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Tips for working in the drinks industry

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Learn about working in the drinks industry with Ounal Bailey, a drinks innovator and co-founder of WiseHead Productions.

Our expert Miriam Nice chats with drinks innovator and co-founder of WiseHead Productions, Ounal Bailey, about her extensive career. Ounal offers an insight into her role developing products for the drinks industry.

What’s your average working day like?

There’s no such thing as an ‘average’ day for me. It can span from time spent in the office discussing and developing strategies for growing The London Essence Company, while brainstorming new products, to working with our marketing agencies on new campaigns and organising events. I’m also fortunate to be able to travel within the UK and across the world to meet experts in the industry, which keeps every day fresh and exciting.

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What would your advice be to those looking to work in the drinks industry?

I often wish I’d started much earlier, as, while it’s challenging, it’s a very enjoyable and dynamic industry to work in. I’d definitely recommend that anyone interested seeks out hands-on experience and training opportunities, whether that’s working in a sales role or bar, or in the events industry. Also, consider a placement within larger drinks manufacturers or marketing firms.

What are your tips for creating a new product?

It’s important to be passionate about what you’re creating and have a clear vision for it. I certainly don’t think there’s anything wrong with starting from your own experience and gut instinct. However, you should be equally prepared to make adjustments to your view and vision along the way as you receive feedback from those you trust and your potential customers. You should also remember to be the first to admit when you get it wrong . No one is perfect and creating new products definitely isn’t easy, but overall, just enjoy the process.

What are the biggest misconceptions about your job?

That it’s all very glamorous. Sure, there are perks to it all – travelling and meeting incredibly talented people – but in reality, a great deal of my time is spent in front of a computer, writing presentations or reviewing spreadsheets.

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After working at Britvic PLC for several years, Ounal co-founded WiseHead Productions in 2016, an incubator company that develops innovative drinks for adults. She is responsible for the growth of The London Essence Company, and operates with a strong belief that fostering great innovation requires focus, determination and teamwork. @londonessenceco

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