Featured American Mule August 2016
It all began with a customary round of whiskey shots, chased by most party-goers with the well-known “shot face”. That’s when we knew the world needed something better. A lot better.
JD and Chris grew up together near Montclair New Jersey and were conjuring up big ideas at a young age. JD’s Dad started multiple businesses in pharmaceutical branding and put the entrepreneurial bug in JD since his first lemonade stand in elementary school. JD’s mom, as he describes her, has always been the backbone and support system since he was born and she’s arguably the nicest person in the world (ask anyone).
Chris’ mom worked her way to the top of the beauty industry all while raising three boys as a single mother. His stepfather dropped out of high school at the age of 15 to start his own company, which is now one of the largest fruit distribution companies in the tristate area.
Needless to say, Chris and JD have entrepreneurship and business in their blood.
That “shot” night, JD and Chris started visualizing what would become Misunderstood Whiskey Co. Not entirely new to business, they knew what they were up against and were ready for a challenge. They both have had many experiences, from the world of finance all the way to launching start-up companies. Misunderstood Whiskey Co. has been a consistent and steady focus for them and a full time job.
The company has been developing for the past 3 years and they are going strong. Their goal is to be different, relatable and bring something new and refreshing to the market. They hope to create something that is unique, fun, quirky, and something that still pays tribute to whiskey heritage. Their tagline “Craft Your Legend” proudly embodies the American Dream. It emphasizes empowerment, individuality and action.
“Our parents taught us that life is what you make it. Success is earned, not given and the best things come from hard work and sometimes even initial failures. The most amazing part of the American Dream is that everyone has their own definition. To us, it’s about leaving your mark. How will you be remembered? And empowering individuals to make the lifestyle they want and having the freedom to chase your dreams.” – JD & Chris
In their three-year journey of development, JD & Chris have learned to:
1. Be adaptive. This helps navigate circumstances out of your control, and open your mind to new ideas.
2. Put the product above all else - because if you have limited time and resources, then you better hope the product can speak for itself.
3. Hustle your face off - we would never get to this point without hard work (and we have a lot more to go). We realize this brand can’t be successful without a lot of hustle and boots on the ground. Work ethic shows in everything we do. People appreciate that more than anything.
Misunderstood Whiskey Co. has been getting a lot word on the street. People from all around the world are showing them love, which keeps them motivated and thankful. They’ve put so much work into perfecting their product that we know their hard work will pay off. Their vision for the brand is exciting and we look forward to seeing it on the market Fall of 2016!
As for JD and Chris’ words of advice for young Americans who have big dreams and are just starting out …
Give it a go – and don’t listen to anyone who doubts you. If it’s not fun - DON’T DO IT. If you see an opportunity, then run with it. Always surround yourself with good people that have similar goals and aspirations - especially people that are smarter than you. These people will keep you motivated and driven, give you new ideas, and will help build your network. Lastly - don’t take people for granted. You never know who’s going to step up when you need it most.
JD & Chris are avid dog lovers. Chris is a “wannabe” world traveler who plays guitar in his free time. JD loves to ski, fish, and cook… when he’s not eating. JD currently lives in Manhattan and Chris resides in New Jersey. You can find them online at www.misunderstoodwhiskey.com and on Instagram @misunderstoodwhiskey
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