Women In The Tequila Industry: Lisa Barlow

One of the more intriguing Tequila Boss Ladies, is the brains–and grace–behind Vida Tequila, Lisa Barlow.

A contestant on Last Tequila Standing, and a participating brand during our 2015 Dia de los Muertos Tequila & Mezcal Tour, Ms. Barlow works tirelessly to keep Vida’s image and flavor fresh and consistent.

Aside from being a Woman In The Tequila Industry, Lisa was also a partner in one of the most celebrated restaurants in Park City, Utah, called Silver.  Up until June 2015, it hosted wildly popular events that were the hottest tickets to come by during the star-studded Sundance Film Festival.  In 2016, a pop-up Vida Tequila Lounge continued that tradition at Sundance.

A triple threat, this wife and mother of two also runs a marketing firm based in future VIDA ownersNew York.  Lisa Barlow makes working her businesses seem effortless, and does it all with flawless style.

Here are her thoughts on our customary handful of questions.

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TA:  How would you describe your experiences as a woman in a primarily male dominated industry?

LB:  I have never felt as though the challenges in the spirits industry stem from being a woman.  I have a strong vision for VIDA and a strong business acumen.  I like being in an arena where I am constantly challenged and the spirits industry gives me that opportunity.

Man or woman, it really doesn’t matter; what matters is that you are on point and doing the right things for your business.  Being a mother of two boys, I think its a great example for them to see me work hard at our family business.

TA:  How have you been able to change things within the Tequila Industry?

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LB:  One always hopes they are making a difference.

When we launched in 2007 there were less than 400 tequila brands in the USA.  For me it was important that the brand had a clear vision and an authentic one.  Your customers feel your passion.  It engages them into your product and drives them to search for more information, which helps the category.

I love what I do.  I really wanted to integrate things that were important to me into our brand.  We launched with a beautiful white package that was very Lisa_Vidadifferent from the bright colors and busy boxes we were seeing on the store shelves.

I also incorporated my vision of what tequila should be in early advertisements; tequila is modern, sophisticated.

We had campaigns that said “NO WORM, JUST ROCKS,” or “VIDA COUTURE” moving VIDA away from the cliches and stereotypes.  This is one thing and those things take time and [it] was challenging in the beginning.

[It is] much easier to launch a brand today with how much education is now available, that was not there when we launched.

Being able to make a great tequila is beautiful.  Everything from the plant to the process is bold.  To be able to take this into the USA and other countries and grow the category is huge.  I am very involved because I love what we produce and our brand, VIDA.

TA:  What do you see as the future of women working within the Tequila Industry?

LB:  As the category continues to rise, so will the number of women who work within the category and the roles they play.  From Distiller to CEO, I think there will be a lot of growth and changes on multiple levels.

TA:  What facets of the Tequila Industry would you like to see change?lisa headshot

LB:  This is a tough question.

There is an art to making tequila.  From start to finish; to me it’s beautiful.  The rich history of this spirit is in Mexico – it’s important to maintain this.

Within any industry, it’s important to make sure that production and distribution are continually evaluated.

Change is good, always.  We are constantly trying to evolve and put our focus on a global future.

TA:  Is there anything you’d like to say to women who may be contemplating entering and working in the Tequila Industry in one form or another?

LB:  Its an amazing industry to be a part of.  Have a clear plan and go for it.