The Importance of Nourishing Collaborative Partnerships, with Kelcie Beausir

Episode 266

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Coming down from Cincinnati, Marketing Manager of Ghost Coast Distillery, Kelcie Beausir, has extensive experience working in the beverage industry, including a recent stop at a winery in Asheville.

She is so happy to now be living in warmer weather in Chattanooga, TN, as a part of the Ghost Coast team. Kelcie is a former trapeze instructor who enjoys adventuring with her dog, Charlie, and husband, Cameron.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Kelcie about her experience as marketing manager for a startup distillery of expanding into new markets during a global pandemic. We discussed the importance of embracing creativity as part of your organizational culture and how collaboration has driven Ghost Coast distillery forward into a period of growth.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • What drew Kelcie into the world of marketing, and why she loves the infinite creativity and diversity of opportunity
  • Unique directions that Ghost Coast has taken their marketing in — including puppy yoga!
  • How they have combined sophisticated spirit distilling with the fun vibe of a craft brewery
  • Why Ghost Coast makes so many unique spirits
  • The organizational culture of creativity in every area of the business and how that makes them stand out in the beverage market
  • How they were able to pivot creatively as a small distillery during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Creative partnerships they got involved with to help themselves and others over the past two years
  • Ghost Coasts current projects and things coming up in the future that they’re particularly excited about
  • How their creative approach to promoting the brand has helped them expand into neighboring states
  • Examples of successful collaborations that Ghost Coast has been involved in and how Kelcie’s advice on how to set up collaborative partnerships

How to Create Successful Partnerships

Putting creative partnerships together and forming long-term relationships is a great way to push forward through adversity. Kelcie and Ghost Coast have been working hard on building mutually beneficial relationships, and she joins me today to share her advice on finding brands that your travel and tourism organization could work with.

Laying the right groundwork for a successful collaboration is all about promoting your brand and demonstrating how you can help others. Companies in the travel niche are busy, so you need to stand out as an organization with new, different, and special ideas. Kelcie describes the importance of figuring out your creative idea before you approach other brands to let them know how you can benefit them as part of the collaboration.

We also dive into why we need to nourish relationships once we’ve partnered with different brands and why there’s nothing worse than just letting the momentum die. Figuring out how to keep working together and building on those collaborations and relationships is so much more helpful and supportive than just one-off events.

Creative Culture

Ghost Coast Distillery was founded in 2016 and since then has been committed to hiring great minds, bouncing ideas off of each other, and really learning how they wanted the company culture to look. Kelcie describes the evolution of the organizational culture and how it has developed over the years to an open-minded, playful environment where everyone’s ideas and suggestions are welcomed.

We also talk about how the small team has been able to put together fun events that differentiate themselves from others in their industry, such as puppy yoga and comedy shows, and why that freewheeling spirit has helped them grow and build a reputation in the artisanal spirits space.

Opportunities in Adversity

Kelcie shares how COVID-19 showed Ghost Coat they had opportunities to deal with the challenges they were facing creatively, personally, and as a company. She describes how they were able to pivot as a small organization and pursue new opportunities that formed the golden lining of their challenges.

One of Kelcie’s favorite creative solutions was collaborating with others to put on an initiative to safely bring live music back to the company’s hometown of Savannah, GA. Ghost Coast partnered with outdoor venues that sold their spirits to create a space where people could safely enjoy live music after the shutdown by enjoying a cocktail picnic style in the park.

We also discussed Ghost Coasts’s plans for the future — slowly and effectively growing footprint style across the nation, adding members to the team while keeping one foot planted in tradition, one foot pushing boundaries.


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