'Greatest Storyteller Wins.' Katy Perry on the Surprising Link Between Pop Stardom and Entrepreneurship.
Pop icon Katy Perry co-founded a new line of elegant and innovative non-alcoholic beverages with master distiller Morgan McLachlan -- and she has some advice for artists and entrepreneurs alike.
On the rooftop of chic Hollywood social club Heimat, Katy Perry and master distiller Morgan McLachlan hosted the official launch party for their beverage company, De Soi, which recently secured $4 million in funding led by Willow Growth, with participation from Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
De Soi decor decked out the rooftop (complete with floating fruit twirling around the pool), and guests were invited to try the duo's stylish non-alcoholic beverages for the first time.
Perry and McLachlan are bringing a playful and elegant new line to the alcohol-free beverage industry, with the tagline "no booze, all botanicals." De Soi embodies the same spirit as its parent company, AMASS — also founded by master distiller McLachlan. AMASS makes spirits, hard seltzer and home products like candles using botanical ingredients.
De Soi launched in January to take advantage of the "dry January" movement. It was initially sold directly to consumers so the company could gauge who its audience was and get feedback on the product. The response was beyond what the pair had anticipated. "I think it speaks to not only the quality of the product but also this nascent category and this sober movement," McLachlan says. "We got so much interest from distributors and retailers that we moved into wholesale a lot faster than we anticipated, which made for much larger capital requirements."
Related: A Pint of Non-alcoholic Beer Please
The pair were introduced by a mutual friend and hit it off during the pandemic when they were both "making babies," as Perry puts it. The working mothers noticed the push-and-pull between wanting to indulge in a special beverage but not wanting the intensity of alcohol, so the two set out to create a brand that fulfilled that need with elegance and intention.
"It's a great alternative, especially for us, who are the matriarchs in our family," Perry says. "Our Monday through Thursdays are intense sometimes, and [we're] juggling a lot. So it's nice to have an alternative but not lose out on that sensual experience."
"Katy and I enjoy alcohol, but I have a lot of family like my stepmom, who has been sober for like 25 years," McLachlan says. "There is this huge market for people who deserve to have this sensual, celebratory beverage."
The non-alcoholic aperitifs are made with natural adaptogens and come in three flavors: the lean and citrusy "Golden Hour," juicy and balanced "Champignon Dreams," and Perry's favorite, the rich and delicate "Purple Lune."
The duo is eager to shake up norms for what it means to have a drink and let loose. "We're just excited to be at the forefront of this space, which is brand-new and sober-curious," Perry says. "People are juggling a lot more and have big dreams, and they know how to achieve them, and they're going for them. There's not a whole lot of room for hangovers."
But De Soi isn't Perry's first stint in entrepreneurship. The pop icon says she's always balanced side hustles within the industries of health, wellness and the environment. When your day job is being a pop star, it might be disorienting to pivot to entrepreneurship on the side — yet Perry says there are more similarities between the two than you'd expect.
In both her work as an artist and a business owner, Perry emphasizes two crucial elements for success: energy and storytelling.
"It's all about reading the room, seeing how people react emotionally to things and being able to play with that energy and turn it up when you need to," Perry says. "When I'm at a show it's about How do I get the energy up? And when I'm launching a product, it's about How do I uplift people in everything I'm doing?"
But no matter how much energy you bring, to be a successful entrepreneur, it's often the story that sells first, which Perry says comes down to being a great salesperson. "You gotta go and raise some money," the singer says. "Make them believe. Greatest storyteller wins."
Interview by Haley Lewis
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