Meet Lauren Daniels, the owner of Sumptuous Spirits; Detroit, Michigan’s premier mobile bar tending company. She joins a long list of Detroit based entrepreneurs that have been featured on M-Lifestyle but her story and brand is nothing short of remarkable.
The day has arrived, you’ve planned every detail of your extravaganza. The decorations are over the top, the food is delectable, the DJ has gotten everyone on their feet, and your outfit is sure to turn heads. The one thing that everyone will remember is the drinks. You see these drinks are not your typical cocktails or “mock-tails”; they were specifically curated to match your personality and crafted around your event. People can’t stop commenting on everything from the name of the drinks to how the taste seems to fit your personality and adds to the overall experience of the gathering. As you pause and think of how amazing the party has turned out, you know you have no one to thank but ‘Sumptuous Spirits.’
Lauren Daniels, the owner of Sumptuous Spirits a mobile bartending company, recalls that back in college she was the go-to person for all things drinks. At any event or just a kick-back with friends, people would always say “Lauren makes great drinks, have Lauren make your drink. Lauren always makes a smooth drink!” When I moved back to Detroit from Alabama, I always had friends who wanted me to make drinks. That’s when I noticed there was a need, and that’s how Sumptuous Spirits was born. Once Daniels, a lover of free entrepreneurship, decided she wanted to start her own business she got to work immediately. She talked to her aunt, who served as a source of motivation, and she told her to go for it. Additionally, as a believer in Christ, Daniels prayed heavily and sought guidance. After receiving the confirmation she needed she attended bartending school, received her certificate, and begun taking steps to develop her business. The rest as they say is history.
While the past year has been one of steady growth for Sumptuous Spirits, it has also come with its fair share of challenges and surprises for Daniels. While running Sumptuous Spirits, Daniels also works as an auditor in corporate America. “I have a passion for business, and I excel at time management, but it’s challenging sometimes when customers think you run your business full time, and you have to work through late night calls and other things after working your 9-5.”
As for the one unexpected challenge Daniels has experienced so far, she notes it’s more personal in nature. “Most people think that when you have a business and you tell your family and friends about it they’ll be all for it. But I realized its people that are closest to you that do not necessarily get what you’re doing. For me it wasn’t until people saw it taking off and saw it as a good thing that they got onboard. Also, the time you had to hang out with friends is now dedicated to your business. Friends are seeing you don’t have the time for them and that was something that hit me hard. So you have to reassure friends that even though you’re not there all the time that doesn’t change how you feel about them.” Despite these challenges Daniels has come to understand “when you get a vision, it’s for you; it’s not for everyone else to understand. You have to follow your own dreams and stand on your beliefs and what you think will be successful whether you have support around you- it’s all within yourself.”
Daniels recognizes that Sumptuous Spirits success, which is primarily as a result of happy customers who share feedback with others, would not have been possible without the help of others. Daniels’ husband, Cantrell Daniels, is jokingly referred to as her number 1 unpaid worker. He constantly pushes and motivates her, and helps to remind her of how fair she has come when there are moments of doubt. In addition to the support of her husband, who is just as busy with his career and projects, she is fortunate to have an outstanding staff which includes an administrator and 12 bartenders. Reflecting on her most satisfying moment in running her business so far, Daniels remarks “the most satisfying experience has been to have the business run like machine without me necessarily having to do absolutely everything. As a business owner your business is your baby, but you can’t do everything on your own, you have to find a good team of people who will work as hard as you will for the success of your business.”
‘Sumptuous Spirits’ mission is for people to enjoy themselves over a great cocktail. For them it’s more than simply offering bartending services, it’s about creating an experience. The name ‘Sumptuous Spirits’ comes directly from the word’s definition: fancy, classy, and upscale, exactly the type of luxurious experience Daniels and her team brings to every event. In addition to providing business services, Sumptuous Spirits is also involved giving back to the community.
Daniels serves as a board member for FIERCE, an organization that works with young women and teenagers who have children. “As a HBCU graduate I also believe in giving back and Sumptuous Spirits is involved in it too. For our upcoming anniversary a portion of the proceeds will go to [FIERCE] to help build programs and resources for their children, to get jobs, or provide housing.” Although she has become successful Daniels has not let that deter her from serving others and making a difference in her community; truly an example for future entrepreneurs.
In regards to entrepreneurs, Daniels has a few gems to share with them. She stresses the importance of doing research first, doing proper self-evaluation, and not giving up. “Make sure there is a market for your business. See what markets like so you can tailor your services. Do some self-evaluation or prayer to see if this is something you really want to get into. Running a business is not easy, so you definitely want to prepare yourself. Don’t give up. Things are never going to be perfect, there will be some bumps along the road, but if you believe in yourself and if you speak life into your business, it will come to fruition.”
Daniels’ hopes to bring Sumptuous Spirits to other emerging and large cities across America in the next 10-15 years. Without a doubt her persistence, self-motivation, and determination will make that aspiration a reality. Until then, Daniels will continue to take Detroit by storm and become a powerhouse in the social events sector. Let’s raise our glasses to a woman who dared to make her dreams a reality and refused to let challenges stand in her way. Cheers to Lauren Daniels and Sumptuous Spirits!
by Natacha Lorious
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