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Meet Claudine Kielson of Labaratory by Scarlette in Greater Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Claudine Kielson.

Claudine, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started bartending at the age of 16 in New York City – this was back in the day when most bars were not too concerned about payroll taxes or the legal age of drinking, apparently. After working everywhere from 5-star restaurants and hot new clubs to local bars and underground venues, I came to realize that I’m not built to show up to the same place every day. Luckily, my music career brought me around the world for over a decade. I eventually found myself residing in L.A., where I instantly fell in love with the beautiful chaos that is the world of catering. This inspired me to build a company prioritizing both passion and craft, unique & innovative specialty cocktails, hands-on ownership, and genuinely creative design. Thus, Labaratory by Scarlette was born.

The business began at a grassroots level, out of my garage, and was initially built upon an existing loyal clientele and a ton of referrals. Early on, everything went into building the infrastructure necessary to be able to do all the things I envisioned. Since then it has grown into a flourishing brand. We are known for creating incredibly interactive bar experiences by utilizing our own innovative techniques, unique specialty infusions, and tinctures. We strive to bring something fresh and exciting to every event.

Has it been a smooth road?
Obviously there are always struggles when you’re building something yourself from the ground up. When I first started, I had no idea what I was doing. I had a lot of bar and catering experience, but there was a massive learning curve when it came to the business side of things. Thankfully, I now have an amazing team supporting me and driving our growth. Having my team allows me the freedom to chase my creative visions.

When stepping out to do something like start a company, one often thinks they can’t do it themselves – that they have to rely on the benevolence of the powers that be in order to succeed. But it’s important to know that you absolutely can do it on your own. If you take what you’re passionate about, what you’re good at, and what makes you uniquely you, and combine those things with hard work and a “never say die” attitude, I believe you can accomplish anything -and I feel like I’m living proof of that.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Labaratory by Scarlette story. Tell us more about the business.
We believe bartending is more than serving alcohol. It is an opportunity to create a shared experience. Our approach to cocktails is alchemistical: crafting your story in a glass, conjuring the spirit of your event into the hands of each guest. We develop new cocktails and redefine the classics with house-made infusions, rare and unique ingredients, and innovative presentations.

I am most proud two things at Labaratory by Scarlette. The first is my ability to employ people. It may sound simple, but love being able to give amazing people the opportunity to succeed!

The second is also one of the things that sets us apart from other bar catering companies – our Labaratory experiential stations. The Labaratory in our name comes from our experiential stations. These are mesmerizing, unique, innovative experiences that go far beyond basic cocktail service. Flash-infusing spirits, transforming vodka into gin, and crafting brand new bespoke experiences are just a few of the exciting things we get to do when we bring our Labaratory to an event. It’s always new and exciting, and is guaranteed to create memories that will last a lifetime.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
While the popularity of certain drinks or techniques will continue to ebb and flow, I think the event industry as a whole is moving in a far more experiential direction. Western culture in general is shifting to prioritize experiences, and the catering industry will need to follow that shift. The industry is already making that transition in a lot of ways, and that’s why we focus so much of our creative energy on innovation. I definitely foresee technology playing a larger and larger role in what we do. We are excited to continue to push into the bleeding edge of this industry, and I can’t wait to see where it is going to take us.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Photos by Arpit; Photos by Loreen Sarkis

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