The Creation of Bare:
Natalie Susi’s career started as a high school English teacher in her hometown, Wilmington, Delaware. She then moved to San Diego where she received her Master’s degree in English literature and began teaching at San Diego State University.
While she was teaching, she also started a business on the side selling Italian Ice, an all-natural, low-calorie sorbet, and a product that is incredibly popular on the East Coast in the summer. Natalie’s friends started to ask if she would bring Italian Ice to parties, so they could mix it with liquor, and make delicious low-calorie frozen cocktails. A year later, Natalie was laid off from teaching. She came home one afternoon and drowned her jobless sorrows in an Italian Ice Margarita. And, that was the moment the light bulb went off.
She decided to make a cocktail mixer that was fresh tasting, low in calories, and natural. She wanted to use the same healthy guidelines when creating this mixer as she had with the Italian Ice. She decided to make something that would replace neon colored margaritas made with high fructose corn syrup. No more 700-calorie margaritas that inevitably hurt your stomach and give you hangovers. No more cocktails that ruin all of your hard work at the gym. It was time to make something that was better tasting and better for you. At this time, no one had ever made the attempt to do that in the cocktail industry. And, so Bare Mixers was born.
Bare Mixers was originally called SoCal LowCal. But with the hopes of taking the brand national, Natalie recreated the brand and changed the name to “Bare Mixers” to connote images of being healthy, free from unnatural ingredients, and simple, made of literally just the bare essentials. She sold the product locally to bars, restaurants, and retail stores, and then began to look for partners in order to take the brand to the national level.
When asked how she came to create Bare Mixers, she discusses how it essentially grew out of the unfortunate situation of losing her teaching job, and she recounts the story about how her grandmother used to always advise in Italian,“Quando la vita ti dà limoni, fai una limonata” which translates into the widely used phrase, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
Natalie says, “In this case, she made Bare.”
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