Photo Courtesy of Morgan Weinstock.
Morgan Weinstock knows what it's like to be a VP in a male-dominated industry. The sales and marketing connoisseur of Spirits of Tennessee, her family company behind Jackson Morgan Southern Cream, says she regularly has "less than desirable" experiences while she's pitching men who expect a "Morgan" to be a man in the suit.
But despite her experiences, Weinstock has worked to create a "relatable" southern brand, complete with it's own blog, The Sip. And she's seen major success. We asked Weinstock about the founding of her family's company (there's some prohibition-era crime involved), her path to marketing success and how she manages biases in the boardroom. She also shared how she unwinds, who inspires her and her best advice for women in any industry.
Fairygodboss of the Week: Morgan Weinstock
VP of Sales and Marketing at Spirits of Tennessee/Jackson Morgan Southern Cream
Tell us a little about your career. How did you get to where you are now?
I attended College of Charleston and studied business, hospitality and marketing. This led me to work for a luxury event planner, where I assisted in launching their new office in Charleston. I wanted to return closer to home and made my way to Nashville after graduation. I worked for a small company that did fundraising and event planning for non-profit and political campaigns.
After my family started Jackson Morgan Southern Cream, I began handling the sales and marketing side of the business, which included everything from advertising to sales pitches to influencer marketing and content creation for our website. Jackson Morgan is a family business, with both my parents and brother involved, as well as a few family friends. We are a whiskey cream in fun southern flavors such as banana pudding and salted caramel. Jackson Morgan is named after my brother, Jackson, and I. Our great grandfather made whiskey illegally during the 1920s, so we brought back the family tradition in a modern way with our whiskey creams. I also author our blog, The Sip, which offers insightful hosting tips, boozy recipes and festive tablescapes.
From the beginning, I crafted the story and message behind the brand. I wanted content that felt completely different than other liquor companies. I used real people in our photoshoots, sometimes begging my friends or neighbors to model for me in exchange for brunch or a bottle of Jackson Morgan. I figured the world does not need another liquor bottle photoshopped on a beach backdrop or a fancy cocktail that is near impossible to recreate at home. I always have strived to make our brand relatable.
What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?
Jackson Morgan Southern Cream's banana pudding cream won double gold and best in show at the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America Annual Convention and Exposition a a few years back. The flavor was my mother's idea, which means you should always listen to your mother.
What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?
After working in a male-dominated industry for the past four years, I have had my fair share of less than desirable interactions, including the time I showed up for a meeting out of state and the owner of the company thought he was expecting an older gentleman with a beard named Morgan — not a twenty-something woman in heels. I have learned over the years to squash people's perceptions of me and quickly turn the conversation towards the success of Jackson Morgan Southern Cream when questions arise about my age or gender.
Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? and Why?
Emily Ley. I have read all of her books and adore the way she leads her business in such a thoughtful way, always putting her family first. She recently expanded her planner business to include a line at Target, which is such a dream.
What do you do when you're not working?
I enjoy hosting people in our home and trying new restaurants with my husband. The restaurant options are endless in Nashville.
If you could have dinner with one famous person - dead or alive - who would it be?
Sara Blakely. The way she leads Spanx while being a wife and mother is beyond inspiring. She also just seems like a fun person to enjoy a meal together.
Lightning Round: What is your karaoke song?
"Don't Stop Believing" by Journey, always!
Lightning Round: What is your favorite movie?
I am a big fan of Reese Witherspoon, so I would have to say Sweet Home Alabama.
Lightning Round: What book would you bring with you on a desert island?
Any of Brene Brown's books, they are inspirational.
Lightning Round: What would you buy if you won the lottery?
A beach house in Charleston. I would love to move back someday.
What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you?
Don't be afraid to ask questions or to ask for help. I never shied away from asking other women how they got where they are and what it took to get there. I also love to help other small businesses. If I can wear a dress from a friend's shop for a photoshoot and tag them on Instagram, then I do it. Cheer on others and climb to the top together!
Why do you love where you work?
It is a dream to work with my family. It has been fun to learn more about my parents and brother from a business point of view. I also enjoy interacting with our customers on social media frequently. It is still a pinch-me moment when someone tags us in a cocktail they created or shares how they served Jackson Morgan for a special occasion.
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