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Meet Erin Simpson of Thirdborn Ginger Beer in The Heights / Oak Forest

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin Simpson.

Erin, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have been exposed to entrepreneurship all of my life. Growing up, my parents were small business owners, as were several other members of my extended family. They demonstrated daily the work ethic that is required to make a business successful and to build a brand that can really stand on its own. As much as I admired my family’s entrepreneurial spirit, I saw the toll owning a business can take and vowed to never do it myself.

Upon graduating from Texas A&M University, I started my career as a business consultant, primarily focused on Change Management and IT work for a variety of clients. The 8 years I spent in consulting was invaluable as it gave me the confidence to go in and learn new industries and to constantly stretch my skillset; however, the amount of travel and number of hours required to succeed in consulting also made me realize that I could be putting that effort into building something for myself and my family.

I “soft quit,” as I called it, consulting by going part-time and simultaneously dipped my toe into the startup world right before my oldest daughter was born, working for a local eCommerce company. I loved being on the front lines of a new business – executing the most menial tasks to the most substantial and working towards a shared vision. After working with that business for two years, that company unfortunately ran out of runway and closed up shop right before my second child was born.

I took some time “off” (any parent knows that there’s no off time with kids!) to get a handle on being a mom of two and, after a year of being home, I was ready to try something on my own. Despite the reluctance I had felt earlier in life, I supposed entrepreneuership was ingrained in me. I had always loved the idea of ginger beer, but wanted something with a bolder ginger flavor and that wasn’t sweet. Seeing that this didn’t seem to exist, I decided to make it for myself! After about eight months of recipe development, Thirdborn Ginger Beer made its arrival into the world! We launched in April 2019 and have been making steady progress towards building our following and getting our feet under us. The Thirdborn team is growing, allowing us to do more markets and events. We just sold our 1,500th bottle and we look forward to what is to come!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s never a smooth road starting a new business! Many of the struggles come down to me, as up until recently, I did everything primarily on my own. This includes recipe development, brewing, packaging, sales/marketing, and all of the other general business administration that is required to operate. In some ways, it is easier to not have to rely on other people, but to grow you have to accept that you can’t do everything and relinquish some elements of control. I have learned so much doing this as a solo venture though. It has stretched my skill set and has been very empowering. You will find me hauling kegs, turning wrenches, and doing a lot of heavy lifting. That feeling of empowerment spills into all areas of life and I am proud to set this example for my daughters. I am happy to have now added to my team and continue to look for hard-working, motivated people that can join us on this journey.

Please tell us about Thirdborn Ginger Beer.
Thirdborn Ginger Beer produces low sugar, organic ginger beers that pack a bold ginger punch. While we love the classics, we also love experimenting with new recipes. Come find us at the market to try our latest seasonal selections. For fall, we are currently loving our seasonal Fall Spice and Grapefruit flavors!

The low sugar element helps us stand out from the pack as ginger beer is typically very heavy on sugar (anywhere from 20g to 50g per bottle) and doesn’t pack much ginger kick. Every flavor we produce has only 3g of added sugar per bottle. The ingredients are simple and all-natural, with no artificial sweeteners.

The moments I am most proud of as it relates to our products is when someone intends to add some simple syrup to make our ginger beer sweeter and subsequently decides it doesn’t need it! I am so proud that our product can convert consumers that love sweet and flavorful drinks into people that are consuming less sugar. It’s a small step in helping people make better choices, while not taking the fun out of what they are drinking!

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memories from childhood are the times I spent with my parents and two sisters joking around and having fun. There was always nonstop banter and laughter at our dinner table. That is something that I hope for in our family as our two girls grow older. I loved dancing and singing, but am by no means good at it. It was, and still is, all about having a good time!

Fun fact, I also did competitive jump roping as a child and still have some great memories (and skills) from that part of my very early life!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Be Wild Photography (@be.wild.photography)

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