Hey BABY! When Melbourne based PR Agency owner Ellen Weigall saw a gap in the market when shopping for a good quality gin that is also feminine and what women really want to drink, the concept for BABY Pink Gin was born. I sat down with Ellen to chat all things career, embracing femininity, creating Australia's only 100% female owned spirits company plus Ellen shares some valuable and insightful advice from her journey so far.
Welcome to TDP Ellen, thanks so much for chatting with me today! Tell me about yourself and your background.
I’m Ellen Weigall, founder of BABY Pink Gin, Australia’s only 100% female owned spirits company. I grew up in inner-Melbourne, with much of my childhood spent in the Surf Coast. Straight out of school I studied Public Relations at RMIT. From there I went into business with my mum, we continue to co-Direct out PR Agency together, Flaunt Marketing. 2 years ago I launched my own business BABY Pink Gin alongside my PR work. I’m also a contributing writer for Forbes Australia, and host my own podcast ‘Spill the G&T’. I’m currently 26 years old, and I live in Melbourne with my partner Tom, and Japanese Spitz, Kobe. I’m passionate about supporting women in business and sharing what I learn as a go along!
What is your one non-negotiable each day?
My morning routine! I’m a morning person, and my morning routine sets me up for my whole day. I have about 3 hours between getting up and actually getting into the office. I try not to look at my phone for most of this time. I’m up early for a PT session, come home to walk my dog and get a coffee with my partner, take my smoothie and vitamins, and get ready for the day. If I don’t do this I feel so groggy for the rest of the day. I’ve been trying to meditate after work but I usually end up vegging out on Housewives instead.
What are you reading, watching and listening to right now?
I’m re-watching The Crown because I find it fascinating and inspiring. Re-reading my favourite book ‘The Dangers of Truffle Hunting’ by Melbourne author Sunni Overend. Listening to my Housewives recap podcast ‘Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino’ which gets my through my cleaning chores each week.
Let's chat career, tell me about your career journey so far...
I completed a Bachelor of Communications (Public Relations) straight out of high school. The moment I graduated, I joined forces with my Mum, Co-Directing Flaunt Marketing with her, a business she started when I was born. Although working in the family business is amazing, I always craved having my own business on the side. Growing up all of my parents (step parents) and grandparents ran their own businesses, so it was a given for me. I had the idea for BABY in mid 2017 and launched at the end of 2019. Currently I still split my time between running Flaunt and BABY.
How did the concept idea for BABY Pink Gin come about?
The idea for BABY Pink Gin came from my frustration at the alcohol industry and what they offered to women. I’m all about embracing my femininity and not being ashamed of loving the colour pink and being a girly girl. However, I’m also a spirits snob and love a good quality gin. So I found when shopping for alcohol, I was torn. The products branded to target women was typically sugary and low quality, assuming that this is what women want to drink. The drinks I enjoyed drinking (local gin) were typically quite masculine in feel, as were all the other premium drinks. So I set out to create a super premium, quality gin that wasn’t afraid to look too feminine. Not only that, but I wanted a pink gin that actually stayed pink when mixed. Now, we’re Australia’s only 100% female owned spirits company, with the mission to give women what they REALLY want.
Once you had your concept, what came next?
I had NO idea what I was doing. None. I had to go step by step and figure it all out as a went along. This process took almost 2 whole years. The first part was a business plan, working out how much we had to make the product for in order for the business to be viable and profitable. The second part was working out which liquor licenses I needed in place (this took forever and was really scary). The third part was figuring out how the hell I was going to make the gin, and where I was going to source all my packaging etc. from. After approaching around 6 distilleries to help me, I finally found one that really understood my vision and helped me create a product I’m so proud of. These guys still distil my gin for me, they also now pack and store it all there too.
Tell me all about BABY Pink Gin and why we need to try it!
BABY Pink Gin is an award winning premium pink gin that stays pink when mixed. She’s a dry gin, small batch distilled in Mount Macedon with organic botanicals such as pink rose petals, chamomile, raspberry leaf, lemon verbena and plenty of juniper. BABY is sugar free, gluten free and vegan friendly. You need to try it because it tastes to different to how it looks, don’t be fooled by her super pink colour. She’s a dry gin with plenty of punch and floral flavour, when mixed with tonic she’s the perfect pink to sip on.
What goes into the production process and how does it all come together?
BABY is small batch distilled in Macedon Ranges, we distil around 1000 litres at a time and this takes a whole day. From there it is hand filled and labelled, put into cases and sent out to customers! Gin is essentially vodka with botanicals added (to make it taste better), with the key botanical needing to be juniper. Juniper is a pine like berry that smells a bit like Christmas. From there, you can add any other botanicals you like, we went with floral, berry and citrus notes. We then add a vegan friendly, natural food colourant, that stays stable in light.
What has been the most rewarding part of creating your brand and business?
The most rewarding part of creating my brand and launching my business has been proving that the market I thought was there, is actually there. To have my idea be justified and supported, and to know that I have created something that others thought was missing in such a crowded industry. To provide people with a product they love to drink and show off, becoming part of a new generation of spirit lovers.
What has been the most challenging or an important lesson learned?
The most challenging part of the business has been learning how to enter a male dominated industry. This means that I constantly have to prove myself and my product to others, which sucks! For the first year in business, I hid myself from being the face, in the fear that f if people new I was behind it, it would devalue the business. The most important lesson learned has been that people actually LOVE that a young woman is behind the business and it doesn’t devalue it at all. As the brand has grown, I have grown personally too. The confidence I have gained from customer support has been amazing, so now I try to champion other female founders whenever I can.
What business advice do you have for women who are wanting to start their own business or are on their business journey?My main piece of advice is just take it a step at a time, just start. Understand that NOBODY knows that they’re doing at the start. And in fact nobody ever knows what they’re doing. We’re all learning as we go. You don’t have to have it all figured out, you just have to start and it will slowly be surely come together, trust me.
My second piece of advice would be to trust your gut when it comes to who you trust, and don’t listen to people when they say you ‘can’t’ do something. If somebody says that to you it means one of two things. It either means that THEY can’t do it, or they don’t want YOU to do it.
Lastly, manifest hard and dream big!
Any future plans/products/launches you can let us in on?
Yes! This Summer we are so excited to be launching out first range of RTDs (Ready To Drink), with a bottled G&T and Gin Spritz coming very soon! I’m also organising an event in Melbourne in December called Female Founders Festival, an open to public pop up market where attendees can shop from 30 female founded businesses ahead of Christmas. It’s on Saturday December 10th, 10am-4pm, at The Commons in Gipps Street. We’re so excited!
Where can we get our hands on BABY and connect on socials?
BABY Pink Gin is available on our website, along with our gift packs which include other local female owned products. We’re also stocked at select Dan Murphys and BWS stores around Australia, you can find them here. We’re also on Dan Murphys’ online next time you’re doing an order!
We’re @babypinkgin on all social platforms.
Thank you for joining me today Ellen and sharing your journey so far and very valuable and insightful advice. Be sure to check out BABY Pink Gin (it is a TOTAL vibe!)