San Diego, CA
I really wasn’t sure what Elevate Your Passion would look like, but I knew it was what was waking me up everyday. 2016 was spent researching and brainstorming with myself, my wife, friends, and marketing companies. Marketing companies? Yes! One thing I learned about myself in the first endeavor, is that my passion and overriding drive – combined with the patience of a five-year old, can be a recipe for some rash decisions.
By discussing my new ideas with professionals, and being outside of my circle of friends, I was able to get some very valuable feedback. I knew I didn’t want another brick and mortar establishment, so I thought about making Elevate Your Passion an online apparel company.
***Explanation Break: My blogs are not intended to be business briefs. However, the “business of the business” is part of the my story. It is also one of my passions and very relevant to creating a successful endeavor. I will, on occasion, impart what I have learned through personal experiences, colleagues, articles, podcasts, etc. that I used throughout my evolution. For those of you with business aspirations, I hope you find something of value. Please know that these are my experiences and my opinions. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I love learning and sharing what I have learned.***
OK, back to your regularly scheduled blog post! The apparel space is very crowded and competitive. Once, while discussing my “apparel” concept with a marketing company owner he asked the question – which is the title of this blog; “How did all this start?”. I told him this story and he said, “that’s awesome! You don’t have to actually sell beer to have an apparel company centered around exactly what you just explained.”
Wow, this really brought it home! What I really wanted was again very similar to what I wanted with Mountain Madness…minus the restaurant! I began to brainstorm over an exceptional local IPA. These words again came to mind…people, passion, community. How could I create what I really wanted without including what I didn’t want? How do I bring people, passion, and community together? Just having apparel wasn’t enough…I needed Beer!
For those who don’t understand the craft beer movement it’s hard to explain. The reason the craft beer industry is EXPLODING, is much more than the fact that it is exceptional beer compared to the mainstream beer of generations. It’s a connection. A community. A feeling. A reward. It speaks to our passions and beer is the connection to those passions. It’s the reason most beers are named after local areas or places of importance. The fact that the beer tastes amazing is only the end result!
The wheels were really turning now. How do I create what I truly desire? Over the last year I had created my own new logo (with the help of a local graphic artist in Durango) and tweaked it more times than I could count. Again, my impatience and passion was actively creating chaos in my brain! I changed the wording on my current logo from an “apparel company” to a “brewing company”, and worked with a gazillion different color combinations.
Two things eventually became very clear. First, I was going to have my own branded craft beer and a strong apparel contingent, and bring together a community of like-minded individuals. Second, I am not an artist or a creative-type. Another valuable business lesson - concentrate on what you are good at and hire people who specialize in the areas you are not. I am not a brewer. I had hired a very experienced brewer to create our recipe, why wouldn’t I do the same for our design and brand? Well, that’s exactly what I did! This not only gave us a great logo and brand guidelines, but it allowed me to focus on building the business.
So here we are today. From restaurant, to an apparel concept, adventure centric beer company. Well not really – not yet. I just started this blog, and we are somewhere around June 2016 in the timeline…don’t worry, we’ll catch up quickly.
Elevate Your Passion Brewing will be a wholesale brewing company, distributing to stores and restaurants. We will launch in the Phoenix-metro area and then expand to Colorado, then move through the rockies. These first states aren’t coincidental…I’ve called them my home at one time or another. I know the people, the market, the outdoor hot spots, and its the most logistical and feasible way to start.
There you have it! The evolution of an idea that will be on tap by mid-year. There is much more to come and I really hope you join me in this journey. We are just beginning and I want you to be part of it. Please join us on all the social media outlets and tune in next month when I discuss the evolution of our logo and brand.
Til then…Fill Up On Life!see all of Mike’s Draft Blogs