Women of Influence: The Founders of Laughing Glass Face the Challenge of COVID-19 — and find growth
February 2, 2021
When the pandemic hit in early 2020, stay at home orders pushed the world of spirits into the 21st century and fast. Consumers were spending less time in stores and creating new mobile shopping habits that favored ecommerce over the traditional retail experience. It’s a trend that has been grabbing a lot of attention. The new reality was not lost on the founders of Laughing Glass Cocktails, and it would be another female-founded company that would get them through this big change in consumer behavior.
“Women especially are seeing their lives become more complicated as they juggle all the responsibilities at home and at work, which is often still at home,” says Laughing Glass co-founder Sydney Rainin-Smith, “We have been working hard to bring our products to more states, and we’ve always dreamed of making purchasing easier for our fans.”
Laughing Glass’s primary sales channel has been grocery and specialty liquor stores in California and Nevada since their launch in 2013. However, with new at-home drinking behaviors, changes in the shipping laws in the wake of COVID, and a jump in consumer awareness about online alcohol sales options, the spirits e-commerce market exploded. LaughingGlass didn’t skip a beat.
It was the perfect time to partner with mobile technology that offers customers a targeted and simplified shopping experience, as well as the ability to ship to nearly all 50 states – a big leap for the craft cocktail company. “We had been monitoring online shopping and text-based shopping trends for a while,” says cofounder, Carey Clahan, “When we found a company that made buying via text easy and convenient, allowed us to ship almost anywhere, and was founded and run by a woman, we were all in!”
And the partnership with Stylust was born.
Stylust founder and CEO Melissa Bridgeford came up with the idea for her company while working in finance in New York. “I was living and working in New York and working 12 hours a day and really felt this pain point of I’m already texting my Uber driver, texting my Instacart delivery, texting my Postmates delivery, texting my doctors, texting United Airlines, and I’m like ‘why isn’t there a way to text in the entire shopping space?’ ”
“If you can just text the second you see it, you can just buy it immediately,” Bridgeford says. “That’s one of the key values of text commerce. It’s the holy grail of retail: closing the gap between the point of inspiration and the point of consumption.”
So far, Laughing Glass and Stylust have experienced growth in a time when drinking and shopping behaviors have changed dramatically — a pretty tall order for any company.
“Both of our companies are very customer focused,” says Clahan, “and as we look ahead, we see 2021 as ‘The Year of the Buyer.’ We have amazing cocktails and new products on the horizon, and now we have the technology to make getting our products even easier.”
Check out the collaboration between Laughing Glass Cocktails and Stylust by texting “LAUGH” to 926-848 – and get the best lockdown libations delivered right to your door!