NYgal has been dying for the chance to speak with Natalie Migliarini the founder of Beautiful Booze, which hello, we are currently obsessing over! Not only because her site is absolutely binge-worthy to explore, but because she’s an inspiration to NYgals working on their own projects that may seem a bit risky or untraditional!
Thank god Natalie agreed to give us all the answers we’ve been craving. Just like we’ve been craving those Spicy Mango Margs featured on her site right now!
So, here it is the grand Q+A that’ll make you want to get up and get started on your own personal project and also drink a lot of beautiful booze.
How did Beautiful Booze get started?
In 2013, I started Beautiful Booze as a “creative” break after being laid off from my University job. Throughout my life I have always been looking for a creative outlet and that all started with food. I absolutely love cooking and entertaining but couldn’t ever quite nail down exactly how to weave it into my life beyond a hobby.
After being laid off, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to take a break from the non-stop crazy cubicle lifestyle that I was leading and explore cocktails. I first got the idea after I started seeing food bloggers posting all kinds of beautiful creations on social media. I thought, why isn’t anyone doing this for cocktails?
I’m not a bartender but was so happy at the thought of being able to share my journey of teaching myself how to make cocktails. Also to be able to share the recipes will other cocktail lovers around the world.
I started posting a new cocktail with photos on my blog and social media five days a week, as well as documenting my exploration of cocktails by visiting bars in Seattle and the surrounding region. To be honest, starting was the hardest part, and as I slipped deeper and deeper into unemployment everyone around me was questioning my sanity; including me. People around you aren’t always going to understand why you would take a chance or risk everything, but you have to create the life you want to live.
I knew I could always find another academic job like I had before but may not be given another chance to go out on my own again.
It has been five years now and I have been able to grow the business in ways I could have only imagined in the beginning. Three years ago I sold everything material that I owned and packed up a suitcase. Ever since then I have been exploring and making cocktails all around the world. Currently, I am reporting from Croatia and looking for my next cocktail inspiration.
What advice would you give to others looking to start their own business or blog?
The first piece of advice I would give is to just start creating. Everything isn’t ever going to be perfect, so if you wait until you have the perfect picture or the perfect website you will never get started.
We are all improving and learning as we go – you can make a thousand excuses not to do something, or you can just go out and do it. None of this happens overnight. I have been working seven days a week for the past five years to make Beautiful Booze successful. It isn’t dumb luck or the result of a single viral post that got me followers on Instagram. It’s the result of hard work and consistency every single day.
Don’t get bogged down and compare yourself with other accounts – we all have a story to tell, and no one else can tell yours. Also, interact through social media with brands you want to work with and network with other individuals in your industry. We are so lucky to be able to have platforms where we can interact with people that we didn’t have access to before social media.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Beyond creating and photographing cocktails, I love interacting with the community. I have been lucky enough to travel around the world and meet people that have been supporting me since the beginning.
What do you think is the most valuable thing you’ve learned on this journey?
Simply, to believe in myself. It’s ok to not know what you are doing – I am still trying to figure out what I am doing and how to make it work financially long-term.
I was never someone who thought they could run their own business, though as I look back, I should have given myself more credit and owed my successes instead of holding back and feeling like I wasn’t good enough because my background wasn’t in the industry.
Did you have a lot of support and resources when you started?
No, I was at a milestone in my life where I was all about taking risks and didn’t care what anyone else thought about it. Most of the people around me thought I needed to get a “real” job and make money. I was getting most of my support from people on social media that I had never met before.
It’s interesting when your life changes and the people you expect the least to show up and lend their support are the ones who are there for you the most.
After spending 10 years working a “real” job, I was over it, so I decided to use the money I had saved up to invest in Beautiful Booze, and myself. I put my head down and worked all day every day to learn and grown this business with almost no experience.
Where do you see Beautiful Booze going next?
I am currently expanding Beautiful Booze to cover different events around the world as well as building the education sector to include more speaking engagements and training seminars on social media. I am looking to expand the social media management sector of the business for other companies in the travel and booze world, as well as helping companies with influencer management.
I am also working on a lot of video development and travel content, which will include bar guides and bar crawls from destinations we visit around the world.