Inspiro Tequila

I needed to name my company after the two women who inspired me most in my life – my mother and grandmother. So I chose “Inspiro,” the Spanish word for “inspire.”


Mara Smith

Founder


What were the key driving forces to bringing yourself into the AlcoBev industry?

I discovered so many women were choosing tequila as their drink of choice, but I thought this thoughtful female consumer was generally overlooked by the industry. There was also an opportunity to bring another female voice to the spirits industry where women are underrepresented.


How did you come up with the name for your brand?

After spending hours researching potential names, it suddenly came to me that I needed to name my company after the two women who inspired me most in my life – my mother and grandmother. So I chose “Inspiro,” the Spanish word for “inspire.” They are both amazing women who always believed in me and made me realize I could do anything I put my mind to.


What are the secrets to your success?

The keys to launching Inspiro Tequila have been doing a lot of research to be really well prepared and connecting with communities of amazing female founders and leaders.


How did you raise funding for your venture?

I have chosen to bootstrap the business since we are so new. I would like to show traction prior to fundraising.


What are your biggest successes and failures?

The biggest success for us has been the feedback on the product. People love the bottle and the taste profile of the tequila. It took us a long-time to get to market but we were really meticulous in order to create an excellent product. The biggest failures are really just obstacles that we have had to overcome. The production time took a lot longer than anticipated. Our first run did not meet our expectations so we got rid of the entire run which delayed us about six months.


How did you persevere through the tough times?

With a startup there are constantly hurdles to overcome. You really need to go into it expecting that and constantly trying to come up with plan B, plan C or Plan D. You learn a lot of flexibility when you are an entrepreneur.


What do you want to achieve next?

I want to be in retailers so customers can find us locally.


What are some of the challenges you faced or are facing regarding catalyzing

innovation?

I came into this trying to innovate in the industry. I think it has helped that I was an outsider so I looked at everything with a sense of curiosity and how can I do things differently. The challenge is to keep staying curious and seeing how you can do things differently than the status quo.


What are your tips for growing a company?

As a founder, you need to learn every aspect of the business. You don’t need to be an expert in every area but you need to educate yourself enough to be able to make informed decisions. Basically you need to do your homework on everything from logistics to marketing to applicable regulations.


What do you have to say to the future aspiring women entrepreneurs?

It is really hard to get started but it is not impossible. If you are willing to do the hard work you can pivot or enter into a new industry. Do your due diligence and become very knowledgeable on whatever industry it is you want to enter. There are so many incredible resources available to get up to speed quickly. It’s also impossible to do it alone without a support system. Reach out to people and connect. I have found amazing networks of female founders that are so supportive and collaborative. I would definitely recommend joining industry groups and other networks to connect with people.