Michelle Weaver

The 'bookie' of the craft distillery making every damn drop in house.

location: Denver, CO

Company: The Block Distilling Co

Role: Co-founder

On The Block Distilling Co.

The Block makes every damn drop in house. Drinking The Block means it was made from small batch grains from family farms and distilled in a family run operation that makes quality the paramount goal.

On being a founder.

Being a woman founder means I make my own destiny. As a founder, I get to choose who we hire, who we partner with, and where the company (and the lion's share of my time) goes. The freedom to say, "Yes! Let's hang an 8-foot mural on the wall!" or "Of course we're supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, here's how" are just some of the highlights. I get to choose my path, and there is no feeling quite like it.

My previous career was in a largely woman-dominated field. One of my biggest obstacles has been learning how to work so closely with men while still having my voice heard. In addition, I was an expert in my field so transitioning to an industry where I had less experience was a confidence challenger. But, over time, I recognized that I have a specific skill set that my male co-founders do not – making me invaluable to not just our business, but to our staff, customers, and community.

The main thing I had to unlearn was routine. Being a founder means wearing all the hats all the time while simultaneously putting out little fires. One minute I will be completing sales reports, the next I am placing orders for inventory, then I’m jumping behind the bar to assist staff before being called onto the operations floor to help transfer a mash. There’s little room for routine in that type of day.

To aspiring young women entrepreneurs, go for it! You're going to need some help along the way, so don't be afraid to ask for it. Lean on your people and they will come through for you.

In founding The Block Distilling Co, I’ve been most surprised at how many people – whether it be friends and family, customers, or strangers – voice their confidence in me and what I’ve helped to create. I hope I never get tired of someone calling me a badass.