Events, What's New

Something to make you say “OuOui!”

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Nigel of Caribbean Smooth Ou Oui Premium Rum Liqueur

 

    “OuOui!,” isn’t just a form of an expression anymore. No. “OuOui!,” is an upcoming taste of paradise, sealed within the curvy-shaped black glass with nothing but greatness inside. If you ever had the opportunity to meet the President of Caribbean Smooth, and get a sample, then you too would agree that this drink…excuse me, this Liqueur is the truth! It’s perfect thickness goes very well with ice-cubes if poured warm, but drink at your own risk! Its’ 40 proof will sneak up on you if you drink it too fast. “OuOui,” will definitely have you speaking French, so just be prepared. And men, trust me – this sexy drink right here can be paired with any of your favorite Vodkas. It is not solely for the women.

   

I know when I first had it, I had to babysit my drink. Yes! I said it, “babysit.” I have learned but the richness does not allow you to sit the glass down for long. The flavor that I had the opportunity of trying was the Passion Fruit and I will admit, I cannot wait for it to hit the stores!!

    This drink has been in the works for the past two years, since March of 2014. Nigel always had a keen sense of tasting creations before they were ever created in which even as a youth, he would found himself fascinated with flavors. He would always find ways to mix drinks including lemonade with his father’s Brandy, just to experiment. He tampered with various liquors to see how the flavoring would change and even continued through college, up through today. While attending college, he found himself mixing drinks with 4-5 pitchers of very rare and different juices.

    When he would visit his dad in St. Croix Virgin Islands, he would pick fruits from the backyard and soon discovered a drink concoction of his own that would far exceed this popular community drink. So he traveled back to the States, only to return with his own ‘noise popper’ for St. Croix. After his creation had the neighborhood buzzing, everyone wanted what he had and this confirmed he had a winner. People would buy out all of this drink, not even an hour into him having a station set up at festivals. What started off as the “Panty Dropper,” soon transformed into what is now known as “OuOui!”

 

Sabrina: How did you get the title “OuOui!?”

Nigel: So, friends, family and people would taste it and that was the common thing they would say. “Oooh-wee..” Or “ooow wow,” or “oo something.” You know we had another name for it. A friend of mine at a party one night said that he called it the “panty dropper” [laughing] and everyone fell out and then it stuck. Imagine I’m at a party with the panty dropper.

So actually, I held onto that name for quite a while until one of my attorneys put an end to that. “You can’t see that on the shelf,” he said, “if you want people in Gwinnett County to go running for the hills, you call it panty dropper.” So I came to my senses and figured I would have to name it something else. It actually took me about a week for it to hit. I was agonizing on what to call this. It has to be something special, different…It has to be unique.

I felt it has to catch people’s attention and certainly panty dropper did but not in the ways you would want it to. So I had to find something that would be acceptable, mainstream as well as be familiar but still catchy and as I was literally driving down the street one Saturday morning (I remember it vividly), it just popped in my head. “Ooo wee,” and then the next challenge was, “okay how do I spell it?”

I know how to say it and everybody else knows how to say it, but how do you spell it? There’s really no spelling for it and, of course, the natural thing was “ooo wee.” I was like there’s nothing sexy about that. It sounded sexy but it looked ugly.

There’s really nothing special about that, so that took me another 2-3 days to try to come up with another way to spell it. When you think about something and you really put your mind to it, you concentrate and focus, you’ll be amazed at what your mind or your brain can do. I think that’s what happened in this case. It just came together.

I took French in high school plus my island of St. Kitts is a former French colony. There’s a lot of French influence that is still on the island. Many of the towns and the main capital city have French names like Basseterre, so I knew some French words, however, I am not in any way fluent in the language  so don’t even start. I had a few people start and I stopped them in their tracks! [Laughing]

S: No I don’t do that [laughing]

N: So, of course, the “oui” was easy. Anything in French is sexy, so that was like okay, that’s half of it but what’s the other half? Of course, it was the ‘ooo’ and when you pronounce that…”Oo,” that looks weird still and so forth. Of course, there was some simple research.

The “ou” is the expression which is not a word. It’s phonetically “ou”…When you say soup it’s ‘ou,’ so I put that next to “oui,” and I was like okay, that looks good. But it still needs a little something and of course, I found the lips. When you look at the lips, it’s as if she’s in the middle of saying “OuOui!” It all came together with the help of a graphics artist in Alabama who actually found the lips. But he found a whole bunch of lips that he sent me and as I was looking through the lips, I was like, “that one” and that’s how “OuOui” came together. We placed the exclamation at the end and I felt that was the finishing touch to it and that’s how the logo came about. It was like a ‘ta-da’ moment. That magical moment that really felt good…It felt right and I felt it fit the drink perfectly.    

It captured what people feel when they taste it’s special, it’s sexy and it could be whatever you want it to be. I always tell people, if you hear “OuOui!” somewhere, something good is going on. It looks good, taste good, feels good and sounds good, so that’s what we’re all about. Making people feel good, making them happy and that’s “OuOui!.” I was fortunate enough to get it trademarked., I thought about it after that was done and I was like, I just pulled off trade-marking the most popular saying probably ever and pretty much got away with it. “”OuOui!”.” People say “Ou  Oui” all the time and I was able to trademark it for my own brand.

S: Will there be any additional flavors besides the passion fruit and pineapple guava?

N: I’ve actually developed five flavors that I have tasted and had on my pallet. So they are under different stages of development. I have two others on the books-ideas that have I have not actually tested to see if they would work. All of our flavors are going to be tropical and exotic. You are not going to find a strawberry. You’re not going to find a blueberry. You can put a strawberry in it and it goes real nice. You can put just about any fruit in there and it goes really nice.

As far as our main flavors, they’re all going to be exotic, tropical fruits. I can’t reveal at this point what’s coming but trust me, intriguing, delicious and exciting new combinations of flavors. That’s what we’re all about. You’re probably not going to see a straight pineapple or guava. Even the passion fruit is straight passion fruit but because of what passion fruit is and how we manipulate it with all of the tropical flavorings, it’s not really straight passion fruit. There’s a magic to it. We’re coming with some interesting combinations.

S: Will there be any additional flavors besides the passion fruit and pineapple guava?

N: I’ve actually developed five flavors that I have tasted and had on my pallet. So they are under different stages of development. I have two others on the books-ideas that have I have not actually tested to see if they would work. All of our flavors are going to be tropical and exotic. You are not going to find a strawberry. You’re not going to find a blueberry. You can put a strawberry in it and it goes real nice. You can put just about any fruit in there and it goes really nice.

As far as our main flavors, they’re all going to be exotic, tropical fruits. I can’t reveal at this point what’s coming but trust me, intriguing, delicious and exciting new combinations of flavors. That’s what we’re all about. You’re probably not going to see a straight pineapple or guava. Even the passion fruit is straight passion fruit but because of what passion fruit is and how we manipulate it with all of the tropical flavorings, it’s not really straight passion fruit. There’s a magic to it. We’re coming with some interesting combinations.

S: Now men are also encouraged this “OuOui!” – it’s not something that will make them seem soft.

N: No. I tell you what. It’s 40 proof so we have not forgotten the men. Actually, we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from men with this drink. One of my best and favorite things that I do is that mix it with a peach brandy or I will mix it with Hennessey – it is nice with cognacs. I’ve had it with Courvoisier and Hennessy. I’ve had it with Crown Royal, Hennessey, your straight Bourbons, your straight Cognacs and your peach Brandy that I had it with was oh my gosh. So here’s the beautiful thing.

You’re starting at 40 proof and then you add Hennessey to that. So now you’ve got basically a loaded chaser. You’re not bringing down your Hennessey proof, your cognac proof…Your whiskey proof…You’re adding a loaded chaser to it, so you’re keeping your proof where you want it for the fellas. Ladies too, if they really want to get it on [laughing] but the fellas, we get respect because of that. Fellas, don’t feel like it’s a soft drink because it’s not. Even though it was designed for the ladies, you could do stuff with it too. I enjoy it and I’m all man.

S: Are you going to use it for anything else?

N: Yes we’re going to try. We actually applied for a trademark for clothing that’s in the works. I see “OuOui!” extending into – I think the next thing is a clothing line. We’ve already begun putting that together to accompany the liqueur brand. As you know “OuOui!” is about women first and foremost.

The drink was designed with women in mind. The packaging was designed with women in mind and we want to design clothing with actually women in mind. So we’re going to work on the “OuOui!” clothing line. An intimate ware for the most part but some other stuff too – island…Intimate and definitely island lifestyle where we feel will be in line with the liqueur brand.

S: As far as the clothing line goes, you always need models. Would you go back home and get family, friends from home involved?

N: I’m always looking for opportunities to do that. For our upcoming crowdfunding, I was hoping to put together one of the perks – would be that you would come back to the islands with me. We would island hop, have a good time, be therefore the music festival. Unfortunately, the timing just didn’t work out because we need to get the crowdfunding off of the ground. Something like that needs a little time to put together so we wanted to pull that off.

But I certainly see down the road that we will be probably taking some folks, maybe have a contest at some point, “OuOui!” contest, cruise or just fly down to the islands with me and like I said we go island hopping and maybe the next music fest we are the sponsor and we just party for four days and five nights. By the time you get through with that, trust me you’ll want a vacation home just to get yourself back together

S: Right [laughing] a vacation from a vacation

N: Because you’ll be partying day and night. That’s all we did in Saint Kitts. That’s what the whole environment of “OuOui!” is about – having a great time.

S: Now speaking more about the crowdfunding, how is it going to assist the launching of “OuOui!”?

N: It’s going to be crucial. Unfortunately, the liqueur industry is a huge industry, dominated by giants and the little guys have a very disadvantaged position trying to get in. It’s all about market share and the big guys love protecting their market share. Just how the industry is set up, it’s very difficult to get in because it takes so much capital. For instance, it takes about between 2-3 million dollars just to launch a brand…One brand or one line, into the industry.    

That’s a huge barrier for anyone who doesn’t have the resources to put up that kind of money. I decided I am not going to let that stop me. We’re on a mission. We’re working with the end already in mind. We know that we have a place we have to get to and right now, we’re just going through the motions to get there but we already know it’s already set up. So as daunting as it is, we’re not going to let that prevent us from making our move.

It’s all about strategizing and one of the strategies that we came up with was not to launch in a typical fashion or as big as people…I’ve been out there talking about this brand for over a year just letting people know it’s coming that we’re working on it – we got something special, it’s coming. So we’re going to take that same tactic. The crowdfunding plays into that because it allows the customers, regular folks, to actually help us bring this thing to market.

It’s the essence of the word “crowd” and the funding, we need the masses to really come together and help us do this. We’re not a Bacardi or a cîroc, or Diageo – we’re not one of those big boys who can just sneeze and there go two million dollars and nothing to them. We need basically $200,000 to get the production line moving and that’s to pay the taxes and the inventory, the production fees, a little marketing so we can get some attractions when we have the gain. We’re not even asking for that much in the crowdfunding.

We’re specifically saying “hey look at these bottles” these bottles you could actually hold, keep. They’re something special and we would love for you to have one of these in your home. You can help us buy these bottles so we could go into production to put them in the liquor stores so you could go buy them.” So we’re asking for $75,000-if everyone helps us, we would be able to pay for 22,000 bottles and then once we get those, the ignition is on. We’d still have to raise more money because that would only get us the bottles.

We’re looking at investors and we’re actually hoping the crowdfunding, this is the beauty of it, investors are always afraid to be the first to do it. When something’s hot, oh it’s an easy decision. They’ll throw everything under the kitchen sink at it but not when it’s brand new.

S: They’re going to wait

N: Yes, they’re afraid. So we’re hoping that the crowdfunding will show traction and say hey, people want this enough so that they’re actually paying more for a bottle now because the crowdfunding, to actually get a bottle it’s $189 but you’re not just getting a bottle. You’re getting a bottle, a t-shirt, a cap. You know it’s a lot of stuff.

But the fact that you’ll pay $189 to be guaranteed to get one of these things first, I think it speaks volumes and will show investors “hey, yes folks will go to the liquor store not just to get the beautiful bottle but the beautiful drink that’s inside of it. They’ll have a really great time and a great experience to enjoy. That’s how crucial the crowdfunding is-its’ grassroots. It’s getting the folks involved, customers or fans, giving them a piece of the action…A piece of the project and saying “hey, that product is on the shelf because of the $10 that I give or $189 that I give or the t-shirt that I got for $49”. That I think is going to really resonate and will even make our brand more powerful.

S: If someone wants to contribute towards the crowdfunding, where do they go or what do they do?

N: So we decided to partner with indiegogo – it’s one of the top crowdfunding platforms out there. A lot of people heard of Kickstarter. They’re number one. Indiegogo is number two. We chose IndieGoGo because we found their platform fits better with what we’re trying to, rather than with Kickstarter. It’s a matter of just clicking on the specific link that is embedded into the IndieGoGo site.

Once you click on that it will take you directly to our site and everything will pop up. You’ll be able to watch the video and hear my testimony and appeal for help. You’ll hear from Christina Johnson, our brand ambassador and you’ll be able to read the story. I actually put it together myself. You know my television background was helpful in me designing the website and a specific site. I think it looks great and would be appealing to people and has a great story.

That’s one of the things by the way – research has shown as of late, consumers want to hear a story. They’re associating stories with their alcohol, which I don’t know where that came from but apparently that is the thing, which again goes to my background. That’s what I did for twenty years – storytelling. I won some of the top awards in journalism and in the country for storytelling, television programming and television news. So to be able to now take that and apply it to my own baby, not to CNN, not to ABC News, not to WSB but to my own baby that I literally gave birth to. It’s mind-boggling. I don’t even know how to put it in words to describe. Again, it’s a gift from the Almighty.

My mom is sitting right there with Him and I know she is guiding the ship. God and my mom. The crowdfunding is really going to capture people’s imagination. So yes when you go onto the site, on the right side, you’ll see all of the perks with the cost and what we would be able to ship, along with the full story from the beginning and how it started.

We’ve got a doctor on the board, marketing people. So we’re trying to make everybody happy. We’re trying to make the world a happier place and I think the drink does that. We don’t want to use it but we want you to use it to enhance your experiences [laughing]. The crowdfunding is crucial. We need everyone’s help. I have 3000 contacts in my email and I’m going to hit every one of them up.

If they would each give $10 which I would say 95-99% of those people are probably able to do that without even missing it, we would be set. I’m excited about it and I think it’s going to do really well. I’m nervous but I’m also confident that it’s going to do well. My team has done a really good job in giving me the support – I’m not doing this alone. I may be the only one who is doing it every day 24/7 literally. I go to sleep with it on my mind doing something and I wake up and it is the first thing that I do before I even put my feet on the floor, I’m dealing with it and that’s what you have to do, no matter what it is. If you’re in it, you have to be in it.

S: I’m going to play devil’s advocate here because you have people who are not in Georgia, who are not in Atlanta and so they may be on the outside looking in stating well, “why does want us to help contribute when he’s in Atlanta…they’re in Atlanta, there’s nothing but celebrities. Why can’t he just ask a celebrity for the money?” “Please explain how hard it is where you just can’t just walk up to T.I and expect him to throw money automatically at you because he’s a celebrity.

N: It’s funny you mention T.I because I did walk up to T.I. ..it’s so funny. Yes, I actually had a couple of discussions with T.I and his people about investing and folks like T.I. and any other person who’s able to invest have the same concerns and issues. They don’t want to be first. In fact, I was told by someone pretty high up in his group who deals with these things that it’s against their philosophy really. They will come in on the tail end rather than on the front end and that’s understandable. People want to see something performing. They want to back a winner. Not everyone is able to say “hey, I’m just going to take that chance,” and even celebrities may not have what you think they have just because their celebrities. It’s not that easy and you have to also imagine too with these celebrities.

And I’ve worked intimately with these celebrities being in TV production, being a news  executive, I’ve had to hire people who became celebrities or were celebrities at one point so I know that they get approached every day all day with everything out there. So they themselves get overwhelmed and I’m sure they have their own guidelines and protocols and having to make decisions sometimes it’s not a judgment call. There’s probably going to be some of them who are going to kick themselves.

But they get this stuff every day all day so it’s difficult sometimes to figure out what’s the bs and what’s for real so I don’t really hold it against anyone, but on that note I would have to really big up my girl Christina Johnson who herself, is a celebrity and was married to Cee-lo Green and is in that world. She’s in television, VH1, Atlanta Exes and fell in love with the brand. It was love at first sight. She’s the sweetest person ever that I met. And then again being where she came from, the environment that she’s in, you have a perception that these people are either stuck up or this or that.

She’s like your little sister or your big sister or your cousin, I mean she is just beautiful inside and out and she just really embraced this and embraced me and embraced the whole thing and she…man I can’t say enough good things about her. But you know she’s one of those who said “hey, I believe in this and I am going to help you,” and not only is she the ambassador but she’s also a part of the team in which I am so grateful. Sometimes I think that’s not normal.

I think that’s a little different than what normally happens in this industry so I was very fortunate but then again, you know, mom and The Almighty, they have this already planned. I’m just following the breadcrumbs, following the pebbles to get to that point where it’s the end zone and I think that’s even part of it for me to come across her path and for us to really click like that and embrace each other like that.

S: One question that I had regarding the crowdfunding because I’m sure businesses who are interesting in supporting the crowdfunding are going to want to know – Could their donation or contribution be considered a tax write off?

N: That’s a very good question. I haven’t thought about whether a business could. One of the perks that we have is a VIP for ten people – VIP party for 10 folks. I’ll have to check into that because here’s what’s interesting. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to a non-profit organization in which we’re about to sign the paperwork for this. “Blanket of Freedom,” which supports combat veterans specifically who have been impacted psychologically.

And so combat of freedom provides an alternative treatment to the veterans to help them to get back to a normal life and heal their psychological wounds and it’s an outstanding nonprofit. They actually allow them to express themselves, put them in an environment which quite interestingly is on stage. They create dramatic, theatrical plays and programs for the soldiers and veterans to perform in and express themselves in whichever way they want to and it’s very therapeutic. It’s a non-traditional way. That’s their approach and it goes beyond the medications and the other therapies that they need.

This is just something extra that is fun. So we’re going to support that and not only share some of the proceeds from the crowdfunding but once we launch and get going and the company becomes profitable, we’re actually going to share some of our profits with this organization to provide whatever resources that are needed to help these combat veterans. These men and women who have laid down their lives for us and sacrificed in some unimaginable ways and this is a stronger way for us to support.

 

S: The contributions that people are making are not just going to “OuOui!” but a portion of it is also going to the organization. Wow!

N: Yes then they’re getting a percentage of the proceeds. So I will have to look into that. I’m sure there is a way to do that and I saw something on the Indiegogo site dealing with the nonprofits but I think that was for nonprofit organizations.

S: What made you choose to take that route as far as donating a portion of the proceeds to an organization, but to also to that organization?

N: It’s part of our marketing strategy, I will just say, to give back. So for us, we think that that is important and I’ve always been like that. There’s actually and I can’t get into it right now but this whole “OuOui!” and the company that I started is actually phase one and it’s the way for me to get to phase to because phase two is going to require a lot of money.

More money than it would require for me to start this company up. That money is going to be used in such a way that it is going to blow this world away. It’s something from my television days that I created that is the epitome of giving back. So that’s phase two. It’s always been embedded in me, that’s just part of my soul. It was easy…Like yes, we have to team up with a nonprofit some way and when I saw that this was a way that it could be done through Indiegogo, I knew it was just matter of finding one.

I spoke to a few and at first, it didn’t really fit because it is alcohol after all and just the image of alcohol may not fit with the image of that nonprofit. I was actually asked to come out and network at this nonprofit’s event that’s coming out and as we were talking about it, I just mentioned and I didn’t know that it was connected to another group…A magazine and they mentioned about the nonprofit and they thought I knew about it. I was like, “you know what I’m still looking for a nonprofit to partner with so that’s kind of how it started and I asked for them to send me some information and I had already looked them up online before they even sent me the information.

We exchanged information and ideas about what we’re trying to do and we both felt that it was a good fit and my better half…I guess this is the exclamation point at the end of all of this to end this part of the question, my better half is a female veteran who spent 22 years in the military is a retired army vet and did sacrifice psychologically because she did the tour in Iraq and it took a slight toll on her and she deals with that but she’s a bronze star medal recipient so you know she did her thing. I guess the short answer would be…It’s for my baby.

S: It’s for you boo [both laughing]

N: Yes, we want to come and sponsor your events, especially if it fits our target market. We want to introduce it to them. That plays into our grassroots philosophy. We’ll send a mixologist out and you would definitely spruce the party up. We’re looking for those opportunities to sponsor events. So we’ll take care of the licensing so that we’re legal and things are straight there.

Tropical Fruit Rum Liqueur

S: Now what if someone wants you to come to their event and promote “OuOui!” or inform others about your product?

N: Yes, we want to come and sponsor your events, especially if it fits our target market. We want to introduce it to them. That plays into our grassroots philosophy. We’ll send a mixologist out and you would definitely spruce the party up. We’re looking for those opportunities to sponsor events. So we’ll take care of the licensing so that we’re legal and things are straight there.

S: So now once you have everything straight as far as paperwork, what areas will people be able to start looking out for “OuOui!?”

N: The first thing people are experiencing now in seeing this being kind of the flash and bang, they’re seeing the pictures and they’re hearing all of the stories and seeing how the bottles look and all. That is going to be our first step, to just get it on people’s minds and get them familiar with it. The next thing they’re going to be hearing about it is going to be kind of a countdown clock. When are we going to actually get it to where you can have it? I’m getting calls and hit up all the time through social media, email, friends calling me and so forth.

Family, “when am I going to get my bottle? Is it going to be available in California? Why not? Is it going to be available in Texas? Why not? So people are going to be hearing about it. I’ll say in the next couple of months, they’ll be hearing more about where we will have it. First what cities and then as we get closer, we’ll let them know what locations. For instance, here in Atlanta, we got about 152-153 liquor stores that have signed letters of intent or with a handshake and said “hey, we will stock a couple of cases,” of course they can’t do that directly from us, they have to do that through a distributor.

But it helps us with our story when we go to distribute it…Hey liquor stores and accounts are already saying that they want us.” So once we get the distribution contract done and they decide what stores, they’ll let us know and we’ll let people know through our social media. Following us on social media is going to be the best way…It’s going to be huge. You’re not only going to find out what stores the liqueur is going to be found, you’re going to find out about our launch parties. Not only our launch parties but you’ll find out about what we call our “OuOui!” night parties,” when we go to a club and we’re giving away free samples in the club.

Or we’re doing drink specials…You know we’ll have a mixologist there who will mix “OuOui!” cocktails to give you ideas as to what you can do at home. The thing with “OuOui!” is that you can drink it by itself. You don’t need to mix anything into it. That’s how we designed it so that it’s convenient. Women, long day at work and you get home, take your shoes off, you get your bath going and it’s the tv and then bed. You already ate something probably while you were driving home and the last thing you want to do is have to run into the store to find something to mix with your other vodka or other rum or whatever to make your cocktail.

You just open the fridge, shake and you pour the “OuOui!”over a glass and you’re good to go. That’s it. You have a nice beverage you can enjoy. You don’t have to add anything to it. Also, when you do have time and you have a party going – a dinner party, wherever and you want to get creative, “OuOui!”is so versatile it’s good for that too. Our mixologist as I said is at the club, or the restaurants or lounges and so forth, they would be sharing all of those amazing recipes that you could make these amazing drinks.

S: Have you ever come across any individuals who probably feel like you’re crazy to be wasting your time investing into something that you know, it’s just an alcohol and there’re so many alcohols out there…The debbie downers.

N: Yes! You know, it’s funny you said that because my first attorney who’s the one who actually really made me seriously start thinking of going into this, would refer to himself as a debbie downer-the one who said you can’t do panty dropper. He, again, very instrumental in even getting my head on straight about doing this and taking it seriously. But at the same time, I felt after he found out more about it because he himself really didn’t know about it but after some phone calls and finding out more about it, felt like this is crazy.

I think someone told him it’s like $10 million and then someone else told him that hey a group of doctors and lawyers got together and did their own liquor and if I remember the story right, he said like $10 million later, they were all out of money. So I think he got some discouraging advice himself and felt that this was just not going to be an as easy as he thought. I did not let it discourage me. I just kept on pushing. It’s funny because to answer your question even more directly, I’ve gotten some hard facts from people.

People know alcohol will sell. I would say, to put it into percentage point, I would say 99% of the people have been very encouraging and were like, “you got a winner,” and “you’re going to do well,” …99% I can’t even remember other than my first attorney. The people who know the industry will simply give me reality checks in telling me how hard it is and how people go wrong. One of the guys on my team, he would always tell me just how people will screw me over. He said “you’re going to get screwed over.”

He said “you’re going to get the living blood sucked out of you.” He was like you’re going to get bent over and screwed”.”It’s just going to happen. They’re going to suck everything out of you and ask for more…You’re going to lose your ass… But it’s a good industry.” He’s on the team and he’s in the industry. It’s happened to him and he’s gone through some stuff.

He’s seen the good, bad and the ugly so he’s just preparing me. It’s one of the reasons why I love him being on the team. He’s seen the good bad and ugly and has learned some good lessons. Hopefully, he’ll be instrumental in guiding us in preventing any of those pitfalls. It’s been mostly positive energy.

S: Do you have any final words…Any pieces of advice to anyone who is following a passion and maybe faced with challenges and naysayers?

N: yes. It is part of life. It’s not for everybody. I believe it’s for me and I’m walking through it and I believe it’s a big thing because that’s what gets you going every morning and makes you almost not sleep at night because there are some sleepless nights and I have some coming and I had some before. My biggest advice is to find what you’re passionate about and just go in head first. Just dive right in with confidence. Focus! Research! Just commit to it. Have a plan. Then another plan. And then another couple of plans after that. It’s a leap of faith and you see that a lot dealing with crowdfunding because I did take that leap, leaving the TV industry and leaving my career in corporate America to do this but I had a plan so it wasn’t a blindly, closed my eyes and leaped.

I left with my eyes wide open. So have a plan and make sure you’re tapping into what you’re passionate about and commit, commit, commit, focus on it and become strange. Become weird about it. Some people hate talking to me because this is all that I talk about. I mean, there are so many things that I could talk about because I’m well a well-rounded person. I could talk about the Caribbean, I could talk about TV, I could talk about science. I worked at NASA, I played college tennis, I’m into sports, I played soccer, I was born in England I mean there’s a lot of things that I could talk about.

I’m not interested in talking about any of that stuff at this point. That stuff will come back when I’m selling millions of cases, at least, millions of bottles a year but right now it’s all about “OuOui” it’s all about Caribbean Smooth, it’s all about bringing this liqueur to the world and that’s where my focus is. My vision is sharp when it comes to that. So that’s the advice. Talk to people. Naysayers – negativity, find positivity in negativity. I have a thing on one of my twitter sites that says positive is the way I live.

I live by that no matter how negative it is, you have to find something positive in that and that what you latch onto and that’s what you keep and walk away with. When I was doing the finishing touches on the perks, something happened. There was a glitch and 90% of our perks were wiped out and there’s no phone number to call Indiegogo. You send them a message saying “help, help, help, something has gone wrong. There’s a glitch!” And the response back was 24hrs later we’ll get back to you.

And that’ll probably end up being 72 hours later. I was upset and I had been working on these perks for months! Since last year, I started this site and was just plugging stuff in and it’s all gone and I don’t have it written down anywhere because I was putting it directly on the site. You know, I took a deep breath and pounded the table a couple of times and a half an hour later, I took the computer and started typing.

There was a little stuff left which made it a little easier as I didn’t have to start completely from scratch but I just rebuilt every perk and at the end of it, I was happy that I went through that because I felt the perks were tightened up and streamlined. They looked better than what I had here before over the course of three, four, five months in which I had been putting that stuff together. It took me less than an hour to rebuild it but I feel better…Better language, more compelling, streamlined.

So that was, trust me, it was a moment when I was like “that’s it I’m done we’re not doing this Indiegogo thing. I’m calling everybody and telling everyone it’s off.” There’s no way that I can rewrite all of that. I turned a negative into a positive. So the naysayers, negative vibes, I get it all the time in different forms, find a positive and keep it moving!

Sabrina: Well thank you very much!

Nigel: Thank you!

If you would like to contribute towards the support for Caribbean Smooth’s “OuOui!” liqueur, visit http://igg.Me/at/ououi-bottleservice

Or you can visit www.Indiegogo.com and search in the food section the “OuOui!” campaign.

Nigel Walwyn can be reached for interview scheduling and additional information at:

Caribbeansmooth@gmail.com

Twitter & IG: @ououismooth

Facebook.Com/caribbeansmooth

www.CaribbeanSmooth.com

About “Blanket of Freedom” Organization:

Blanket of Freedom’s mission is to provide a cultural alternative to traditional treatment methodologies through the use of Expressive Art/Drama Therapeutic Interventions for combat veterans.  Within a supportive and safe environment, veterans will be able to safely explore their feelings and emotions surrounded by others who have shared experiences.

Ciaos!

~Sabrina

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