Distiller, Laura Johnson, always loved mixing cocktails for her friends, but it wasn't until a spur of the moment distillery trip, that she found her calling. Laura is now the Founder of You & Yours Distilling Co. in Downtown San Diego, as well as the creator of super trendy gin blog, Distillerista. Laura has taken 2017 by storm with an Eater Young Gun nomination and the most anticipated bar opening of the year. We sat down with Laura to talk about gin and what it's like to follow your passions to fruition. See why she's our #RealInfluencer of the week!
Where did you think you’d be at this age when you were a child?
I had no idea. I never really had one specific thing that stuck. The only thing I can remember from when I was a kid was being Britney Spears backup dancer, and I didn't even dance. I always loved to cook and make flavors, and as I got older, I was always the one in High School who was like, "Let's raid the liquor cabinet and make cocktails." I would be bringing solo cups of some concoction out like, "Look what I made!"
What has been the biggest obstacle as a woman in your industry?
Honestly, being a woman in distilling has garnered me a lot of great press. Being a woman isn't the first thing I want someone to run with when they meet me and hear my story, but I think it's been nothing but positive up to this point. Sure, it's hard to be taken seriously by some of the other industry players who are male, but it doesn't bother me at the end of the day because the spirits will speak for themselves.
What trait do women in your industry have that you admire?
Just women as a whole have much more attention to detail, which I think helps with anything, but especially with distilling because there are so many pieces of the process. From start to finish, and then everything after the gin has been made, like permitting, labeling, navigating all the different laws. There's a certain level of attention to detail that's absolutely necessary and I think as women we handle that much better.
How do you keep pushing yourself after a failure?
By taking a step back and reminding myself of where I see this all going, and reminding myself of the big picture. Like my dreams and goals, where I see this place in six months, 1 year, 2 years in the future. All that cliché shit about not getting bogged down in the details that you hate doing, but have to get done.
What does true success mean to you?
For me, success is just seeing people come through this door and having an incredible experience and hopefully, having learned a little something while they were here. Whether that's about gin or the person they came with. I want this to be a place where people can come together and enjoy each other's company. You & Yours is about something bigger than just spirits. Yes, we make incredible spirits, but I want us to stand for something a little bit more than that.