine in ATL.
The next afternoon finish your trip off at Villanos Tacos for the best tacos in town!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I had a few people that have helped launch this unique event. My first partner was John Henry of El Buho Mezcal. John was running a small tequila tasting event and he wanted to take it to another level. He had some great connections to brands and ticketing partners. This was all new territory to me and he helped guide me to our first tequila event together. We then partnered up with Rod Alanis, who did all the marketing for Arte Agave. Rod took this small tequila tasting and helped John and I design the name, logo and concept. Arte Agave was born from many phone calls between John, Rod and I. In recent years, Arte Agave has grown to many cities and this is from the help of my wife and business partner Emily Easterbrook. Emily heads up our marketing department and fuels the growth year after year.