Spiritless was founded by three entrepreneurs and entertainers living, working and playing in the heart of Bourbon Country. We’re risk takers and move makers. Winers and diners. Storytellers and saveurs.
This week, we’re giving you a peek at one of our powerhouse personalities, CEO Lauren Chitwood. Not content to rest on her laurels — or to rest, period — Lauren’s got that rare combination of head-in-the-clouds creativity and boots-on-the-ground hustle that often leaves us wondering, “How does she do it?” Here, she shares what makes her sweat, what she’s sippin’ on and how she spends her time.
What literally gets you out of bed in the morning?
I have three children, so every morning starts with some kiddo maintenance — like four made-to-order breakfasts — and just life maintenance. My best days definitely include some kind of exercise, too. These days, I’m mostly working remotely, so I head downstairs to my basement office, where I spend the majority of the next few hours on the phone with partners, investors, sales prospects… every day is different, in terms of who I’m talking to. I’m also doing all kinds of weird things, like trying to figure out how to make 20 gallons of simple syrup. Truly, no two days are alike.
And we’ve seen you in the warehouse, assembling corrugated cardboard boxes. That’s not what most people think of when they see CEO next to your name...
Ah, but that’s the reality of being a start-up CEO! It’s not always glamorous, but truthfully, I love it. Spiritless is still in the stage where there’s no such thing as a job description. We’re still so baby! The to-do list is never really done. But I’m fortunate to have the partners and peers that I do, because everyone is really leaning in.
Speaking of your partners and peers how would they describe you?
Ambitious. Charismatic. Resourceful. Imaginative. Perceptive.
Is that also how you’d describe the people you look up to? Who do you want to be like when you grow up?
Oh my gosh… I have a massive girl crush on Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. She’s authentic, hardworking, doesn’t take herself too seriously. I admire her so much and aspire to emulate those qualities in my own life. I thought I saw her in an airport once and completely freaked out.
Your Sara Blakely secret is safe with us. But like all entrepreneurs, she saw an opening, a need for something new and different. That’s what you’re doing with Spiritless, which is at the forefront of the no- and low-proof spirits movement. Tell us about that journey.
I’ll be real: I love to be out, I love to be social, I love a business dinner. But with consistent consumption of alcohol, those things started to become really arduous. Add to that my fomo. I found myself trying to do more, be well, be healthy, be included in fun moments that I so enjoy sharing, but it was hard to do all that, care for my family, get a good night’s rest, and do it again — or, at least, to do it well — the next day. Spiritless is me solving my own problems in every way.
So what’s your favorite way to Order it Spiritless… or at the very least, to go halfsies?
Well, I’m a Kentucky girl, so I was born and raised on bourbon. I love an Old Fashioned. It’s so balanced. And there’s something about holding this masculine, classic cocktail in a cut crystal glass that just feels so grown up.
Okay, let’s do a lightning round. What or who are you…
Listening to? My Spiritless Summer Sippin' playlist, obvs. Really, any upbeat music, business podcasts, guided meditations. Music and content are both so important to getting my mind in the right place for all I have to do.
Cooking? When you ask this of Abbey, she’ll have lots of options. She cooks. I do not. But I did make paella recently! I went out to the driveway and built a makeshift fireplace out of old bricks, I bought the big pan, made it with the kids. It was such a simple and fun thing.
Watching? This is embarrassing to admit: I binge-watched Sweet Magnolias on Netflix. It reminded me of Dawson’s Creek! I’m a sucker for nostalgia.