Cousins. Entrepreneurs. Partners. Whiskey. Those are the first words that come to mind to describe Anna Axster and Wendelin von Schroder, the duo behind Lodestar Whiskey. Forging a path in an industry with no experience hasn’t been easy, but with their nurturing experience in Diageo’s Distill Ventures Pre-Accelerator program to support from family, friends, and fellow women in the spirits industry, Lodestar Whiskey has a promising start.
In our recent Her Agenda conversation on Instagram Live, we spoke with both women about their transition from film and entertainment to the world of spirits.
The California-inspired Lodestar Whiskey is described as “an unconventional blend of Straight High-Rye Bourbon and American Single Malt Whiskey. By blending these two high-quality spirits, notes of caramel, citrus, and warm baking spice from the rye pair perfectly with the approachably smooth finish of the single malt.”
In our conversation, we wanted to get more details from the women about their journey, both women shared how their work with concerts exposed them to the world of whiskey and how the slow-down of their work in entertainment during the pandemic led to going all in on whiskey.
Moreover, Anna and Wendelin shared how they’ve remained strong business partners. As cousins, keeping close is a must, and their check-ins were touted as the guiding light for their entrepreneurial journey together.
Taking a piece from their past with their current experiences, the biggest takeaway of Lodestar Whiskey’s brand is their desire to create a close-knit community. From composing a liquid great for enthusiasts and newbies alike to a local rollout in Los Angeles, connection is key.
Here are a few excerpts from the conversation:
On being new in the industry:
“Because we didn’t come at this as longtime whiskey experts or being distillers ourselves, we weren’t as maybe aware of the limitations. We weren’t restrained by that and it turned out to really work in our favor.”
“One of the things that we most enjoyed in working in entertainment and in film and music was unity and building community around shared experiences, be it a movie, a concert, a song or whatever. So that was really what we loved the most about our work in that world and that’s what we took as our main goal with us basically into building a whiskey brand. It’s kind of more important than ever to focus on community and building that. We’ve launched very locally here in the LA market and doing events and just kind of building that local community here.”
On entrepreneurial challenges:
“There’s lots of challenges. I think our kind of approach and work ethic and just our outlook on life is a little bit like, let’s just roll up our sleeves and do it. No matter if we kind of know what we’re doing or we don’t know what we’re doing, we’re going to figure it out.”
Check out the video for the full conversation about their journey and get a great cocktail recipe to try!