30 Oct The FOAL Chronicles – Number 1 – Time
Ever since making the decision to leave a life of accountancy in order to pursue my own business venture – FOAL Drinks – in the world of premium soft drinks, I’ve been trying to find the time to write a short blog to let you guys know what’s been happening. That’s one thing I’ve realised – time isn’t easy to come by!
I, possibly naively, thought that once I was working on FOAL full time, I would have loads of spare time to blog, research and do other things I struggled with while still working. Turns out that isn’t the case! The life of a start-up entrepreneur doesn’t really allow you such luxuries.
Hopefully the content of this blog, letting you know what I’ve been up to this week, will give you an idea of why it’s taken me a bit longer than planned to get the writing going…
So, on Sunday FOAL was lucky enough to be asked to sponsor 2016’s Icon Awards, which celebrates the best protagonists of equality and diversity in Scotland. The event took place in the Hilton Hotel and my sister and I got dressed to the nines and headed along. It was a great event, with all 200 VIP guests getting to enjoy a bottle of fantastic orange and lemonade with their ticket. We had entertainment from some great names, including Vangelis Polydorou and the ‘one and only’ Chesne Hawkes. Celebrity brand endorsements came a plenty – check out our social media (@FOALDrinks) to see who. Owning a craft soda brand does have some perks!
After a bit of a late night on Sunday, Monday was spent following up with a number of potential stockists and I had a few great conversations about Glasgow’s newest soft drink. The evening was spent at ClubFive55’s networking event in Glasgow, where again I had a great time telling everyone about FOAL and the Revolution which is starting.
Since embarking on the FOAL journey my miles in the car have certainly increased. Tuesday was an example of this when I headed over to the east side of the country to visit an old friend and one of our stockists in Anstruther. St Andrews followed with a few hours spent in a coffee shop to catch up on emails before getting some great new stockists to join our journey. They love the idea of a Scottish entrepreneur doing something different.
Wednesday’s big event came in the format of a pitching competition at Entrepreneurial Spark in Glasgow. All of the chiclets did a 60 second pitch in front of a panel of judges, with some money up for grabs for those lucky enough to get through. Turns out the panel liked what FOAL had to say and we’ve been put forward to the final in a couple of weeks. Fingers crossed! Results to be shared in the future…
Another journey on Thursday. This time to Edinburgh Zoo for a social media masterclass. Actually a really good morning; meeting and learning about some great food and drinks businesses. Should also keep us on our toes with social media in the run up to the big holiday (I’m not sure if we’re allowed to say the C-word quite yet). More networking at night, this time with ClubFIVE55 in Edinburgh. Loads of great connections made and hopefully more love from the East of Scotland for our old bar favourites!
Friday finally arrived and I spent the first couple of hours of the day preparing for a big morning meeting. All went well, so fingers crossed for some good news to follow in the near future! Scotland really is loving our take on fresh orange and lemonade. Back in the office in the afternoon. Actually went back to my financial routes while helping one of the other businesses prepare their Scottish Edge financial projections. I’m only expecting a bit of credit if they are successful…jokes! Friday evening came around much more quickly than planned, but all of the Entrepreneurial Spark chiclets headed out in Glasgow for a few drinks. Great night with great company and definitely nice to have a relax after such a busy week.
A few things planned over the weekend before starting it all again early doors on Monday. No doubt another week of adventure that is nothing like the last. Here’s to learning more about the life of the entrepreneur and how we can really make the FOAL brand loved!