MEET OUR FOUNDER: ELLIE WEBB
Have you always wanted to run your own company?
No, not that I realised. Like everyone I would always say, ‘wouldn’t it be great to be my own boss and run my own business’, but I never really fully considered it… until 2017. This was the first year I decided to do Dry January. Staying away from alcohol wasn’t the hard part but I just wanted more non-alcoholic options on nights out – there are only so many Diet Cokes a girl can drink. And it was this that triggered me to consider creating a non-alcoholic spirit.
I previously worked in drinks marketing, at Matthew Clark, for five years, so it was an industry I not only knew but enjoyed.
Where do you think your entrepreneurial nature comes from?
Looking back now, I guess I could say I’ve always been quite entrepreneurial, even without realising it. When I was younger I was always making things and selling them – not that I made much profit. My first customers were my sisters, I’d sell them home-made S-Club 7 merchandise – hilarious!
As I grew up, my interest in creativity and business continued, so I practiced art and design, alongside business too. It’s probably why I ended up doing a degree in marketing, as it blended design and creative ideas with business.
What is a typical working day for you?
- Grab a fresh coffee and take my dog, Hardy, out for a morning walk before work
- Have a light breakfast, then check my priorities for the day and write a to-do list
- Catch-ups with the team
- At lunchtime, I’ll make myself something to eat then get out for another quick walk
- We’re hiring at the moment, so I’ll probably be running some interview calls!
- I usually finish around six, and give myself a bit of a break from the screen to cook a delicious dinner – I LOVE food!
What are the highlights of running your own business?
- Working on something you 100% truly believe in and feel incredibly passionate about
- Being your own boss is super empowering
- The incredible people I get to work with everyday. My team is like my family – one actually is my sister!
What motivates you?
- Challenging myself to do and be more
- I’m happiest when I’m learning and growing
What do you think are the challenges facing women in business today?
Although the figures have started to climb in recent years, women are still vastly underrepresented in senior/board level positions in the workplace, and large gender pay gaps still exist. I worry that the pandemic, and the need for women to stay home and home-school has put us back by a couple of years.
From where I stand, female business owners are still in the minority and I do feel there are barriers to funding for women, as investors often like to see a male in the driving seat. We need to help facilitate and encourage more women to start successful businesses and give them the tools they need to succeed.
These are just a few of the challenges facing women in business at the moment. But the more we can support each other and work together, I’m confident that we can overcome them.
Name three things you think are important to succeed as a woman in business?
- Confidence and self-assurance
- A tenacious, can-do attitude
- Don’t be afraid to question why and ask questions
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
As I did before I started a business, I try to keep Caleño work Monday-Friday and keep my weekends free for everything else. I work really hard during the week – and don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love what I do – but I think it’s important to take time out to relax and do the things you enjoy. I make sure I get out in the mornings for walks with my dog, and on the weekend I’ll generally spend most of the day outdoors. In a post-covid world I’m looking forward to seeing friends and family again, and exploring more of the UK.
Where do you see Caleño in five years?
I would love to see the non-alcoholic industry grow dramatically over the next five years, with Caleño at the forefront of that growth. We’re on a mission to create more moments of joy, and help people lead a more joyful lifestyle – I believe drinking a little less alcohol can be a part of that. So in five years I’d love to see Caleño available globally, people enjoying our drinks in bars, restaurants, and in their homes across the world.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
For me, International Women’s Day is a time to recognise the amazing achievements of all the incredible women around us and pull these into the spotlight. It’s not only a great time to give women the recognition they deserve but an opportunity to inspire women too – some just need that extra push, belief and confidence to take the next step.
Who would you consider as your role model in life?
I wouldn’t say I have one specific role model but I take inspiration from the important women in my life, every day. I take inspiration from my mum, who despite suffering a lot of hardship in her life always has a sunny, positive outlook on life. I take advice and guidance from both my younger sisters, who are both incredibly bright and have worked hard to achieve their goals. I look up to my boyfriend’s mum, who I’ve known for over a decade, and she is never afraid to speak her mind in business (or take any BS) – I admire her for that. I also have plenty of other female founders that I catch up with regularly, who have all achieved brilliant things. I think it’s important to learn and grow from the people around you.
Who are the women who have inspired you the most?
3 Inspirational Women
Holly Tucker – Not only is she the founder of Not on The High Street, but she produces the most brilliantly inspirational podcast, ‘Conversations of inspirations’. Hearing the stories of how other business owners built their brands is incredibly powerful.
Shakira – The global success she has achieved is phenomenal. One day her dad took her to see one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Colombia, and after that she became one of the country’s most important philanthropists.
Ella – Deliciously Ella – It was always very inspiring hearing Ella’s story. She overcame a difficult health condition at a very young age, which drastically changed her life. Eventually she turned this into a positive and built a wellness empire, which now helps millions live a plant-based lifestyle.