Grand Rapids mom of four, Ashleigh Evans, has always loved a good cocktail.
In college, she was endearingly nicknamed “Smashleigh” because the drinks she made for others were on the stronger side.
Fast forward to 2018 and you’ll find Ashleigh doing “Saturday Sips” on Snapchat with her food blog followers and friends. Every Saturday morning, Ashleigh would post a list of cocktail ingredients for people to source that day. Later in the day, she’d hop back on Snapchat and walk people through making the cocktail of the day.
While people appreciated Ashleigh’s tutorials, she often got feedback that her followers didn’t have time to round up the ingredients before her session, and if they did, creating the cocktail was just too much work.
That set her mind in motion. How could she make at-home cocktail creation easier for others? And could she make a pivot from the food blogging world that she’d been in for years?
Ashleigh Evans is Going Places
The short answer is YES!
What started as a cocktail making hobby in her kitchen quickly evolved into something much bigger.
Initially, Ashleigh was creating her kits at home and selling them at craft shows and on Esty. As the word got out, more and more people tried and liked InBooze kits and spread the word. To date, she’s been featured on multiple Buzz Feed lists, the Food Network, and Women’s Health Magazine.
Just yesterday, she was featured on Oprah’s Stocking Stuffer List!
Ashleigh’s also scheduled to be a part of Macy’s Black History Month support small business focus in February 2021. InBooze will be in 26 Macy’s locations that month, including the State Street Chicago store and their flagship store in NYC!
People drinking at home during quarantine has been good for business.
Given her success, it’s no surprise the Ashleigh is in the process of moving into a new HQ. It’s located near downtown Grandville, MI.
Her new spot is closer to her home, has a better layout, and will allow her to conduct all operations in one location.
Once she’s fully operational at the new HQ – and when things with COVID settle down – she hopes to use the space for more that InBooze production. She’d like to host paint & sip events, popups with other vendors, and potentially offer meeting space down the road.
She’s working on getting her new HQ up and running right now.
How Does InBooze Work?
Ashleigh and her small team make each InBooze Cocktail Kit by Hand. She creates the recipes, sources all of the ingredients – locally when possible – and dehydrates them before packaging them up.
If you live on Ashleigh’s street, you’re likely one of her happy neighbors. That’s because Ashleigh tests her new flavor combos on them and her neighborhood test kitchen gives feedback that helps her create and perfect new recipes.
It takes about 2 months to create a new flavor kit combo.
Each kit contains dehydrated fruits, veggies, herbs, and spices that customers can use to infuse their alcohol. One packet will infuse enough for 8-10 cocktails. Cocktails can be refrigerated for up to 6 months. You can store unopened kits for up to 2 years.
Some of the more popular kits are the Old Fashion, Spicy Margarita, and Pineapple Mule.
Recipes are inspired by the season, with Spiced White Sangria, Cranberry Sauce Infusion, Mulling Spice Cocktail Kit, and Apple Pie Cocktails back on the menu for the holidays.
There will usually be about 15 flavor varieties available at any given time.
InBooze is a Family Affair
12-hour workdays are par for the course for Ashleigh right now.
While she’s hired two locals to help her out in production, Ashleigh says her husband is the true MVP. He’s not only working full-time from home, but he’s also overseeing the virtual schooling needs for their 3 school-age children (11-year-old twins and a 9-year-old) and caring for their 3-year old. You’ll find him making calls and picking up supplies for the InBooze business, too.
Often, the kids will come to Ashleigh’s workspace because it’s the only way she can get some face-to-face time with them right now. The kids like to help stamp dates on the packages or apply stickers to the kits.
Ashleigh also says that her girls are excited about the business and are great cheerleaders. Sometimes they will leave little post-it notes in her lunchbox with messages like, “Mom, You’re a Rockstar!”
She loves that the girls can watch her grow her business and set an example for them.
InBooze Makes Virtual Happy Hour So Easy
Some InBooze orders are for Virtual Happy hours.
You can purchase a bunch of kits, send them off to your co-workers or friends, and have them ready to go for a fun afterhours Zoom.
Or, you can connect with Ashleigh and have her pop into your Happy Hour Zoom to give a short 15-minute how-to on cocktail making.
How to Purchase InBooze
*This post contains affiliate links that help support the team at grkids.com.
InBooze orders are coming in fast, so if you’d like to get some kits for yourself or for stocking stuffers, put in your order on Esty ASAP.
If what you want is sold out, check back in a few days. Ashleigh typically restocks her Etsy shop on Sundays.
Plan ahead – right now she has a 2-week shipping window to process your order.
Follow the InBooze Facebook Page for potential Black Friday or Cyber Monday specials.
Join us in wishing Ashleigh a hearty congratulations!
You can find more local makers and gift ideas in our 2020 Local Holiday Gift Guide.