About The Talk
There has been a lot of energy and buzz lately in the alcohol and beverage industry. What has been a pretty stagnant industry filled with regulations is now being disrupted by entrepreneurs launching brands that capitalize on new drinking trends – a rise in hard seltzer, a focus on natural ingredients, and changes in distribution to name a few.
On September 1st, we’re excited to chat with the founders of Volley, a new tequila seltzer startup. Join us as we chat with Chris Wirth and Camila Soriano, Co-founders of Volley, about how they’ve developed Volley, what it’s been like since their launch, challenges and opportunities in the space, and more!
Co-Founder & CFO of Volley
I started off my career in the banking world doing sales at Wells Fargo. After studying international relations, I had never worked in finance and wanted to challenge myself. It definitely was a challenge as I decided to also study for the CFA exams, which took me 3.5 grueling years to get through.
After 4 years at Wells Fargo, I realized banking was not for me and left the industry not really sure where life would take me. Chris and I were already dating at the time and I knew he needed help with American Cocktail Co, so I jumped on board as part time help. I started off learning how to book keep and organized all of the company’s books. As ACC continued to grow, I took on more of a role as an operations manager and helped to grow our monthly subscription box business.
One summer, my sister advised that I read a book called The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker and this changed everything. I began to read labels and understand what really was in our food and realized that no, “natural flavors” do not come from nature but are created in laboratories. It fascinated and angered me that as consumers, we have to be really educated about each ingredient in order to eat or drink things that are actually good for you. This happened around the same time that I transitioned away from my go-to gin tonics and began to enjoy sipping tequila or making a tequila soda with a splash of actual juice at home. And what I mean by actual juice is squeezing a lime, lemon or juicing ginger into a glass, the old fashioned way – none of these flavors that companies these days are referring to as “real juice”. Using just 3 real ingredients, 100% blue agave tequila, sparking water, and organic juice, you can have the most refreshing cocktail out there!
I began making these drinks for my now husband, Chris, and this is where it all began! After an extensive branding agency search, we were lucky enough to meet the Red Antler team and began the process of creating the Volley brand! During conception, we realized that we were creating a brand that advocated for enjoying drinks outdoors, something we all love to do but also something that also worried me. I am the person that goes for walks on the beach with a trash bag to collect trash, and I even started a secret Instagram account that posted photos of trash around NYC, hoping it would start a grassroots movement. That went nowhere but we did decide to partner with Leave No Trace, to actually give back and help clean up the beautiful world that we will hopefully all be enjoying Volley in! It’s been incredible and I feel very privileged to be able to start a family business with my husband and the incredible team we have built. We hope you come along this journey with us and love our product and brand as much as we do.
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