StickerGiant Talks Community, Giving, and Brewing Beer in the Denver, CO area with Lady Justice Brewing

Betsy Lay, Lady Justice head brewer and co-founder, joins this episode to talk with Sam about the early days of building a community supported brewery in Denver, CO and how their commitment to social justice work assists Colorado-based organizations that promote the status and opportunity of women and girls.

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[00:00:00] Announcer: [music] Welcome to the Stickers on the Mic Podcast, brought to you by stickergiant.com, where we talk with our customers about how they started their business, how they're marketing their brand, and how they're growing their company? If you're joining us for the first time, welcome. If you're a regular listener, thank you for your continued support. As a bonus for all of our listeners who want to try us out, head over to stickergiant.com and use the coupon "podcast" to take 20% off your first item. Without further ado, it's time for the Stickers on the Mic Podcast from StickerGiant. Let's get on with the show.

[00:00:45] Samuel: How's everybody doing? My name is Samuel Teferi, I'm here with Stickers on the Mic Podcast. We have a great guest with us today. We're joined by Betsy from Lady Justice Brewing. How are you doing, Betsy?

[00:00:55] Betsy Lay: I'm doing well. How are you?

[00:00:57] Samuel: I'm doing fine. Thank you so much for joining me on my very first podcast.

[00:01:00] Betsy: Yes. I'm excited.

[00:01:01] Samuel: I'm excited that it's about beer. I like beer and it's almost the weekend, so it's the perfect time to talk about beer, right?

[00:01:06] Betsy: Perfect time.

[00:01:08] Samuel: Betsy, you're making a big impact here in the brewery industry. A lot of great things. First off, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where you're from? What is your background like?

[00:01:21] Betsy: Sure. I am from St. Louis, Missouri, actually.

[00:01:25] Samuel: Sorry, I have to cut you off. Me too.

[00:01:27] Betsy: Really? Where'd you go to high school?

[00:01:28] Samuel: Parkway Central.

[00:01:29] Betsy: Shut up. No way.

[00:01:31] Samuel: Yes..

[00:01:32] Betsy: I went to Clayton, but I grew up in Parkway. I was at Parkway Central Junior High until I was in seventh grade.

[00:01:36] Samuel: Oh my God.

[00:01:38] Betsy: Get out of here. What year did you graduate?

[00:01:40] Samuel: '09. There, I said it. [laughs]

[00:01:43] Betsy: That's great. My grandparents taught at Parkway Central. They retired long before, but that's wild.

[00:01:50] Samuel: That's awesome.

[00:01:50] Betsy: Very cool. I moved to Denver in 2000 to go to University of Denver. I've basically been-- I left for a couple of years to graduate school, but came right back to Denver after that. I've been here, like 20-ish years almost, which is wild and makes me feel old.

[00:02:10] Samuel: Before Colorado was super crowded, right? [laughs]

[00:02:11] Betsy: Yes. I love it now, but I really loved it then, just because there were so few people.

[00:02:20] Samuel: Yes. Midwest kids, it falls in line because I feel like growing up in the Midwest, there isn't much for us to do, so beer culture is big there, but when you come to a place like this, you can really dive into that culture and expand it that much more.

[00:02:34] Betsy: Totally. Coming from St. Louis, it was all about Anheuser-Busch.

[00:02:40] Samuel: Absolutely.

[00:02:41] Betsy: Which for a long time people were really proud of in St. Louis. Then they got sold in InBev, so that changed the perception of beer, I think, in St. Louis, I think a lot of people were heartbroken that the family aspect of this huge brewery was lost. It was in Denver that I learned about craft beer and what that was really all about. The first craft beer I ever had, I remember I was at some house party at DU. Somebody handed me a bottle. It was Breckenridge Brewery before they were bought out, they made it.

It was some sort of honey brown ale. I was honestly like, "What is this? This is awful. I don't understand," because I was so used to drinking Bud Light. From there on, turned into Fat Tire and then Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, stuff like that. Denver is what introduced me to craft beer on a whole-- Beer had always been around because of the St. Louis thing, but I didn't really get interested in it or really care about it until after I moved to Denver.

[00:03:46] Samuel: That's awesome. I'm definitely the same way. Sometimes my friends give me little flack for that, they're thinking I've changed. [laughs] I'm mister craft beer now with my fedora, so it's okay. [laughs] But it's awesome. You started on this mission through working at a nonprofit. That's where you met your partners, and then from there, that was the spark and the birth to all this?

[00:04:09] Betsy: Yes.

[00:04:10] Samuel: Tell us a little bit about how that all came together?

[00:04:13] Betsy: When I came back to Denver after going to graduate school, I did the thing that every parent is proud of and I took a volunteer job.

[laughter]

[00:04:27] Betsy: I signed up for AmeriCorps. I served as an AmeriCorps VISTA for two years. In AmeriCorps, the idea is that you live and you get paid at the same poverty level of the city in which you're serving, so that you get an idea of what life is like for people living in poverty and how can the work that you do benefit these communities of people in a way that doesn't feel like a handout. It's real change, it's root causes and stuff like that.

I was serving in AmeriCorps and there were five AmeriCorps VISTAs in this office, in this nonprofit. That's actually in Arvada. We served together for two years and it was during the recession. So much of our time was spent trying to fundraise, and it was really hard to do during the recession. Nobody had money. If they had money, they weren't giving it to us. Grants were drying up. It was just really hard being a nonprofit.

[00:05:36] Samuel: People were struggling for their bills. It was a tough time, I remember.

[00:05:38] Betsy: Yes, totally. We would go out for drinks afterwards. We'd go to Vine Street Pub at 17th & Vine in Denver, it was our favorite place. We would just drink a lot of beer that we couldn't afford.

[00:05:56] Samuel: [chuckles] The finer things in life.

[00:05:56] Betsy: [chuckles] Yes. We would just drink and lament over how hard it was to fundraise for something that was really so cool. The organization that we were working for, was doing really cool work. If there was money to give, it would be so easy to pour money into what this org was doing. Somebody had said, we think it was Jen had said, one of the other VISTAs, "I wish my beer money-- I wish the money that we were spending here at Vine Street tonight, could just go do this." I didn't think much of it at all. I was like, "Yes, that'd be great. Look at all these people in this place, spending all this money on beer."

We finished up our AmeriCorps service. Kate, who is the other co-founder-- There's Kate Power, Jen Cuesta and myself. Kate and Jen both left Denver to go to law school. While Kate was in law school, she had a business law class and had to come up with a business plan as part of the class. She called Jen and I and she was like, "Hey, do you mind if I use that beer idea?" I was like, "I guess." I had barely remembered that this is a thing, [chuckles] so I was like, "Yes, sure. Go for it."

[00:07:10] Samuel: Yes, whatever that thing was. That's cool. [chuckles]

[00:07:10] Betsy: [chuckles] Yes, "That's fine." Then, a few months later, she was like, "This has gotten so much great feedback. I actually think this is something we can do if we're serious about it." That's started it. Kate and Jen both graduated from law school and moved back in 2014. We basically hit the ground running from that point on. We spent a year developing recipes, we spent a year coming up with our fundraising plan, and we were home brewers. We had all homebrewed beforehand. We knew we liked beer. We definitely knew how to drink it and we were pretty okay at brewing it. We just took every single day that we had free and we just started doing beer. We worked on that, and then officially open for business in August of 2016.

[00:08:01] Samuel: That is amazing. It started off as a fun conversation at the bar, turned into a school assignment, then turned into a full functioning business?

[00:08:11] Betsy: Yes.

[00:08:12] Samuel: That is incredible. [laughs]

[00:08:13] Betsy: Yes, it's a little wild to think that that actually happened.

[00:08:16] Samuel: When you fully put it together like that, right?

[00:08:18] Betsy: Yes.

[00:08:19] Samuel: It makes sense because I've talked to a few people who like to homebrew as well. They always remember when they first started because they say there's no better satisfaction than when you get that first brew and you're like, "I made this." Then you start to share with people and they enjoy what you made. It's a feeling that you just want to continue to grow and grow and grow, and then eventually you have brick walls around you. [laughs]

[00:08:40] Betsy: Yes, totally. I remember the first batch of beer I ever brewed, and it was terrible. It was totally awful. It's just fun to think like, all right, you can go from just trying this thing out because it sounds cool to being able to put in-- Being able to put in the hours to make it something you're proud of is really cool. Home brewers do that just as much as any professional brewer. I think that's why I really love beer is because you can do the same process on a small scale as people who are doing it on a large scale and get the same satisfaction out of it.

[00:09:19] Samuel: That's amazing. You definitely manifested your dream, for sure. Lady Justice Brewing now, it's all coming together. The concept of Lady Justice is it is all female -ran. It benefits the female community of people that want to come up in the world. Tell us about how that all comes together, because I know that you guys are not really a all-for-profit brewery. You donate a lot, which is awesome. Tell us how that all came about.

[00:09:50] Betsy: Our mission is to donate 100% of profits over cost to Colorado organizations that support women and girls.

[00:10:02] Samuel: That's awesome.

[00:10:02] Betsy: That's our company's mission. We are fully philanthropic. We give money away in a few-- We've been trying out a few different things, but basically, when we started, we started with $20,000. We had enough for some small brew equipment and a tiny, tiny space. We started in a 300 square foot room that was inside of this abandoned car garage. We couldn't open up tap room because like five people could fit into our space. We did a community supported brewing model. We basically stole the CSA model which a lot of people in Colorado are familiar with. You basically buy into a share of a farm and you get what's reaped of that harvest.

We were like, "Well, what if we tried something like that with beer? We're in Denver, people get that." It totally worked. What we did for our first two years of operation was basically take out all the money that we needed to brew the beer from our CSB member sales. We sold the memberships upfront, so we had all the money to begin with. Let's brew all the beer, give it to our members, and then everything that's left over we're going to grant out through a granting process. We have a grant form that people can fill out.

We did that for the first two years, and then we grew out of that space. Now we're trying this thing where we have-- Our membership is growing, so now we're deciding on the organizations ahead of time. We'll pick two or three organizations and say, "This is what we're giving to you right now. If you want to be a part of this, buy a membership. A bunch of the money from the membership fee that your paying is going to go directly to these organizations." So far it has worked out really well.

[00:12:04] Samuel: That is awesome.

[00:12:05] Betsy: Yes, it's been really fun.

[00:12:06] Samuel: That means you're doing what you love and you're giving back. What better combination than that? That's really, really cool. Right now you guys are located inside Factotum Brew House?

[00:12:17] Betsy: Yes.

[00:12:19] Samuel: How did that come about? How did you get involved with them? Was it something that you just sought out and you asked, "Can we be in here?" Did they find you guys? How did that work?

[00:12:28] Betsy: We were literally bursting at the seams of our little 300 square foot office. We thought for a little while that maybe we could stay in that building and expand within that building, but we were subletting from a guy who also owned a different-- He owned a catering business and he wasn't quite ready to give more of that space up, which I totally understand. We were like, "Okay, so we need to find somewhere to go." We had met Laura and Chris at Factotum when we had first started. I think we first met them when we were launching our fundraising campaign in 2015.

Laura and Chris are a brother-sister duo and they're the co-founders of Factotum. Laura really just wanted to bring women in the brewing community together, who were in Denver. So she just had this day at the brewery where a bunch of women from the industry came and just hung out. It was just networking, telling our stories and just getting to know one another. That was the first time that we had really met anybody in the brewery industry. That had happened. We had known Chris and Laura and known Factotum for a couple years.

It was the funniest thing. We found out we were going to be without a space on a Monday, and we had spent the week just freaking out and not really sure what we were going to do and really thinking through all these options. I think by that Friday or Saturday, totally out of the blue got an email from Laura that was like, "Hey, I think I heard that maybe you guys are looking to expand soon. If you ever want to share the space with us, hey, let's talk about it."

[00:14:30] Samuel: Light bulb. [laughs]

[00:14:31] Betsy: Yes. Just before that had happened, two other breweries in Denver had joined under this alternating proprietorship license. It was this new idea, we're like, "Maybe two or three breweries could actually be under the same roof and still be legal in the space," because the licensure is really fuzzy.

[00:14:56] Samuel: That's interesting.

[00:14:56] Betsy: Yes. There's a lot of--

[00:14:58] Samuel: Gray laws here and there.

[00:14:59] Betsy: Yes. There's a lot of stuff you have to be able to work around to actually have two functioning breweries under one address.

[00:15:06] Samuel: Interesting. I've never thought of that before.

[00:15:08] Betsy: It's kind of a headache, and so most people would rather not do that because of the licensure, but Wit’s End and Strange had figured it out and had come together, so Laura was like, "Maybe somebody could come share space with us." She sent us an email, and I was like, "Actually, we were about to be homeless, so yes, let's talk," and it totally worked out. We moved in there almost exactly a year ago. We run the tap rooms there on Sundays and we brew there during the week. We have our equipment in there. Brew during the week, work the tap room on Sundays. We have usually two or three beers on tap at any given time. We still do our membership, so people come and pick up the beer from us.

[00:16:05] Samuel: Which is awesome.

[00:16:06] Betsy: Yes, it is awesome.

[00:16:07] Samuel: That's really awesome.

[00:16:08] Betsy: It was a good year. We had a year-long agreement with them. That's coming to an end, and instead of renewing that agreement, we decided that we're growing fast enough that we're actually going to go look for our own space.

[00:16:23] Samuel: Look at that, there you go. The saga continues.

[00:16:25] Betsy: We'll see. Yes. I have no idea where we're going, and I don't know when we will be somewhere.

[00:16:30] Samuel: That's the fun part, though, you know?

[00:16:32] Betsy: Yes. We're right on the edge of something new, so we'll see what happens.

[00:16:37] Samuel: That is awesome. Diving into a business like this, you went into it and you found your groove while walking through this field, which is awesome. When you were first starting off, when you guys had this idea and you were all thinking about this, did it make you nervous at all as an all-female group hopping into what is such a male-dominated field? Did you have those feelings of, "Are there other people like us out there that think the same, that could do the same?" What were the feelings behind that?

[00:17:08] Betsy: We knew that there weren't many women in the brewing industry at the time. When we were first getting started, so in 2014, we could not find a brewery in Colorado that was owned fully by women. There were breweries that were a husband-wife duo or some sort of business partnership.

[00:17:38] Samuel: That's a lot of breweries. [laughs]

[00:17:39] Betsy: Yes. There's just so many breweries, and there are even more now. We tried and we looked. We were like, "Surely there are breweries out there that are being completely run by women, because there were breweries everywhere being completely run by men, so it shouldn't be that far." [chuckles]

[00:17:59] Samuel: You would think, right?

[00:18:00] Betsy: It shouldn’t be such a novel concept.

[00:18:01] Samuel: Like, "Someone's had to think about this."

[00:18:02] Betsy: Yes. There were a few in the country. I think I could count on my hand what we could find of breweries that were owned solely by women. We think we were the first fully female-founded brewery in Colorado. We think, because we founded in 2014. Since then, as far as I know, there are three of us in Colorado that are fully female-owned. Holidaily Brewing and Brewability are both owned solely by women. We just did a photo shoot together a couple months ago for some Denver Life magazine, and it was super fun. When we were getting into it, we knew that this was new. I don't think I totally understood how either offended this would make people, or how important it was to people. Both of those things--

[00:19:08] Samuel: Did you feel like people would honestly get offended?

[00:19:11] Betsy: When we first started, we had no idea that it would be a thing. We knew we had something special with being a fully female-founded brewery, and we knew we had something special with the philanthropic piece of it, just in the fact that we were a social enterprise brewery. That was a new idea. Breweries have always been really philanthropic and super generous with time, and money, and donations, but what we hadn't seen yet in Colorado was a brewery whose sole mission was to be philanthropic. When we did our licensure for the state, we didn't even know if this was going to be legal. We had to call the state and be like, "Hey, can we do a community supported brewery model?"

They were like, "Honestly, I don't know. Just try it out, and we'll let you know when you start doing something illegal." We had a guy at the state who was an ally for us. When he would hear about stuff that Lady Justice is doing, he would check in and just let us know what we were allowed to do and what we weren't. There was a whole bunch of new stuff bubbling up that people, in general, seemed to be really excited about. The thing that a lot of people caught on to was the female only piece. Any interview that I've done or media attention that we've gotten, being female-owned seem to be way more of an interest point than being philanthropic, which I thought was just so funny.

[00:20:47] Samuel: "Oh my God, you're a girl." [laughs]

[00:20:48] Betsy: Yes, exactly. It's like, "I don't know. This is beer and you can drink it. I made it, but men also make it and you also drink that. What is the big deal?" What I also found is there were a lot of women in the brewing industry or women who wanted to brew, who didn't feel like they had the community or the support, or just the energy to go at it alone. We got a lot of inspiration from other women who were telling us like, "What you're doing actually is important to us. Please, don't stop." We were like, "Okay, this does mean something."

On the flip side of that is that every once in a while, this still happens today and it will probably happen until the end of time, we'll go to beer festivals, and we'll get guys who-- Usually it's the Saturday night of the beer festival at 9:30 at night, and they're not afraid to say what they really think. We'll get guys a lot who just say really stupid stuff. They won't try our beer because it's called Lady Justice. We'll get guys who are surprised-

[00:22:02] Samuel: That's crazy.

[00:22:03] Betsy: -to see us there. Always get guys who think we don't know how to tie up a keg, just stuff like that, the perception that women-- For some reason, because we're women, we just can't do stuff, which is the problem that we're having. Women all over the country, all over the world, are talking about this. It's not just a brewing issue.

[00:22:22] Samuel: You're still pushing ahead, which is awesome.

[00:22:23] Betsy: Yes, we're doing it.

[00:22:24] Samuel: Every step of the way. That's good, that's awesome. Speaking of community, this was a concept that was really cool that I researched about you guys, is the community supported brewery membership. You know how they say, "Denver is the Napa Valley of beer."

[laughter]

[00:22:41] Samuel: What I'm used to hearing about memberships and things like that, it's usually more associated with wine in my head. I've never thought about that with beer. That's really cool. How does that work?

[00:22:50] Betsy: The membership model was a newish idea. We totally stole it from the community supported agriculture model. Kate had been a CSA member with the farm for years, so it just made sense when we were trying to brainstorm. "Okay, we don't have enough room for a tap room. How do we get beer to people? We don't have the resources and the money right now to do any sort of large distribution. We have what we have, and how can we make this a thing?" We threw around a couple of ideas. Just so you know, you can't have a food truck full of beer. We're like, "What if we did a booze truck and people just came to the party?"

[00:23:34] Samuel: I've never thought about that.

[00:23:35] Betsy: The state was like, 'No, you can do that." [chuckles] We've asked many times.

[00:23:37] Samuel: No booze on wheels.

[00:23:39] Betsy: Yes, exactly. We landed on this community supported brewery idea. Basically, at first, we sold six-months memberships. People would buy a membership to get six months worth of beer. In the early days, it was a 22-ounce bomber of beer. Then, when we could, we tried really hard every month to do a 12-ounce bottle of a test batch that we were working on. For the most part, people got whatever 22 plus 12 is. They got 34 ounces of beer.

[00:24:24] Samuel: Somewhere around there. [chuckles]

[00:24:26] Betsy: Lots of beer. We gave them a sticker. People could come and pick up either Tuesday nights or Sundays. On the Sundays, we would brew whatever they were getting the next month. People who came in on, whatever it was, the third Sunday of the month, got to see what we're making for the next month. They were able to stop by, say hi, learn about the beer, ask questions, just hang out. It was naturally this very community-oriented model. We got to know our members really well.

Sometimes they'd bring their kids by or bring their dogs by and just say hi, and want to chat about, "Hey, I heard of this really cool nonprofit the other day. I think Lady Justice should give money to it." It was really collaborative and really community-focused. That very quickly became our intentional community and our focus on who we wanted to be as a brewery. We still have the model, we have continued it through. We do three-month memberships now. We have this cool crowler machine from Crowler Nation, also from Longmont, maybe.

[00:25:47] Samuel: Maybe so. [chuckles]

[00:25:49] Betsy: We do 32-ounce cans now. People can pick up on whatever Sunday they can come by and get it. It's really important to us to keep that membership model because those members are super invested in what we're doing. They still come by the tap room, they get a discount on Sundays in the tap room. They'll come and pick up their beer and then they'll sit at the bar and just hang out for a couple of hours and just chat. It feels like they're just part of the Lady Justice family.

[00:26:21] Samuel: All community. This business has started based off community, supported by the community, giving back to the community. What is not to love about this? That is awesome. Speaking of that, as well, you guys, I know, give to a couple of organizations that I saw. You've got ones like the Queens of Hip Hop, you've also got Girls Rock Denver, which are organizations that help uplift women, both of them focusing on some aspect of music. I thought that that was a cool trend. That's something that I wanted to ask you. Is there a trend there for a reason? Is there someone among the group that has a musical background?

[00:26:59] Betsy: Yes. Both Queens of Hip Hop and Girls Rock Denver were our recipients from this last membership round. We knew that we were going to give them money when we put those memberships on sale to the public. Girls Rock Denver has been a group that we've had our eye on for a long time. I am a partish-time musician. That's my other job.

I've known about Girls Rock for a long time. What they do is they have a summer camp every summer where girls come together and they get to learn from female musicians and female people who are running the sound, roadies and engineers and all this.

Anybody involved, any woman involved in the music industry that wants to be a part of this, they come to camp. These girls get to learn how to be in a band together, which is more than just learning about music. They learn music, but they also learn how to be in a group with other people in a way that's uplifting, and how to be on stage, because that's really scary, to be on stage and to perform, and what does that mean to do that with three or four other girls? It teaches leadership, it teaches self-esteem, self-confidence, stuff like that.

We've always wanted to give to them, we knew that. Then I had met the founder of Queens of Hip Hop and immediately fell in love with what she was doing. Queens of Hip Hop basically is all about cultivating a positive hip hop culture for women. They do that through music and dance primarily. We just knew that we had wanted to support these two organizations. We were like, "Hey, what if we just made our focus on this round of membership to be all about music?" We just ran with it and it was super fun.

[00:29:04] Samuel: Beer and music go great together, right? [laughs]

[00:29:05] Betsy: Yes, exactly. It was just fun to be able to focus on something. Our labels, which we got through StickerGiant, I have a friend who's an artist, she's an illustrator in Brooklyn, and I asked her to design our label, and so she put this really cool-- The label is this really cool girl-- Do you have it? I thought you were reaching for it. This really cool all-female band performing. We just had a lot of fun with it. We just totally ran with it. It was fun. The round that we did before was all about community involvement and focused around voting rights and community voice.

The organizations that we supported through that one were all about getting women and girls involved in the community either through voting or through-- We bought civics textbooks for a high school class in Colorado Springs. We're testing this idea of like, "What if we pick a theme and see if we can sell memberships based off of this theme, to get different people excited about different aspects," so that we're not always giving to the same type of organization or that we're able to have fun with it.

[00:30:31] Samuel: These type of proceeds they get donated, this is based solely off the memberships. You guys have so many layers to what you donate, because you have the actual brewery itself that you're making, and of course, you retain enough to keep the brewery running, but then the profits go to causes. Then you have memberships that people are getting an awesome service out of that, but then you're taking those funds and you're putting it towards different causes. You guys just have so many layers of giving, which is amazing.

I'm sure you guys have had no problem growing this brand, but just like every brand, you guys have now put it together, you have this logo, you have this sticker, you've got labels. Since putting all of that into a logo and a sticker, how has that worked for you guys? Is every person that's coming by, they're grabbing a sticker, are they sticking them on their cars? Have you seen a change at all since unleashing this new branding technique?

[00:31:31] Betsy: Yes. We started with stickers from the get-go. I think stickers were our first piece of merch that we bought. We got them from StickerGiant. We just have the coolest logo. I had nothing to do with the logo.

[00:31:47] Samuel: I love your logo. [chuckles] It looks like the Statue of Liberty, but with the holding a beer bottle.

[00:31:51] Betsy: It's so cool.

[00:31:52] Samuel: It's classic. I absolutely love it.

[00:31:53] Betsy: Yes. A friend of a friend of Kate's in Maine, because Kate went to law school in Maine, designed this for us. I just fell in love with it immediately. It has all these cool colors, so we can pull from the colors when we want to do different whatever. When we're doing our labels, I'm like, "Okay. What colors should the typeface be on the beer name? Well, this blue in her fist looks really cool, so let's use that." The only big change that we made, the original logo-- The lady on here is Lady Justice. If you've ever seen the Lady Justice statue, she's blindfolded and she has the scales up in one hand and a sword down in the other.

The person who designed this got rid of the scales in the left hand and put in a beer bottle, but she had kept the sword, the sword of justice. We had a long talk about it and we decided, "Let's take the sword out of her hand, let's not make this a sword of justice thing, let's just give her a fist." This logo is just so easy to put on a sticker, it's so easy to put on a label. It jumps out at people, people love it. It looks really good in black and white too. Stickers were just such an easy way to go.

Then, when we did our first labels, we went with a white label, white as the background, and we went with the matte finishing, which looked super classy. We really fell in love with that. Because when we do our memberships-- We didn't have the budget to be able to make each beer its own label. We had a general label that we would put on each bottle, and then we would tag with an actual paper tag and a stamp-

[00:33:48] Samuel: So you know which one is which. Wow.

[00:33:49] Betsy: -with the beer. Yes. We've always had a great time with the labeling and the marketing of this, just because it's just such a cool logo and it's so easy to slap on a sticker. Our members, they get their own stickers. They get Lady Justice brewing CSB membership sticker that they get to have at the beginning of everything. The labeling and the marketing is always a fun part for me. My undergrad was in digital media, so I really like looking at this stuff and playing with it. We'll do stickers forever. Now we do the-- What are they? Are they the Kiss Cut?

[00:34:33] Samuel: Yes. The ones that--

[00:34:33] Betsy: They're totally outlined.

[00:34:35] Samuel: You have your sticker that is resting on a white background, so it helps stack them and so forth. You guys also have Die Cuts as well.

[00:34:44] Betsy: Yes, okay. We've done both, yes.

[00:34:46] Samuel: The Die Cuts, I'm sure that those are the ones that you guys pass out frequently, and I'm sure those go into the membership boxes and so forth.

[00:34:53] Betsy: Membership boxes, and we give them away for free in the tap room because we love-- There's been a few times where I've been driving--

[00:35:00] Samuel: Have you seen it out in the wild?

[00:35:01] Betsy: Yes, I've seen it out in the wild.

[00:35:01] Samuel: Nice.

[00:35:02] Betsy: We caught the “Lady J in the wild”, we'll snap pictures when we see the sticker at different places. Our members will put them on the back of their car. Somebody sent me a picture or posted on Facebook the other day of their laptop. They have stickers all over the laptop, but front and center was the Lady J sticker. She lives in Dallas, so I was like, "Hey, that's pretty cool."

[00:35:24] Samuel: There you go.

[00:35:25] Betsy: Yes. People will see the stickers out and about and always tell us about it because it's exciting to them too.

[00:35:31] Samuel: It is. Your business, your story, your sticker, it's more than just a logo, it's a statement, it's a mission. When people see that, it stands for more than just trying to promote another beer. I think that's amazing what you guys have built here.

[00:35:49] Betsy: Yes. We'll get people who will see that logo-- This happened the other day. I had a friend text me and be like, "I saw somebody wearing a Lady J sweatshirt on an airplane that I was on in Virginia." I was like, "That's the coolest thing I've ever heard. That's awesome."

[00:36:07] Samuel: Other side of the country.

[00:36:08] Betsy: Yes. Any means that we can use to get people excited about Lady Justice is always really good for us, and labeling and stickers are such a huge piece of that pie for us.

[00:36:21] Samuel: That's amazing. As far as the future of Lady Justice, do you have anything in mind? I know right now you guys are probably taking it day by day, just trying to-- You have a lot on your plate to deal with. I know the next step is trying to get your own brick and mortar. Do you have aspirations of trying to go outside of Denver, outside of Colorado?

[00:36:43] Betsy: Maybe. Yes. Our immediate next step is to find our next location and have that be a long-term location for us, we're hoping. We're hoping wherever we go next will be where we stick around for a few years. From that, it's building our taproom space up a little bit more. We know we have our members who will come by every week, so we're looking forward to just expanding the community-

[00:37:13] Samuel: That's awesome.

[00:37:14] Betsy: -and getting the foot traffic and all of that. Then, after that, maybe a little bit of distribution in Denver, Colorado area. We all work full-time jobs outside of this, so until we get to a point-- Which I don't think we're too far from, but we're not there yet. Until we get to a point where at least one of us is doing this as their full-time job, we'll stay pretty local and focus on our membership model.

[00:37:38] Samuel: That's awesome. For the guests who are tuning in, can you tell us really quick again where exactly Factotum Brew House is so they know where to find you?

[00:37:46] Betsy: Yes. It's the Sunnyside neighborhood of Denver. We're at 38th & Lipan, which is just a couple of blocks northwest of the I-25 to 70 interchange.

[00:37:56] Samuel: Awesome. Well, there you have it, folks. You heard an amazing story here with Betsy from Lady Justice Brewing. Thank you so much for coming here and spending time with us.

[00:38:04] Betsy: Yes, it was fun.

[00:38:05] Samuel: I look forward to coming by and trying some of that beer. [laughs]

[00:38:07] Betsy: Heck, yes. It's too early to give it to you now.

[00:38:10] Samuel: Right.

[00:38:11] Betsy: Breakfast beer, brunch beer, that's a thing.

[00:38:13] Samuel: Is this mic still on?

[laughter]

[00:38:17] Samuel: Thank you. Take care.

[00:38:18] Betsy: You too.

[music]

[00:38:19] Announcer: That wraps up this episode of Stickers On the Mic, brought to you by stickergiant.com. You can download us on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, SoundCloud, or your favorite podcatcher. If you enjoy what you're hearing, please leave us a review. It helps us reach new listeners and share our customers' sticker stories. If you're inspired to create your own stickers or labels, head over to stickergiant.com to check out our options and use the coupon "podcast" to take 20% off your first item. Thanks again for listening to Stickers On the Mic.

[00:38:56] [END OF AUDIO]

 

 

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