She launched her own alcoholic beverage company five years ago, first with AngelHeart – a spicy liqueur – followed by Ginifer Gin of which there are two variants. Westcliff Gin followed. From a business that started in her garage with her husband Jaco – she now has her own distillery and she has just landed four international awards for her gin brands (release attached with the full story). It’s a real coup for a South African woman to be recognised on a global scale when competing against well-established international brands and such a feel good story too.
Jaqueline has always had a wide range of interests, across a variety of subjects; from the science behind food, to growing and using her own herbs, vegetables and spices. With a background in fine jewellery design, Jacqueline has an eye for beauty, balance and the unusual. With immaculate taste, and a creative at heart, shaping something beautiful is what makes her heart race. It’s not surprising therefore that anything she puts her hand to has touches of enchantment and when she shares her story – which she says is just an extension of Jaco and her combined skills, she is animated and incredibly passionate.
The idea behind the rapidly expanding business was first born several years ago, when Jacqueline’s partner, who had always held a fascination for the magic of distilling, built a copper still. The year was 2010 and sitting on the floor in their garage, using an old copper kettle, he handcrafted and fashioned a rustic but fine looking still. Quite a rare skill by anyone’s standards, not to mention for a CA in the corporate world!
She says that being a small start-up, you have to pick up and run with whatever is required on any given day. Jacqueline is responsible for the day-to-day running of the business, the distilling, new product development, testing, marketing, distribution, admin, finance and everything else that requires her energy and attention.
“It’s a challenge, but as an entrepreneur you have to be able to wear multiple hats, and wear them well! I am super self-critical but very creative at the same time. I will work on the development of a new product until I am completely satisfied; 90% is never good enough for me. I believe this is the reason why every product we launch is unique and adventurous. We also always keep a sense of humour about what we do – after all alcohol has a remarkable way of touching people, making them relax and giving them an individual experience.”
Jaco is Jacqueline’s trusted soundboard, “He is fantastic at distilling and assisting me with new product development. Intensely curious and always finding ways to improve efficiency – he is integral to the success of our project. He also manages our finances. As a self-funded small business this is vital for longevity and sustainability as cash flow can be a crippling factor.”
Source: Julia Christison | SIMONSAYS communications