We continue our series of Women In The Tequila Industry with Cecilia Norman, Communication Manager for the Tequila Interchange Project, a non-profit organization and consumer advocacy group for tequila.
We asked Ceci and other prominent women leading the charge for change in the Tequila Industry and beyond a short list of questions. As you’ll read, it hasn’t been all margaritas and roses for any of these tequila boss ladies.
TIP is comprised of bartenders, consultants, educators, academics, consumers and tequila enthusiasts. It advocates the preservation of sustainable, traditional, and quality practices in the tequila industry amid concerning trends currently becoming mainstays in the industry. Through their efforts and increased consumer education, they strive for continued growth in the tequila industry with a renewed emphasis on the importance of preserving tequila’s great heritage.
TA: What are the challenges you face when dealing with the male dominated Tequila Industry?
CN: It’s like any male dominated industry, you face preconceived notions of what a woman’s role is in society or the industry.
Personally, I’ve never paid much attention to any of it. If I want to do something I make it happen. It doesn’t matter if it’s the spirits, film, tequila, robotics, rocket science or pink elephant hunting. It all comes down to personal effort and the pursuit for good attainable goals. If I spent any time thinking about other people standing in the way, I wouldn’t do anything. Instead, I think of what’s best for everyone and myself, then put my mind to getting it done.
TA: What facets of the Tequila Industry would you like to see change?
CN: I want to see it become a diverse, fair industry that makes a lot of money for everyone involved and focuses on plant health, worker health, and becoming something that is sustainable for thousands of years. TA: Do you approve of its brands current marketing strategies?
I believe in brands that market transparently and honestly… and silliness. Give me all your data, processes, and let me decide if I want to drink your product. If I don’t, let’s have a conversation about it.
TA: How would you run things? What would you like to see change?
CN: I would run things where everything grows. Of course some brands will do better than others, some will remain local, and some will fail entirely… but developing business to look out for what’s best for everyone will help the industry. There are too many nuances to keep just dollar signs the main focus.