Risk It.. | An Article on taking risk by Jordan Propst

May 17, 2018

“life shrinks and expands on the proportion of your willingness to take risks and try new things.”- Gary Vaynerchuk, #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur's Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness

Willingness and risk are cornerstones of start up companies, small businesses, and a purpose filled life. The substance of these qualities are not found in deep philosophies or even hearing them from someone in a particular position of power so that they carry weight in your day to day life. They are found in the actions of those driven, those active in their opportunities as well as those proactive in their obstacles. If you fail and when you do (not if, but when) you move forward all while having the willingness to accept the outcome as well as overcome the situation itself. Simply, you risk to get the biscuit.


This is particularly true for Brew, for the team, and the partners that make this company what it is. We have tried a lot and risked a lot within the framework of our business as well as our personal lives. We have seen strain, mistakes, and tremendous success in small areas of Brew due to our willingness to take those risk and place ourselves in positions for positive and profitable results. This is especially true for our content and media; we risk the image, the brand, and the product reception daily in our attempts to showcase “smell responsibly” in a way that brings new customers, relationships, and profit. We offer as well as forfeit social currency or social cheddar if you will(as well as actual cheddar, currency) to create a sincere following and customer base. We are willing to try new trends and popular avenues to leave an impression that allows everyone to see our product and our personality as a business.


Life is short, so “drive fast and leave a sexy corpse” – Stanley Hudson, The Office  no one is new to the idea that you need to make that which is irreplaceable..your life, count. In this drive as an individual I see Brew as that fulfillment of my own little piece of a prophecy. Doesn’t this sound like bull-shit? Yeah, it could be…It’s not about fulfilling a prophecy or having your thoughts line up with a philosophy, but it’s a drive, it’s the risk of taking a leap for yourself and your business. Yes, we are still talking about that one thing you’re scared of, I’m terrified of. Something you own, control, and share with others that could make or break you. You have to have the willingness to minimize risk and maximize the reward that comes from the drive of creating and owning something. Brew has been in the works and development for a little over two years and we as partners have seen drive, we’ve seen reward, and we’ve seen sacrifice (practical day to day sacrifice) that helped to bring us here as an established company. It’s scary to have that responsibility of constantly being out in the open, to be the image and promoter of  Brew, representing not just myself, but our team and what we create. We have tried new things, we’ve tried old things in new ways, and sometimes we literally just see what the hell will stick to make us that sweet cheddar we need to make our candles bad ass. Did anyone know that the flight boards where an idea that we had over a year ago? (uh uh, shit takes time and money my hungry people.) We sat in JP’s apartment with our team: Myself (CCO), David Clontz (CPO), JP Teague (CEO), and Jake Oller (CFO, now no longer a member) where we hashed what our website, content, logo, product, and each other to see an actual operating business start. Oh yeah, did anyone know that we are down to three dudes and a wax melter with one friend who represents us in Charlotte? Yes, we’ve shrunk risk and members, we’ve risked loosing this more than we’d like to say at times, but the reward has been well worth it and made our value as partners and as a company all the more structured and profitable just in the last three months actually, really just overall. Around the same time as our re-launch (oh, we’ve tried this before) we were approached by an advertisement company that actually saw our old website and social media before I or David had come aboard to be a part of this. This company wanted to include us in a broadcasting campaign, as a the content officer this terrified me. This put everyone in such a unique position, we had no idea what we had ahead of us, except an opportunity that could be that big break, that big leap from apartment to office, from part time workers and full time business owners to Brew being our main source of income, and of course getting our candles out to everyone. We were going to have a commercial, we ran with it. We dropped a large sum of money and risked it all, have you seen our commercial? Don’t worry we haven’t really seen it much either. It’s been months and we haven’t seen much profit or return from it. We learned very quickly that big risk doesn’t always mean high reward…we did not get that biscuit. We decided to “bake our own bread” in a way, we have turned that misstep into an opportunity to shrink risk and expand our willingness to do this ourselves, our way. We’ve shed mistakes, members, and rebranded ourselves to go on without the commercial. With that behind us, with loss, and sleepless nights we have grown the short life of this business to be something truly awesome and allowed it to be what we want it to be. This has allowed the needs of our own lives and the need of the companies’ growth to start to work together. Having risk and willingness coexist so that the next moves are the ones we want, despite the failure our willingness and creativity stays constant.


Brew has evolved and left what I see as a solid and lasting impression on the craft beer industry and the home decor market. We’ve truly started to find the balance of a craft beer inspired product that’s approachable by two demographics while creating a following, in turn creating our own culture. We’ve had collaborations, consistent events, custom orders, and we are now in select bottle shops and stores in the North Carolina region. We have made candles cool for anyone, we combined two industries and created a niche market with a zero waste product that is radical to us and our growing customer base. It’s been a slow burn, but we have risked and are willing to continue on so this grows; we shrink what we can, we take those leaps, and we are expanding Brew Candle Company to the NC area. Then to the national space..eventually Brew, myself, and my partners whom I consider the best of friends will have a damn tasty biscuit. Oh, and candles that smell freaking awesome and just look sexy in our logoed glass right next to our sampler flight candles on your coffee table. (yeah, I threw that in there. C’mon.)

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