‘It was a great feeling realising that I have a business and run my own company‘
From Rural Wales, to ambitions of an acting career, to running her own social media management company in London. Sometimes the best plans in life, are the ones that are unplanned. This definitely seems to be the case for Hebe Richardson, founder of Drinks with Hebe. In my interview with Hebe, she discusses how her love for the beverage industry and social media has led her to setting up her own business, and she also discusses the exciting upcoming projects she is working on.
What is your background in the hospitality industry?
My journey in the hospitality industry started when I was eleven in rural Wales. My uncle bought a pub and asked my parents to run it. I would also help my parents in the everyday running of the pub.
My mum taught me how to pull pints and I got involved with the cleaning of the pub. I also helped my Dad in the kitchen and started of as a kitchen porter. I was then allowed to get involved with food preparation of starters and salads. My experiences in the pub helped me a lot, because when I was older and started to apply for jobs, I already had a lot of experience to add to my CV.
When I was eighteen, I moved to London with the hopes of becoming an actress, (obviously that plan didn’t work out!). A family friend in London, knew I was looking for a job and pointed me in the direction of a place that was looking for waitresses. I went there for an interview and this is how I actually met my husband. He was the one who hired me!
The role was at the City of London Distillery and it turned out to be much more than a waitressing job. I started to learn about spirits and distillation, and it was here that I became serious and wanted to make a life style out of my hospitality career. I moved on in the hospitality world and followed my husband on his ventures.
He went on to open Merchant House Venues which were cocktail bars, focusing on gin, rum and whisky. Here I started working more in the event and operation side of things which I enjoyed. This then led onto to me becoming more involved with social media.
Why did you start Drinks With Hebe?
When my husband sold the Merchant House Venues, which was almost 2 years ago, I felt it was the right time for me to leave too. This is when I decided to set up Drinks with Hebe, which is a social media management company for drinks-based businesses.
Starting Drink With Hebe gave me the opportunity to combine two interests together. It gives me the chance to still have links with the drinks industry, however I also get to work with social media, which is something I have grown to be passionate about. There are a lot of women that work within social media, therefore in order to set myself apart and to use my knowledge, I thought I should just focus on services for the drinks industry.
For example, if I have a distillery as a client that needs help with their social media, they do not have to teach and explain as much to me. I already know the distillation process and would be in a better position to communicate their message to consumers. Therefore, it made sense to offer the social media services to drinks-based companies, as I could offer that bit more than other social media managers could.
Why do you love working in the beverage industry?
For me it is the creativity as I have always been a creative person. I love to come up with ideas and concepts and bring them to fruition. The drinks world has allowed me to grow and learn new things. It is ever changing, which is what I really enjoy, and it is not a stagnant industry as there are a lot of opportunities.
What is the most memorable moment in your career?
For me it would have to be doing my first tax return. It it was a good moment as I got to see how much money I earned and proved to myself that I had achieved my goal of being self-employed. It was a great feeling realising that I have a business and run my own company, and that it was actually working.
What advice would you give to anyone trying to pursue a career in the beverage industry?
I would start with the advice that personal branding is everything. It is incredibly important and your social media platforms are your personal branding. Whether you want to pursue bartending or the brand ambassador side of the industry, which ever element you choose, your personal brand is going to be everything and how you are perceived in the industry.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you will be working on?
The latest project I have been working on is Nebula Pizza. This is my husband’s new place and he is the latest of my clients to go live. In addition, myself and my business partners are launching some canned and bottled products and we are also planning to open a bar before the end of the year. It’s all very exciting and we are very close to being able to talk more about it very soon.
If you were a drink what would you be? Which one would best describe your personality?
I think I would have to say a Margarita as I can be a bit spiky and to the point. Although I am misunderstood and therefore in terms of a Margarita, I am delicious, and you can have more than one of me!
Do you have a favourite bar that you would recommend visiting ?
Well of course I would recommend Nebula Pizza for a drink, but other than that I would also recommend FAM Bar. This has always been a favourite of mine based in Fitzrovia, however I have not visited in such as long time due to the lockdown. If visiting I would highly recommend the FAM Bar Margarita.
Tell me something about you that not a lot of people would know?
As a teenager I played violin, cello and guitar, however I unfortunately cannot play any of them now.
Complete the sentence. I am happiest when?
I am happiest when I am creating content for Instagram, editing and taking pictures, as I love all of this!