Vixen Vodka fills niche in women’s drinks
Company looks to future opportunities to empower women
BY CANDY WAYLOCK
You could say Vixen Vodka started with a situation. Or rather the Situation – the Jersey Shore icon whose 15-minute clock has thankfully ticked down to about four minutes.
Over a girls’ weekend last summer, Lee Ann Snyder and two friends were discussing the absurdity of the Situation being paid a cool half million to be the “face” of a vodka. This opened up a conversation about vodka in general, and from there an idea for Vixen Vodka took root.
“We realized there was no vodka out there that specifically targets or ‘talks’ to a woman,” said Snyder, who lives in Roswell and is the operations director for Vixen Enterprises. “We each have marketing, advertising and sales backgrounds and we thought ‘why can’t we do this?’”
In just over a year, the idea has become a product that has become a bold career move for the trio of friends and now business partners. In addition to Snyder, Vixen Ventures includes Alpharetta resident Jenny Policky, director of sales, and Carrie King, director of marketing, who lives in East Cobb.
After the three returned from the beach, they jumped headlong into the business venture, taking care of the legal side of registering the name, incorporating the business and other groundwork needed for the launch. Lost in those early days was a lot of thought about the actual making of the vodka.
“We bought a bunch of websites, and then looked at each other and said, “Wonder how you make vodka?” laughed Snyder. “So we turned to Google and went from ‘let’s all go to Prague!’ to ‘ok, we’ve got to build a still and hire a chemist!’”
A private label distillery in Denver, Colo., was found, providing what Snyder said was “a match made in heaven.”
“We flew up to Denver and sat around a conference table sampling different vodka formulas…tough job, I know,” she said.
The three business partners had forged their friendship through Crossfit, a local fitness center, and wanted their vodka to reflect their commitment to health and wellness.
“A lot of Crossfitters follow a gluten-free lifestyle, so it was very important to us that our vodka be made from a gluten-free base, [so] we chose corn as the base of Vixen Vodka,” she said.
The end product, said Snyder, is a vodka that represents the personalities of its founders and promotes women empowerment.
“Our brand is memorable, flirty, fun and strong. And so are the three of us!” said Snyder. “We are our own demographic, in that we are ages 33-50, married, single, divorced, with kids, no kids. While we are not ignoring any market segment, our primary target is women 28 plus.”
Though the product is now on the shelves after months of taste testing and focus groups, Snyder said the journey from idea to reality was not always easy. While most supported their venture, others questioned the reality of breaking into the mostly male-dominated liquor business.
“There has only been one person, a gentleman I consulted with early on, who told me I’d never make it in the liquor industry due to my lack of experience in that world,” said Snyder. “His words just motivated us all the more.”
Vixen Vodka is only the first step in the trio’s business plans. The company hopes to soon offer Vixen Grants, which will fund opportunities for women to fulfill their own dreams, said Snyder, whether it’s climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or opening their own business.
And, as far as the initial “naysayer?” He will soon receive an inaugural bottle for his inadvertent assistance in launching the brand, said Snyder.