We had the good fortune of connecting with Whitney Stephenson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Whitney, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
One day at the store my husband Timothy was buying alcohol and spent like $200 on one brand. He then came to the car and said how do I start my own alcohol brand? Once we got home I started to research how to start your own spirit brand. Once I found a distillery that we thought could work we reached out and started the process.

Before the spirit brand I (Whitney) already had a business of my own and I believe it inspired my husband to want to start a business. He wants to have something that he can pass down through generations to come.

Once we sat down with the distillery it was an easy process. I advised my husband (Timothy) that if he could get the vodka to be smooth like drinking tequila then he has a whole new market. I am not the big drinker, but when I would drink I would always go for tequila because it is smooth. After hours of sitting with our distillers we came up with the product. Phoenacolada “Pineapple Coconut” Flavored Vodka. We wanted a product that would target to women, but men would still drink it.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Being creative in my thinking and execution continuing to learn new things and push for greatness in all things that I do has always set me apart from others. This spirit business is not something for the weak at heart and you have to be open to change. When starting the business we moved through the processes pretty fast because we were dedicated to making the brand succeed. We have hit plenty of bumps in the road that have cause set backs in the launch of the product. Finding different ways to market and brand the product has been challenging through this pandemic. But we have overcome the obstacles by offering things that consumers like when we do our tastings. Things such as Keychains, headbands, facemasks, shot glasses, drinking glasses and much more. This not only helps us brand but numerous people will wear or promote the product without even thinking about it because it’s something they have on them or are using at a party. Through the struggles we have learned that sometimes you have to step back and re-evaluate the direction you are going in. Because sometimes you want something so bad that you start to force things that should not be forced, which end in results you do not want.

We at Phoenix Spiritz have built our brand from the ground up. We work hard every day to raise awareness about our brand and our product. We are both minority and military veterans that have accomplished having an award winning spirit brand. The name Phoenix derived from our son who was born at 28-weeks with a rare genetic condition called Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome and 3P Deletion. We strive to provide a better life for him and donate a portion of sales to the Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome Foundation International to help other families.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In Miami, you have many places to go but for us we love going to Red Rooster Overtown, The Wharf, Blue Martini, Mango’s Miami Beach and Bayside. If you want nonstop fun you can always go to Miami Beach, but if you want something that is chill and you can just hangout we definitely suggest either Red Rooster or The Wharf.

Make sure you visit Overtown because there is a lot of history there. Stop by Dunns-Josephine Hotel and learn about the Harlem Renaissance. Check out 8th Street over in Calle Ocho to get a history lesson on Cuba,
Head over to Wynwood for your arts, murals and beautiful paintings. For more of a family oriented beach and fun you can go to Virginia Key Beach eat some food from the food trucks, go jet skiing and more.

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?
We have numerous mentors that have helped us along the way, to get to where we are today. My mother Gwen White who is always my inspiration in running a business and a role model. She is the queen of business in my eyes! Kristin Kitchen is one of the best mentors and role models I could have. Kristin owns multiple Bed and Breakfast boutique hotels in Miami, FL, Cincinnati, OH and Rocky Mount, NC. When I need answers these two women are who I turn to. Also the love and support of friends and family members my father Jerome and other mom Michelle, stepfather David, bestfriend Latifa, my sisters and brother, aunts, uncles, cousins and all my close friends are a big support group. They have always believed in us, listened to what we have to say, offered opinions and much more. I could not ask for a better support group.

Website: https://www.phoenixspiritz.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/phoenacoladavodka

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/phoenix-spiritz

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Phoenacolada

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/phoenacoladavodka

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm1raHIjaDVlvIZokAhhXBQ

Image Credits
Iconic Visuals Studios and Content Factory

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