Small Business Saturday with Shottys

Owner Name: Austin Rovetti and Joe Block
Business Name: Shottys party-ready gelatin shots
Business Based in: California
Website: www.shottys.com
Social Media Accounts: Instagram.com/shottys face-book.com/shottys
Hashtags Used: #Shottys

What products or services do you offer?
We created the world’s first party-ready gelatin shots. Made with premium vodka, all-natural ingredients and an easy-to-squeeze cup, you no longer have to make a mess in the kitchen the night before the party. Just peel, squeeze and party!

How long have you been in business?
We launched Shottys in Spring 2017. It’s been quite the whirlwind with both of us coming from the corporate world. We are expanding quickly with great success. At the same time, we try to be calculated in how we do it and to support the brand along the way as we enter new markets.

What inspired you to start your own company?
We had been talking about starting something for a while. We would have people over for dinner parties all the time. Any time we made gelatin shots, they were instantly consumed. They were such a pain to make however. And we couldn’t find a store to buy them. And Shottys was born!

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Do you have a mentor or someone who inspired you?
I (Joe) worked for the Wonderful Company (FIJI Water, Wonderful Pistachios, POM Wonderful) for nearly 7 years. I had the pleasure of working with many brilliant minds there on new product development and innovation. There are too many to name. I would mention having worked closely with the owners, they are business geniuses. Just being in the same room as them and seeing how they think about their brands was truly incredible. It’s not an accident they’ve been so successful. And we’ve been able to take inspiration from their playbook and philosophies in launching Shottys.

Favorite part of owning your own company?
Probably the freedom to create and do anything. Seeing your hard work come to fruition and people enjoying the product is incredible satisfaction. The freedom is also a challenge, insofar as it can make prioritizing tricky. And there’s always distractions. And only us to hold ourselves accountable. It’s a balancing act and we’re trying to enjoy the process along the way as well.

What is an obstacle that you found you were unprepared for?
Everything! We pride ourselves on deliberating before making decisions. The few times we’ve rushed to answers it feels like we’ve been punished for it. We are luckily able to chalk it up to a learning experience and nothing has derailed us. It’s more the morale hit when you know you should have done something, didn’t double check it and ultimately it comes back to sting you. We keep a positive attitude and look not to make the same mistakes over again.

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How do you put your business out there?
For alcohol and spirits in particular, it must go through a 3-tier system. Simply put, the manufacturer sells to a distributor who sells the product to consumers at stores, bars, etc. We’ve been fortunate enough to work with some of the top distributors in the states in which we sell. And they’ve been incredible partners to ask the prophylactic questions and share their insights about how the industry works.

What mobile apps/online resources help your business the most?
We are constantly on dropbox as a way to collaborate and manage our infrastructure. We’ve tended to stick with the Microsoft stack because we’re most familiar with it. We’ve tried a few routing softwares, but haven’t quite been able to extract full value from them. And we’ve got a back-office company helping us with compliance and accounting, so that we can focus on value added activities for the brand.

What are your favorite tools to help with workflow and organization?
We’ve had great success with Wunderlist for managing to-do lists. It seems like there’s an endless list and it allows us to delegate, put due dates and manage multiple employees. That’s the number one thing companies struggle with is managing to-do lists and prioritization. It’s been great for holding people accountable.

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How do you maintain balance in life?
We are both really into board gaming and healthy living. You can usually find us dueling at Star Realms, at the beach playing volleyball or grilling out in Venice, California. It’s important to have outlets for creative, physical and emotion outlets. A company can provide many of those, though having time away can help put things into perspective.

Any words of wisdom for people looking to launch a business of their own?
It’s going to be much more work, money and time than you would expect. But it’s also one of the single greatest things you can do. Finding the right business partner(s) is critical. You’ll be spending exorbitant amounts of time with them. And make sure you have your operating agreement signed off before starting out. It can take a while to do and involve lawyers, but it’s worth every penny for that peace of mind.

Anything else you would like people to know about your business?
We’re available on Amazon Prime Now 2 hour delivery within 10 miles of Glendale. That’s been a great way for customers to get our products in Los Angeles.

We’re available in a few states and more coming soon. If we’re not in your state or favorite liquor stores or watering hole, please request us so we can get it sold there!

And lastly, please drink responsibly. Shottys are meant to be a fun party-starter and a way to bring people together. We purposely didn’t design that with bottom of the barrel ingredients or packaging. And for those 21+, give everyone a shot!

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