Women introduce liquor to appeal to women

3 local friends find feminine side of marketing Vixen Vodka

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ROSWELL, Ga. – LeeAnn Maxwell, Jennifer Policky and Carrie King are three fast friends who met at Crossfit, a fitness center in Roswell, and now have become partners in what has been thought traditionally a man’s business – making and marketing liquor.

But they have taken it on themselves to launch Vixen Vodka, a drink they say is classy, sassy and sexy.

“It all started when we went on a trip together and we all brought the same vodka to drink. So we started saying we should own stock in this. But it planted an idea that we should create a brand that would appeal to women,” King, their company’s marketing director, said.

Hitting the shelves just in time to make a splash for the holidays, Vixen Vodka is five-times distilled and smoothly crafted just for them by a small distillery in Colorado. It is also a corn-based, gluten-free vodka in a nod to women who are careful about their diet.

Most of the marketing of liquor, like beer, targets men, especially the bourbons, whiskies and scotch. What made these women – one from Roswell, one from Alpharetta and one from East Cobb – decide they could crack such a male-dominated industry?

“Very little attention is paid by marketers to women,” said King. “But women make up 50 percent of the planet, and they make 85 percent of the family purchasing decisions. You do the math.”

So they designed a vodka that would appeal to women – smooth in taste, mixes well and comes in flavors as well.

“We created Vixen Vodka to be a brand not just a product. Something that stood for the qualities we hope to inspire in others – strength, independence, courage, sass and a lust for life,” King said.

Asked what gave them the courage to tackle such a macho industry, King said it was simple.

“Hey, we’re smart, we’re savvy and we’re Southern Atlanta women,” she said. “Why couldn’t we do it? We have marketing experience, we have sales experience, we have public relations know-how.”

LeeAnn Maxwell agreed, saying there is a great opportunity for Vixen Vodka out there.

“The truth is, it was a market waiting for us to happen. We realized there was no vodka out there that specifically targets or ‘talks’ to a woman,” said Maxwell.

The women say they made Vixen Vodka to reflect themselves, because they are the demographic they are seeking to capture.

The three Vixen ladies are in their 30s, 40s and 50s, one single, one married, one divorced – with children and without. So they expect to attract women of all ages, but their target is women over 28.

“Our brand is memorable, flirty, fun and strong. And so are the three of us,” said Maxwell.

And in less than two years, Vixen Vodka has gone from an idea to bottles on the shelves in north metro stores such as Total Wine in Alpharetta. And that is strong, too.