The idea for The Femme Stories was born last year, but with any small business some ideas just have to wait. When everything started happening surrounding the pandemic I was PROUD of my friends and colleagues for how they were tackling these unprecedented times and I wanted to document that, these are their stories.
Kasey | Cellar 82
I first met Kasey from Cellar 82 in the Spring of 2017 when she collaborated with my favourite team (Kaja, Britt, May & myself), on the Cinnamon Solstice Editorial. We had a specific vision for this shoot, 2 girls living in the forest, and she helped bring that together with her amazing retrofitted Airstream. I remember meeting her and she was so upbeat and excited to be a part of this shoot, her energy was infectious. When the shutdown happened, she was one of the Instagram stories I had to see every day. Her Quarantine Cooking with Booze completely showed off her personality, how she was dealing with these times and it kept her brand in the forefront of peoples mind without selling them anything, just with pure entertainment.
When the shutdown and isolation orders went into place, did you have any immediate events that were affected?
Over the winter I had been planning an event for April 4th called, Temperance House. It was an innovative spirits show, we had a hotel in Almonte all booked and each room was a different cocktail theme. Spirit brands from all over Ontario and Canada were involved and my heart broke to cancel that event. Myself and my friend Johnny have been working tirelessly to put this on and having to cancel was really hard, especially because as news kept coming out a future date couldn’t be chosen because we don’t know what the future will look like.
How has it been rescheduling and postponing weddings and other events for this summer?
For the airstream, I kept saying my weddings don’t start till June so we should be fine and then when they announced it could be till the end of June I was like, crap this is really starting to affect me. My anxiety definitely didn’t kick in till later. Being a vendor for weddings, I am one of the last pieces of the puzzle for couples. They must be dealing with so much stress rebooking venues and putting their key components back together, mostly I am just trying to give them time, letting them know I am here to answer any questions or concerns.
Honestly weddings are a small portion of my events throughout the year. A lot of my bookings are corporate events, and for these I usually am only booked a month in advance. It will affect Cellar 82 moving forward, if bigger crowds aren’t allowed to gather, corporate events won’t happen as well as my Cocktail Classes. I do feel lucky, I have a part time job, so I am just trying to make it all work.
You have stayed very present on social media with your #quarantinecookingwithbooze, I love following these stories, are you finding it a great way to stay connected with your clients?
So many people have messaged me to say this should be a full-time thing, that I should start to blog. Honestly, I have never been a good cook, so this has been a big challenge to look at my bar and see what I have and then create a dish with these ingredients.
It has surprised me how much it has taken off and how much of a response I have gotten from this. I wanted to push the idea even further and do something unique, so the next idea is the Tipsy Dinner Club. It will be more of a cook along with me video and people will get to vote which recipe we make.
Have you added any new apps or tech to your routine to keep your business going/connect with clients?
I haven’t as of yet, but for the Tipsy Dinner Club, because it will be a video I want to keep on my Instagram, I will explore IGTV more. I haven’t jumped on the TikTok train yet, but I know business owners that use it and get huge views.
On top of running your company, you have children at home, a lot of business owners I have talked to say the hardest part is there ISN’T a real schedule, are you feeling that way too?
The hardest part is my daughter goes to an all French school and I don’t speak French, that is my husbands’ area, but he works all day, so we are doing the best we can to juggle. Like you said there is no schedule, so trying to keep them entertained is the goal. When this first started and everyone was on social media sharing these amazing arts and crafts projects and here is how you can learn a new language, that also really heightened my anxiety, I felt I wasn’t doing enough with this time. It has taken me this first month to realize it’s ok to have a quiet day and not want to do anything.
Were there any creative ideas/company goals that you were planning on launching in 2020 and have been pushed to next year?
I started Cellar 82 5 years ago and this last year I got really burnt out. At the end of 2019 I went on a 14 day road trip, like living in my truck to do all these events kind of road trip, and that really hit me hard. Burn out is normal for any business owner at the end of the year, but for me even by February I wasn’t feeling ready to tackle the start of the season. I had actively been seeking a partner, so I would have someone who could share the workload and we both had big plans for this merge, but with everything happening we are taking it day by day and hopefully we will be able to move forward with those plans in 2021.
Kasey is a really genuine and innovative person. Brands all over are trying to find ways to connect with their clients right now and she did it by being herself and doing what she loves, which is really all you need. My first couple times working with Kasey it was through photoshoots, but as you dive deeper into her company you see her love of Spirits and Cocktail Artistry really drives a lot of her ideas for Cellar 82. Make sure to follow Kasey on Instagram & Facebook to keep up with her Tipsy Dinner Club, and head to her website to see the gorgeous Airstream, it evokes nostalgia in way you can’t image!