There are countless badass women in the beverage industry. With such a wide variety of adult beverage options, we’re always on the lookout for local, female-owned businesses that inspire us.
We had the opportunity to chat with Suzanah and Rhonda from Camp Craft Cocktails. With a desire to gather and build community, Camp creates infusion-ready jars that give you the perfect cocktail every time. Check out their story and how they draw inspiration from—you guessed it—camp.
Tell us about your background. What professional or personal experiences led you to the entrepreneurial world?
Suzanah: I fell in love with people and the art of storytelling which led me to become an ordained Baptist minister after college. Meeting Rhonda was the Damascus Road experience that led me to Cocktail Church/Camp, and here we are.
Rhonda: My entrepreneurship was kicked off with 12 years of annual Girl Scout cookie sales, then waitressing and bartending. My DIY skills were fostered by both my summers at Girl Scout camp and by my grandparents, who canned and froze their harvests every year.
When we started a company in 2014, I knew how to make a list, work that list, and find people to teach me how to fill the gaps in my knowledge base.
What was the inspiration for Camp? How did Camp come to life?
Suzanah: Camp began with popsicles, a 1969 camper food truck, and a cross country road trip. After towing thousands of our handcrafted Bold City Pops in their vintage camper to the 2016 Desert Trip music festival in California, Rhonda and I knew we wanted to build even more community. Distilling down all that we loved from our tenure as camp directors to the perfect name and mission for our business, Camp Craft Cocktails was born on I-10, with flavors that beg to be shared, and a soul for creating community.
Camp is on a mission to build “bigger tables where everyone is welcome.” Tell us about Camp kits and how they help drive community.
Our hope is that Camp’s DIY cocktails encourage gathering. We created a type of “common cup” that can become the centerpiece or the backup dancer. The point is to gather and however we can help the host more easily engage with guests is a Camp priority.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
We draw inspiration from our years of working on residential camping staffs. Those days were filled with teamwork and making sure everybody felt like a part of the group.
How has being a woman impacted your professional experiences?
We are learning how to speak up and be heard. It feels good to remember that what we have to say is important and that our business is worthy of people’s attention.
What advice can you give aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Share your story. Who you are is an important part of your business. I think we sometimes withhold the personal because we think it makes us look less professional or like our business isn’t as far along as a large company. In my opinion, that way of thinking limits networking opportunities. People want to know your story and how they can take part.
How do you maintain a work-life balance?
I’m not sure we are there yet, but we are trying.
If you had to choose, what is your favorite Camp kit
Suzanah: My forever favorite, Camp Aromatic Citrus. It is the perfect balance of savory and sweet.
Rhonda: Aromatic Citrus. This was a most excellent ice pop flavor of our first company, Bold City Pops. It was named Citra Milano in honor of the citrus grove keeper who fueled our recipes and the hills outside Milan where rosemary and thyme grow wild. A cocktail that can conjure person and place is a powerful sip.
How do you get cozy?
Suzanah: Camp sweatshirt, warm socks, and a back porch fire in the solo stove.
Rhonda: A cuppa of something hot and fuzzy pants.
Xo, Team SipC