Jayne Lewis and Danielle Allen have known each other for a long time but it was a trip to the West Coast, US in 2010 that made them realise their love of beer. The trip planted the seed to own a brewing company and six months later, Two Birds Brewing was born. The company is Australia’s first female owned brewing company. Here we talk to one of the women behind the beer, Danielle. Hopefully, you can get some inspiration from it to pursue your own dream.
Why beer? How did you guys come up with the idea?
Jayne had been working as a brewer for almost 10 years and had some ideas on new beers that she wanted to share with the world (and not give away to her then employer!). I had been in product development and marketing for 10 years and the idea struck us when we were holidaying in the US, after visiting lots of really cool brew pubs and small breweries. Our skills were complementary and it made total sense for us to team up and use our experience to start a brewing company together. Jayne was originally a winemaker by trade but transitioned into brewing after seeing the light and realising that brewing allows a lot more creativity. I had always wanted to start my own business, I just hadn’t the light bulb moment – but it all became clear over a beer!
What challenges did you face setting it up? How did you overcome it?
The main challenges were things that are applicable to all small business owners, like finding the right service partners (i.e. accountants, design agency etc). We started with limited budgets so you have to find partners that believe in the long term vision and are willing to work with tight funds. We overcame these challenges by not rushing decisions and we quickly found out that beer is a pretty good currency too!
What kind of reaction did you guys get when you first announced your idea?
From all sides support and enthusiasm – people couldn’t wait for the beer to hit!
What’s the biggest lesson you learned running the business both personally and professionally?
Personally – you really can do anything that you put your mind to.
Professionally – probably asking for help and making sure I don’t take on too much.
Any advice for other women out there who want to build their own business?
Plan, plan, plan and it will be.