We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyra Watts and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kyra, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have grown to live by the idea of divine timing. I started my bartending business after taking a random mixology class and casually bartending for friends and family. A childhood friend of mine opened a popular, fast paced bar in the metro Detroit area and I began to work at the bar in addition to my full time job. I quickly noticed how much I had to learn about operating a business that’s hospitality focused although I am an operations engineer by training. I had never envisioned myself as an entrepreneur before I began working at the bar.
As I began to work at the bar more, I learned about bar operations and got motivated to start my own mobile bartending business–after I received more and more requests from my customers to bartend private events. I began to engage more with my customers, understanding their needs, mastered customer service delivery, and focused on learning more about mixing, and created Pour it Up Detroit. I felt empowered to begin my own business endeavor with support from friends and family. After just a year, Pour it Up Detroit became in high demand, servicing all types of celebrations—then the COVID pandemic hit. The pandemic forced me to think innovatively to keep my business alive. The flagship element of my new strategy included virtual offerings which allowed my business to expand into the homes of customers across the United States.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Pour it Up Detroit is an upscale mobile bartending service. Our tagline is “You Party, We’ll Pour!”–as we strive to alleviate any stress surrounding providing beverage services to an event. A full Pour it Up Detroit experience can look like bartending services for a wedding, baby shower, birthday, or any other celebration! Our book of business includes kid friendly parties, in person and virtual mixology sessions, and even a bartending bootcamp, which is a 16hr certification course.
I think Pour it Up Detroit is different from other businesses in our market because of our focus on safe and responsible service, coupled with excellent customer service. We work with our customer to ensure the event is executed to their level of expectation, and we strive to over deliver every single time. Professionalism is a must, and our company has taken all necessary steps and will always remain compliant with regulations and laws surrounding the service of alcohol.
It was not easy to get where we are business wise, mainly because there are many laws and restriction surrounding alcohol service; but not a lot of direction in the mobile bartending space. Each state is different so it took a lot of research to understand our limitations and constraints. I knew I wanted this business to be successful (remain successful), so I am constantly researching, learning and improving.
I have learned to never try to walk in another person’s (or businesses) path, whatever is for you is yours. In the past couple of years the market for mobile bartending became a bit saturated and it seemed as if business opportunities were dwindling. Pour it Up Detroit had to reach into our business bag, and essentially redefine our customer base and strategize a new direction for our team.
I would like for people to know that Pour it Up Detroit was created by a young lady born and raised in the city of Detroit, but Detroit is not our only service area. Our company will always deliver top notch service. Consider booking us for your next event, whether it is in person or virtual!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to shout out my family and friends for taking my passion for bartending seriously. When I had no staff they helped me; when I had no customers, they booked me. They have always motivated me to push harder. I would also like to dedicate this shoutout to my late great aunt, Maggie, who was a bar maid, and often gave me tips and tools of the trade to be more successful.
I also credit my increasing business prowess to the many women and minority focused business organizations, such as SistahBiz, and the Pure Network Academy, that serve as supporters and resources for small business owners. Thank you!
I am Alisha Nicole and RNS Images