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Daily Inspiration: Meet John Zhang

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Zhang.

Hi John, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I started Drunk Fruit with three college friends. The idea came to us when we realized how much hard seltzer our friends were drinking but the leading brands didn’t have any of the fruit flavors we wanted. We had the unfortunate timing to start a new business during an unprecedented pandemic. Our first promotional video (the one that Miki was in) was shot one week before LA’s first shutdown. Our brewer had to pause production for a month to help produce hand sanitizer. Luckily we’ve been able to adapt to changing circumstances. We manage to land over 50 stores in LA and Virginia. We launched an online store that allows Drunk Fruit to be shipped to most states, and we partnered with another Asian American brand, AZN Flush, to produce a weekly livestream where Asian influencers come together to drink Drunk Fruit and play drinking games.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Outside of the aforementioned issues caused by the pandemic, there are many hurdles when it comes to starting your own business, doubly so if the industry is heavily regulated like the alcohol industry. We like to remind ourselves of the phrase, “you don’t know what you don’t know”. There are so many things that we had to learn very quickly or find someone to teach us. Overall, I think it’s a great learning experience to start a business with your friends. There are a lot of ups and downs but there has been many more little, rewarding moments and victories to celebrate.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Even though I’m completely new to starting a CPG brand and am still learning every day, I love that my job allows me to meet and work with people from different industries and backgrounds. We partnered with the Asian American drinking game, AZN Flush, to produce a weekly livestream where we bring together Asian influencers and creatives to drink and play games online. We had themed nights from foodies with @626nightmarket to anime nights with TikTok stars. I hope to be able to continue to grow the brand and meet people who are excited about what we are doing. You can catch our livestream at twitch.tv/azngamenight.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Understand what motivates you and what motivates the people you have a relationship with.

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Image Credits:

Shirley Ni William Zeng

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