Oral history interview with Carol Waggener, 2018

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

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0:00 - Opening credits / introduction

0:43 - Background

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener discusses her background, including work at Tropicana and Anheuser Busch, the origin of the nickname "Bold Missy," and her move to Charlotte.

2:23 - Decision to open a brewery

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener discusses her decision to open a brewery, including gaining education in the industry and visiting and learning from other breweries.

4:17 - Applying previous corporate experience to opening a craft brewery

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener discusses what she learned from her previous work experiences, including importance of quality and importance of people.

5:20 - Mentors in her professional experiences

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener discusses individuals who have had a major impact on her career and on her work to open the brewery.

6:53 - Changes to the Charlotte beer scene since her arrival in 2005

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener discusses the changes she has seen in the Charlotte beer scene since she first moved to town in 2005.

8:42 - Main mission for Bold Missy

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener describes the main mission and values for Bold Missy, including a focus on quality and winning over the local community. She also discusses how the theme of honoring "bold missies" has grown beyond her initial expectations with individuals looking at the brewery as a space for empowering women.

11:36 - Selecting the "Bold Missys"

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener discusses the ways that she and the brewery staff go about selecting the women who are honored by their "Bold Missy" themed beers.

13:50 - Bold Missy artwork

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener discusses the way in which the distinctive art style used for the Bold Missy beers was developed.

17:01 - Selecting the location for Bold Missy

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener discusses some of the challenges that came in selecting a site in Charlotte for Bold Missy.

19:02 - Challenges faced in opening Bold Missy

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener describes the challenges she faced in opening Bold Missy, including issues with permits and inspections.

21:26 - Working at the brewery with her niece

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener describes the benefits of having her niece Lybbi work at the brewery with her.

22:54 - Staff at Bold Missy

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener discusses the staff at Bold Missy.

24:05 - Bold Missy's kitchen

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener describes the decision to add a kitchen to Bold Missy.

26:20 - Waggener's work balance

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener discusses the challenges of balancing her work at Campbell's Snacks (her "day job") with her work at Bold Missy.

27:43 - Bold Missy's beers

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener discusses the range of beers offered at Bold Missy, including the standards as well as the seasonals.

29:58 - Looking back at Bold Missy's first anniversary

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener reflects on Bold Missy's first anniversary, including the welcome surprise that the brewery has become a space for women's groups and an icon reflecting powerful women and women's issues.

31:36 - Community engagement efforts at Bold Missy

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener discusses a number of community engagement efforts led by Bold Missy, including support for animal rescue groups and other local organizations and non-profits.

33:05 - Goals for future growth at Bold Missy

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener discusses her vision for the future of Bold Missy.

35:15 - Challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated industry

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener discusses some of the challenges of being a woman owner in a male-dominate industry, including anonymous social media comments that are opposed to women owners.

37:06 - Advice for women entering the brewing industry

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener provides her advice for a women entering the brewing industry.

37:50 - Favorite part of being in the craft beer industry

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener notes that the culture and community of craft beer is her favorite part of working in the industry.

38:41 - Projections for the Charlotte beer scene

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener describes her projections for the craft beer scene in Charlotte.

40:07 - Favorite beer from a brewery other than Bold Missy

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener names Bell's Two Hearted as her favorite beer from a brewery other than her own.

41:24 - Favorite beer at Bold Missy

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener says Rocket Ride is her favorite Bold Missy beer.

41:41 - Hobbies and interests away from the brewery

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Segment Synopsis: Waggener states that time with her dog Bruno and travel are her favorite hobbies and interests outside of work.

42:15 - Interview conclusion / closing credits

0:00

EL: Can you please say and spell your name?

CW: Sure. My name is Carol Waggener. It's C-A-R-O-L W-A-G-G-E-N-E-R, and I'm the founder and head Kegwasher at the Bold Missy Brewery.

EL: There you go.

CW: There you go.

EL: Awesome. Well, today's Thursday, June 14th, 2018, and we're here at Bold Missy Brewery in Charlotte, North Carolina. Thank you, Carol, for talking with us.

CW: Thank you. It's an honor to be here. It's fun.

EL: Thanks. To start, can you just tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from, and how did you get to where you are?

CW: I'm originally from Florida. I grew up in Sarasota, and my first job was at Tropicana Orange Juice. When I would come into work every morning, my boss would pop up over his cube, and he'd go, "Look out, everybody. Here comes the Bold 1:00Missy," so that's where the Bold Missy Brewery nickname came from. From Tropicana, I had moved around quite a bit. I had a position in Salt Lake City, and I sat next to the Anheuser-Busch rep. Their company was going through a lot of transition, so he said, "You know, we've got some jobs back in St. Louis. Do you have any interest?" I said, "Yeah," so I ended up starting my beer career at Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, so I was there for about a year and a half in St. Louis. Then I was transferred to Phoenix in a sales role, and then I was transferred to Charlotte in another sales role. That's what brought me to Charlotte, and Charlotte's probably been the longest place I've ever lived in my career. I just think it's an incredible city. It's just a great place to be, and it has an amazing beer scene. I moved to Charlotte, and I had been here about five years. InBev came in and bought Anheuser-Busch so there was a lot of reorganization, restructuring, and I was restructured out. I still had this 2:00incredible love of beer, but I didn't really know what to do with that. I had gone to work for another local company called Snyder's-Lance. If you've ever had a Snyder's pretzel or a Lance cracker, that's us. Now we were recently bought by Campbell's, so now it's Campbell's Snacks. I had been with them, and I was on a pub crawl over in South End, and I was sitting at Triple C. I was like, "This is what I want to do. I want to get back into beer." I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur, so that started my journey of putting the brewery together. From there, I knew I needed a lot of education because you can't just say, "Oh, I'm going to start a brewery and off you go. The bank just doesn't give you money for that kind of stuff, so I went to Siebel Institute in Chicago. They had a three-day seminar in Start Your Own Brewery, so I took that, and it just scratched the surface of what I needed to understand and learn. Throughout the process, also I just visited as many breweries as I could, understood what I liked about them, what size I liked, their marketing and how they talk to their 3:00consumer and different things like that.

CW: Then I also went to Portland State on a 24-week program, The Business of Craft Beers. All of those things together helped me build my business plan and get my financials together and was able to secure an SBA loan from Wells Fargo. We had the money, and then we found a place. It's not really the rest is history, but that's the space that we're in now in the brewery. We've been open for a year. Two weeks ago, we had a one-year celebration.

EL: About how long would you say you went from having that initial this is what I want to do thought to opening the doors?

CW: Probably four years.

EL: It was about a four-year process?

CW: It was about a four-year journey because you get excited about. You get fired up, and then when you start looking at the financials of it and where am I going to get this money to start this because it's extremely capital-intensive, you make progress. You stall, and then you really have to decide if this is your 4:00passion or not, if you're going to go after this.

EL: You've had a diverse work background before deciding to start the brewery, some related to beer and some not.

CW: Right.

EL: How does the craft brewing entrepreneurial side of things compare to the other places you've worked or what have you taken from those other places and been able to apply here?

CW: I guess the experience of the overall beer industry helped me a lot because I understood from Anheuser-Busch the importance of quality. They pound that into your head, and they live and breathe it, so you can say what you want to about them as a company. They are focused on quality. The other thing I learned from Gussie Busch [August Anheuser Busch, Jr.] is that "Making Friends is our Business." That was his slogan, and it's a very relationship-driven business, so you've got to be able to connect with people and connect with them on a very genuine level, so those are two traits that you have to take into the craft beer world. You have to focus on quality because it's not just, "Hey. I made this 5:00beer. Here you go." It absolutely has to be a well-crafted, delicious beer. Then the second part is, it's relationships and being very genuine and being able to connect with people. That's what I love about the craft beer business, as well, is the ability to connect with people.

EL: Yeah, so are there some specific people that stand out along the path that you would consider to be your mentors, helping you transition into the craft beer ownership/entrepreneurial space?

CW: I've had so many mentors. They're tough to rattle off, you know. When I worked at Anheuser-Busch, I was on the Kroger business for a while. His name was Bill Peisker, and he would call himself the Beer Genius, but very relationship oriented, just a terrific guy. I've been very blessed with great mentors along the way and then in building the business plan, just had some great friends that 6:00would read it for me, say "I think you're on track here. I think you're not." You know, Charlotte is a very big small town, so people are very connected. I got connected to my attorney, and he connected me with a tax accountant. Then they connected me with an insurance guy. Even though those roles sound dry and boring and business-like, they gave me great insights and great support. My financial advisor was one of the best supporters out there. I said, "You know, I'm putting my whole life savings into this thing. I know you're here to talk me out of it." He's like, "No. Let's look it. If this is your passion, and you think this can work, go for it." I had a really great long list and then you know, my family and my friends have just been incredibly supportive, too. You have to have a strong foundation of support in order to do something like this, for sure.

EL: Definitely. You mentioned that you were in Charlotte before opening. Around when did you come here to Charlotte?

CW: I came to Charlotte in ... Let's see. I've been here 14 years, I guess, so 7:00in 2005.

EL: You've seen an awful lot of changes in terms of the beer scene here.

CW: Oh, I have. Absolutely.

EL: Can you talk a little about that?

CW: Yeah, because when I first got here, you've got your Anheuser-Busch goggles on. You really do not drink another type of beer. You do not talk about other types of beer, and you drink Anheuser-Busch products. That's it, so for five years, I didn't really pay any attention to it because I was so focused on Budweiser, but then after I got let go, I was obviously a little upset by that, so I never drank another Anheuser-Busch product again. I didn't drink beer for a long time, and then I got back into beer because it's a great beverage. That's what started me drinking more craft beers because everywhere you go, it would be the mainstream beers. I really tended towards the beers that were the craft beers. Olde Mecklenburg was one of the ones that had just started out, NoDa 8:00obviously and then Triple C. That was pretty much it, but I traveled quite a bit. Everywhere I traveled, I would go to different breweries. Asheville is right up the street and took many a brewery tour there and saw the different models of success and things. That's what got me more into the craft beer side of it.

EL: You've talked a little about this already but you decided to open or that you wanted to open a brewery. You've got your name that's your nickname from work as the name for the brewery, but what do you see as the main mission or theme of Bold Missy?

CW: When I was working on the business plan, obviously I wanted to spend a lot of time working on the vision and the mission of the business because I saw this as a great opportunity to take something and make it very creative and make it something that other people would be drawn to because when you get into 9:00corporate America and you look at somebody's mission statement or their values, you could probably write it on the back of a napkin. You could say, "Honesty, integrity, quality," and you're just like, "Uh." I gave a lot of thought to what I wanted to come with, so the mission is really simple. It's to win the affection and love of Charlotteans by providing a quality beverage, but then you get into what our values are. Bring passion and fun with growth profitability. That's something we want to have all the time is make sure you still have your passion and fun, but make sure you balance it with the growth and profitability. Then the other part of it too is reach out and bring it in is a big one. That's mostly about taking care of your coworkers, taking care of your community and bringing people in. Those are the things that we try to get through. The thing that really has been amazing to me that I need to work more into the values is 10:00it started off as our marketing theme of honoring famous Bold Missies. This has really just strung a chord with so many people. We came up with the initial Bold Missies of Amelia Earhart for Solo Flight. Rocket Ride is for Sally Ride. Git Yer Gun Golden is for Annie Oakley. Those were just great themes and great imagery, but people have come to us and said, "Well, you need to name a beer for this person, or you need to name a beer for that person, or here's who is my favorite Bold Missy." With the Me Too movement and everything that's been going on with empowering women, people have looked for me to be very outspoken on what my views are as far as women's causes and things like that. It's something I never saw coming. I really didn't. I thought I'd open this great little brewery and we'd have a great time, and it would be awesome, but now it's like, "Well. As a Bold Missy, what do you think about this?" It has really taken on a life of 11:00its own, and from my perspective of it, I want it to be a positive message. I don't want to say, "Oh, the man held me down," because a lot of people have those stories and they're horrible, and you want to appreciate them. My goal is to move forward from that. Let's highlight the women who are the Bold Missies, who have done it their way and be inspired by them and move it forward in a positive way.

EL: Yeah, so how do you go about selecting who you're naming the beer after?

CW: It's funny. I had this little speech that I gave to our staff of four on Monday, so I'm a big Oprah super SoulSunday watcher. They just roll their eyes at that. They're, "Oh, what did Oprah say last Sunday?" I'll try to condense it but my little speech on Monday was when we think about Bold Missies, it was 12:00Elizabeth Gilbert and Oprah we're talking about, a hero's journey. The hero's journey is basically a youngster that's restless and trying to find their way in the world. Then they get called to the journey, whether they can either say no to it, or they can say yes to it. Then they go off on the road of trials and tribulations and they find their mentors. Then at the end, they conquer their fear, so that's to be the filter for the Bold Missies that we pick because we were trying to kick around a new Bold Missy for a beer we're going to release in July. We talked about Betsy Ross because Fourth of July, so I was like, "Well, did she go on the hero's journey or did she just make flags and call it good?" Right, so they think I'm nuts but I've probably put way too much thought into it but our customers come to us with great ideas. We did a contest with our one-year anniversary, did a spinoff of all our core beers, and we did a contest to name a beer. One of our guests came up with "Chai-am Malala," which was fantastic.

13:00

EL: Oh, that's very cool.

CW: For a Chai Brown, which was fantastic. Our staff comes up with names all the time and people that inspire them or people that are fun and are easy to celebrate with. Well, not easy to celebrate. We did a sour, and it was a blond strawberry sour so we were talking about, "Oh, we love Blondie and her music," and stuff like that so we called it the Heart of Glass for the Blondie song. People get excited. They're like, "Oh, my God. That is a great Bold Missy." They're so many people. We pull from history, pull from current things, a lot of different ways to name women but I go back to the heroes journey, even though I drive everybody crazy with that.

EL: You guys also have really cool and distinctive art to go with each one of the beers.

CW: Oh, yeah. Absolutely, yeah.

EL: Can you talk a little about that?

CW: Yeah. When I had the vision for the Bold Missy Brewery, I pulled an image 14:00off of the Internet and it was like three women. It was mid-century. They were sitting around in their sunglasses and these hipster things by this pool. I just thought, "That's kind of cool." I love the mid-century artwork and stuff like that, so I sent that to a graphic designer. His name is Don Jones, out of Pittsburgh. He said, "Well, that is really great. What if we did like paperback novel heroine type things?" He took that and just went off it, and it was amazing. He helped create some of the names. He helped create the imagery and then one of his graphic designers also worked on some. Is it George Hamilton? Who's the Star Wars guy? I think it's George.

EL: Lucas?

CW: George Lucas. He was an artist for George Lucas and helped fill in some of the coloring and things like that. I was like, "Oh, my God. That's awesome." Yeah, so the latest one that we worked with, it was really awesome because our Bold Missy was alive. You know, Amelia Earhart. You can't do anything that looks 15:00like anybody in particular because you don't want to get in trouble. It was for Alison Levine, and Alison Levine is alive and kicking, which is great. I saw Alison at the Craft Brewers Conference. She was a keynote speaker, so she was the Captain of the first all women's team to summit Mt. Everest, and she's also an Adventure Grand Slam person, so she's summited all seven peaks in seven continents. She's skied to North Pole and skied to the South Pole, and she's written a bestselling book about leadership. We saw her, inspired. What a great Bold Missy, so afterwards we caught her. We just approached her and said, "Hey. We're with the Bold Missy Brewery. We'd love to name a beer for you." She was super excited. I said, "What kind of beer do you like?" She's like, "Anything with chocolate," so we did the Chocolate Stout. We stayed in contact via email, so she named it Conquer the Route chocolate stout. I said, "Do you mind if we use your likeness on the label with something, one of your polar explorer pictures?" She 16:00said, "No. That'd be great." You see the label that we've got. We've got it on our t-shirts and stuff like that. It's actually her.

EL: Oh, very cool.

CW: Yeah, her image on one of her expeditions. Then we turned it into this paperback novel kind of look.

EL: Oh, very cool.

CW: It's really cool, so fun.

EL: Has she had a chance to drink any of it?

CW: She came to the launch party, which was fantastic. We sold tickets, and she's doing a documentary about the first Nepalese women to summit Everest. I said, "Well do this launch party, and we'll sell tickets. The proceeds will go to your documentary," so we did that. She came, and she launched the beer. She did the first pour of the Chocolate Stout. I mean, it's just so incredibly fun, you know?

EL: Yeah.

CW: It just was great. We just had a ball.

EL: That is awesome.

CW: Yeah, it really was. It was awesome.

EL: That's very cool. To rewind a little back to the planning and opening, can 17:00you describe a little where we are in Charlotte and maybe why this is an area that works well for you or that you selected?

CW: Well, it's funny because in Charlotte, it's really tough to find a building. It's tough to find the space because it has to have I2 zoning. You want the high ceilings. You want a good foundation of a floor. You want to have the building to have the power to support the equipment and all these other different things, so is a very particular type of building that you want. In most of Charlotte, the I-2 zoned buildings are in warehouse type neighborhoods, and that's how Olde Mecklenburg got their start and even down the street, NoDa's, same thing is much more I-2 zoning. I had looked and looked. The craft beer scene was taking off over in South End, so I looked all through South End, and I tried to look at different neighborhoods that I thought would be a good fit. NoDa, my realtor was like, "There's no way you're going to get into NoDa because of the light rail 18:00because the square footage would be too high." Anyway, I was driving around and saw this building. I was driving around with my brewery consultant. He was town, and we were looking at buildings and stuff. We saw this homeless guy out front. He was like relieving himself on the building. My consultant is like, "That's it. That's the spot." I was like, "Uh, okay." He's like, "No, I'm serious." Anyway, I came down to look at it, and there were bars on the windows. I have this image in my mind. I was like, "Really?" I said, "You know, you got to have a strong vision," but actually my landlord had his cabinet making shop here, so it had the power. It had the floors. I mean, we gutted the building but it had everything you really needed. Then found out that the light rail had plans to come down this way. I was like, "Ah, there's a light rail coming. This is going to turn. This is going to be a great spot," so that's how we landed here.

EL: Oh, very cool. You touched on some of these already a little but can you 19:00talk a little about some of the challenges that you faced opening a new brewery, specifically related to the brewery?

CW: Yeah. I mean, there's so many challenges that you just don't even see coming, like, "Oh, I didn't see that coming." I think one of the toughest challenges honestly is the permits that you have to get and the inspections that you have to get and all those different things because each of those delay you by quite a bit. My favorite story is we had one inspector come out. You know, in Charlotte, they want more green space, so they tell you you have to plant these trees on your property, and you have to build a sidewalk. My sidewalk that doesn't go anywhere, but they don't make it easy on you on some of these things. I had one inspector who came out and came back and failed us because two of our trees were buried four inches too deep. They had literally gone out there with a 20:00trowel and dug it up and measured, so we had to go back out there with shovels and replant these two trees. That took us another two weeks to get part of our inspection before you can do the next step. You know, Gwinnett County came in and they were asking about breweries. I was on a panel about them. I said, "If you really want to attract breweries, make it easier for them for crying out loud." I mean, they're there to grow the business. We kind of came in and now the neighborhood is starting to turn. Breweries are great places to have in neighborhoods that are looking to be more green and community-friendly and all those different things, so just a lot of challenges around the city and just trying to open a brewery and stuff like that. The other thing, too, is there are so many challenges, just getting the equipment in the front door. You know, it comes on this big trailer tractor, and you don't think. You think, "Oh, this is great. I'm going to get my equipment." Then I'm thinking, "Well, how am I going to get it to stand upright? It's all in the building now. Now I guess I better 21:00find a rigger that's going to actually set them up." You know, there's just so many things. You're like, "Oh, I got my equipment." you're just like, "Oh, yeah. That's another thousand dollars down the drain." The cost is unbelievable, what you have to eat. You really need to have a huge bucket of extra money that you don't plan for, for stuff like that.

EL: Yeah. You mentioned this before we started recording, but you have relatives who are working here or at least a niece who's working here with you. Has that been the plan since the beginning to have family?

CW: You know, it was funny.

EL: Or did it just work out perfectly?

CW: A little of both probably. When I started the brewery, I would tell my friends and family, "I'm going to start a brewery." They're like, "Oh, good for you. That's great." Then they'd say, "Is she really going to start a brewery? She's not going to start a brewery, you know. It's ridiculous," and stuff. I come from a family of engineers, so my dad was an engineer. My brother and sister are both engineers. Lybbi, my niece's family, same thing, all engineers. 22:00We're the ones that are a little more business, a little more creative-minded and stuff, so I said, "Lybbi. I'm going to open this brewery, and you're going to come down and help me run it." She's like, "Okay." She's fantastic. She's my secret weapon millennial. She knows what millennials like. She knows the Instagram, the social media. We put ridiculously funny things out there, and it has nothing to do with me. It's all Lybbi and the team that we have is just very funny and creative and brings a lot of passion and excitement to it. I'm really blessed that I had a niece that was excited about doing it, so it was nice to have family, too, to keep an eye on the money.

EL: That usually is helpful to have somebody do that.

CW: Yeah, but I have an amazing team. I'm very blessed with great people.

EL: How many folks do you have on staff now?

CW: Well, our executive leadership team is comprised of five of us, so we've got myself and then Lybbi, our brewmaster Carli, who you met. Heather is our one 23:00sales rep, and then Joe is our other sales rep. Then we have probably about 10 part-time beertenders. We also have a great chef, Sydney, in the kitchen. The beertenders all have real jobs, and I'm blessed to have them because they all love to come here because it's such a change of pace from their real jobs, and they always have so much fun when they're here and stuff. I have a lot of pride in our team that every time we get reviewed, it always says super friendly staff, and that's what I'm wanting. You know, sometimes some breweries can be very intimidating about, "Oh, this is special craft beer," and just take themselves too seriously. We take our beers seriously but not ourselves, and our staff is super friendly and likes to try to educate people on whatever they would like. You can come in here and tell me that you don't drink beer, and by the time you leave, I will at least gotten you to try some beers and stuff, so 24:00it's fun.

EL: You mentioned the chef. Have y'all had a kitchen as part of the ... Has that always been part of the plan?

CW: Well, no. That was another budget thing. "Oh, let's put a kitchen in. How much could that possibly be?" Right? "What, a couple thousand bucks? We'll get a panini machine."

EL: Just stick your crockpot in the corner.

CW: Yeah, a crockpot, a panini machine. The health department is totally fine with that. Anyway, so I had talked to my brewery consultant. His name is Marc Martin. He's from Portland, Oregon. This guy is just absolutely ridiculous. He's just really funny, and he's like, "Oh. I got a great idea for you. I got a great idea for you." He's like, "Wait till I tell you about your menu." I was like, "Okay." He strung me along and strung me along, so I'm thinking to myself, "Wow. It's going to be something really spectacular." He's like, "Hot dogs." I'm like, "That's it? Hot dogs?" He said, "Yeah, yeah. Hot dogs." I was like, "Well, 25:00okay." I didn't want a fryer because you've got to put in a grease trap and all these different things. I just wanted really something very simple and something to keep people in the seats longer and to drink more beer. That's where the money is. Anyway, that's what led us to the kitchen, so we did. I went online and I searched the top 100 hot dog places across America, and I studied their menus, and I stole the best hot dogs off the menus. One of them, one of our bestsellers is called the Hound Dog. It's peanut butter, bacon, and honey. You'd be like, "No way is that good." We even have on the menu, "Trust us," and that's our number one selling hotdog. We try to do fun gourmet hot dogs, and we also do flatbread because they're super easy and they're something I really like to enjoy. Then we've got great soft pretzels, and we have a gourmet mustard and beer cheese with it, so it's not like your typical hot dogs or typical snacks. We try to put our little spin or twist on it and just give something for people to order and enjoy. We have a lot of people that take our food to go. That's 26:00awesome. They like it well enough that they pick it up and take it home. Yeah, it's been nice.

EL: It sounds like the mentality behind that matches the mentality behind the beer, of fun.

CW: Absolutely. Fun, yeah.

EL: Can you talk a little about and this is probably an impossible question but like a typical day around the brewery?

CW: I'm probably a terrible person to ask about that because I don't have a typical day because I'm still doing my day job and this.

EL: Oh.

CW: I am still trying to keep my lights on at home and my lights on at the brewery, so I have not let go completely of my day job, so my job consists of getting up very early and starting to work on things for Campbell's Snacks and selling to Food Lion is my customer, which is a major customer so I have a strong obligation to that, and I'm very dedicated to that. Then afterwards, last 27:00night I ended up in the kitchen on a kitchen shift. Then a couple weeks ago, Carli was swamped in the backroom so I was back there with cleaning kegs and helping transfer beer and kegging beer, and then a couple weeks after that. You just never know, so there really isn't a typical day. Probably Carli and Lybbi have more typical days, but my days are just all over the place. When I say day, I really mean evening and weekends and nights, doing the books, doing the accounting, paying for the equipment, all these different things. Yeah, so I don't have it. That's probably why I like it so much here. It's something different all the time, which is great.

EL: Yeah. What would you say is Bold Missy's signature beer? Do you guys have a beer that you consider your signature beer?

CW: Well, it's funny because my vision for this was to have well-loved styles of craft beer, so I've been to so many breweries. I went to one brewery. They brewed with scorpions, or they would make the world's most sour, sour beer, things like that or the IPA that would just hit you in the face. I was like, "There's really 28:00still a market for well-loved, well-made craft beer," so we have a great wheat. We have a great IPA. We have an amazing brown. We have a golden, and then we get into our seasonals and the brewer's batch, and that's where we can play around and have a lot of fun. I would say when everybody is like, "What do you think your flagship is going to be?" I figured the customers would tell us what the flagship is going to be, so the flagship is starting to turn into the Find a Way wheat because it's a really nice Belgian style wheat, and it's brewed with tangerine peels and tangerine puree, so it just hits the sweet spot of being just a really drinkable delicious beer. That's probably getting into more of our mainstream, but some of the beers we monkeyed around a little with some barrels, so we took our Chocolate Stout and Conquer the Route and put it in a barrel. We just tapped that for the one-year anniversary, so that was really nice. Carli 29:00did a collaboration with some friends of hers from San Diego that were in town, from a brewery called Thr3e Punks Ale, which is really funny. They're the ones that helped brew the Kettle Sour. We're just trying to do different things because in craft beer, it's all about what's new. It'd be like, "Oh, what do you got? What's new? Okay, well, let's try this and let's try that," so you can't just say this is our standards, but so far the Find A Way wheat.

EL: Who's the Find A Way Wheat?

CW: That's for Diana Nyad. She swam from Cuba to Florida, and she did it at age 64.

EL: Wow.

CW: Yeah, after she did multiple attempts throughout her life. She had failed many times from jellyfish and sharks and all kinds of things, so she's an incredible person.

EL: Definitely. You've mentioned that Bold Missy just recently celebrated its 30:00first anniversary, so looking back on your expectations and hopes from a year prior, when you guys opened, are there any big surprises that stand out to you or anything that you just didn't anticipate or expect?

CW: Yeah. I mean, I do think the biggest surprise honestly was people wanting to feel inspired by what we had created. Before we had even opened, we were the water sponsor at a beer festival. You know, just get our name out there early and things like that. This one young woman came up to me. It was in February. It was just after the election, and she came up to me and she goes like, "What are we going to do for the next four years?" It's like, "I don't know. I'm going to try to make beer." Obviously, she was asking me this huge question about politics and what's going to happen with our society and things like that. It's like, "Okay. I don't know, but let's stay positive here, you know?" That has hands down been the biggest surprise, like we have a lot of women's groups that 31:00come in that love using the Bold Missy as their space for meetings. We have a lot of women entrepreneurs that come in, same idea. They want to use our space for that, so that has really been a surprise and a really happy surprise and a real blessing to be able to provide the space and a beverage that really resonates with people and to be able to continue that on. You have a platform that you can celebrate a woman who has accomplished a lot. Not many people get to just do that, so a real blessing.

EL: Tying off of what you just mentioned with folks, community groups using the space and coming to the space, community engagement is the thing that a lot of breweries are engaged in.

CW: Yeah, absolutely.

EL: Can you talk about some of the work that you guys have done?

CW: Yeah, so we started off, and I had stolen this idea. It was called Drink One Down for Your Town. It was supposed to be a monthly program where we would select a cause or a charity would select us, and we would do a dollar per pint. 32:00We tried to script it, and it fell apart. Now that we've open for quite a while, it really has turned into definitely something that's more than once a month, and it's evolved in a lot of different ways. Our sales rep, Heather, had a friend who's very involved with Long Trails to Happy Tales, or Long Tails to Happy Trails, something like that, a puppy adoption. We hosted a puppy adoption, and we gave a dollar per pint to the organization. Two of our folks went home with puppies that day, so we had a couple new brew dogs out of it. Since then we've had them back several times to help them adopt puppies. Like over the weekend, we had Habitat for Humanity came in, same deal, dollar per pint. We love to support the community in any way we can and are happy to host meetings or do different things and give some type of donation to the city that has been so great to us, so that's what we try to do.

33:00

EL: Yeah, so looking forward, how are you seeing Bold Missy growing in the future? Like what are your goals for the next few years?

CW: Yeah. I've been really working on that. I want to try to create a 10-year vision, like where do we think we're going to be in 10 years and have us all looking towards that and then back it up three years and then back it up to a year or even back it up to the quarter and be like, "Okay. What are we trying to get done with these different ranges of time?" Things like that. You know, the first year it was all about drinking out of a fire hose. We didn't know if our menu was going to work. We didn't know if people were going to like the beers that we were making. We didn't know if we were selling it to the right people. We didn't know. You're just out there, and you're just going to go for it, and you're going to try it, so year two is more about processes. It's not sexy but that's what's going to take us for the long haul is processes. What has worked for us? What are the different steps that we can implement to get us to the that 34:0010 years and what that looks like? That's what we're working on now.

EL: Have you guys, are you mainly doing taproom business, or are you also canning and distributing?

CW: We're not canning yet. We're doing distribution of kegs in the market. I would love to start canning, but we also have got to make sure that our product is perfect before we put it in a can, and we also have to make sure that we drive the awareness before we put that can on the shelf because God forbid we put something in that can that's not perfect, and God forbid we put it on the shelf, and nobody knows who it is and it sits there. The retailer is never going to give us a second chance on that, so I'm really super excited because I think our labels and everything will look so great on a can, but we also have to make sure we have the beer. To be honest, we've had a couple days here and there where we've run out of beer because we just weren't ready for the ramp-up. That's also the other really big challenging thing, and everybody will tell you that is like making sure you have enough product to sell or making sure that if 35:00you're not selling product, what can you do to change that?

EL: Yeah, so you mentioned this already but in terms of your being a woman in the craft brewing industry who also employs a lot of women in the industry, can you talk a little about some of the challenges but also the benefits for having largely a female staff? Do you think that there are things that you might have the leg up on when you're thinking or challenges you might be facing?

CW: Another thing that surprised me was how people on social media that are anonymous and might have an issue with women-owned business, they have a platform now to tell you exactly what they think. We had a couple of reviews and 36:00a couple of things that came in that just really you know, you've got to have tough skin to be in the beer business anyway, but that one took me a couple days to get over. I was just really surprised at that and how in our society today, people have this platform to be ugly to you, so I've experienced that. I try not to dwell on it and try to move on from things like that. I would say honestly it's hard to stand out in the craft beer business right now because there are so many coming in. There's craft breweries opening every day. Having a female perspective and being known as a woman-owned brewery does set us apart, so it's been a big positive for that. We'll also be able to highlight women's accomplishments and things like that. To have a marketing and a message that resonates so well helps you stand out, as well, so I would say it's been more of 37:00an advantage than a disadvantage.

EL: Yeah. Would you have any specific advice for women looking to enter this industry?

CW: I would say if you're interested, then go for it. It is the most fun you'll ever have. If you're sitting on a plane and somebody says to you, "What do you do for a living?" You say, "I work for a brewery." Boom. Everybody gets excited, and we're talking about it. You get to meet amazing people. You get to do amazing things. You're never going to be rich, but you're going to have a ball. I would never let your gender hold you back from getting into this business because it is really fun, and it's very unique.

EL: Yeah, so what's your favorite part of being part of that craft beer industry?

CW: I just think my favorite part is really having the sense of community. You know, my favorite part is the culture that we've built. When you're doing your 38:00plan, you have a vision of what you want your culture to be, but your culture, you set the tone. Then you have to have the people embrace it and cultivate it, so that's the one thing that I just really enjoy is the people that we hire and that we bring in, our guests and our customers that come in and enjoy it, it's created a really fun culture, a positive culture, and that's the one thing that I just love about it.

EL: Definitely, so big picture, how do you think the North Carolina craft beer, or even the local Charlotte if that's a better way to look at it, scene, where do you think it's going? Five years down the road, 10 years even?

CW: You know, I think everybody is like, "Oh. Is it saturated?" That's the million dollar question. "Is it saturated?" Again, people that ask me that, when 39:00I was working on it in 2014, and that was when there was eight breweries in town, and now there is almost 25 or 30 breweries in town? You know, so I will say that the people of Charlotte will tell us when it's saturated. We could end up it could be like Portland where they have a 100 within the city limits. I don't know that we'll get to be that big in Charlotte, but it's obviously something that the community embraces. When the community says, "Nah," I think that's it. Then you'll start to see unfortunately probably some of us go off to do other ventures and things like that.

EL: Yeah, and Charlotte itself has been growing.

CW: Charlotte is growing like a weed. I was just talking to somebody who is working on filling one of the giant apartment complexes down in uptown. I said, "Where are the people coming that are renting these places?" I mean, it's a $1,000 for like 600 square feet to live in. She's like, "Believe me, they are 40:00coming. They are coming."

EL: Do you have a favorite beer from the North Carolina brewery other than your own or even just a favorite beer today?

CW: My favorite beer today, I could probably answer both. My favorite beer today has been my favorite beer for a long time, and that has to be Bell's Two Hearted. I just think that is the most well-balanced delicious IPA I've ever had, and every time I take a drink of it, I smack my lips. I get so excited about having it, and that's why I also love Rocket Ride, which is our beer, which is a very well-balanced type, so I think that's awesome. The other beer, probably I'm trying to think of somebody that has not been impacted by Anheuser-Busch because I used to love Wicked Weed. I love Sierra Nevada, up in Asheville. I think they make amazing beers, but probably locally I would say I always enjoy Triple C's. They always have delicious beers. I went to a newer 41:00place in Fort Mill called Amor Artis, really delicious beers, very small batch beers and stuff like that.

EL: Yeah, very cool.

CW: I like a lot of different types of beers so it's hard to pick one.

EL: That's usually the answer, honestly, that we get when we ask that question. You enjoy different styles and sometimes you enjoy different styles on different days.

CW: Different days or different times of day.

EL: Yeah, so what about here? Do you have a favorite amongst your own?

CW: Rocket Ride. Hands down, Rocket Ride. That's my baby. I love that beer. I can't help it.

EL: You're working a full-time job and you're doing this, so you probably don't have much free time, but in those spare free moments, what do you like to do when you're not working?

CW: I have an amazing dog named Bruno. He's a dachshund, so I always enjoy spending time with Bruno, going around the block, chatting with neighbors, checking in on things. Love to go to the beach, love to go to the mountains. I love to do a lot of things. My passion is definitely traveling. I love to travel 42:00and stuff, so this past year is a little bit of a blur as far as how much time I actually spent doing those things, but it's been good.

EL: Yeah, definitely. Those were pretty much the questions that I was going to ask you. Is there anything else that we didn't hit on that you wanted to talk about?

CW: No, I don't think so. It was good.

EL: Awesome.

CW: Yeah, I appreciate your time today.

EL: Well, thank you so much.

CW: You're welcome.