What is the London Sessions?
The London Sessions are about returning the importance of 'people' to hospitality. We want to encourage discussion and set the precedent for a different kind of education - The kind that can shape people's minds, careers and ultimately - their lives. We've lined up some of the nicest and most influential people in the bar industry to share their stories with us and you. The London Sessions are going to be as accessible as possible and as such will be open to everyone to attend - from bar backs to bar owners and everyone in between.
How long have you been doing what you do?
I started working in bars when I was 16, in cloakrooms, flyering and selling tickets. I started bartending at 18 - pulling pints and making spirit mixers (never cocktails), and then started behind the scenes when I was about 21. I've settled now in marketing, PR and events. So, 12 years total. Which is kind of scary.
When did you have your eureka moment?
For The London Sessions, it was over dinner with Tomas (Estes). We got to talking about the importance of stories, and how cool it would be to organise events where people's stories could be shared. That was the eureka moment. I shared the idea with a couple of friends and their reactions told me we were on to a good thing.
How did you start it?
Pretty much as soon as we had the idea it started gaining traction. Gareth and I discussed it when I was on the bus home from dinner. I was kind of drunk but still managed to explain it, and I spoke to Simon the next day. I wrote a list of all the people we wanted to speak at the events, and started sending the messages explaining the idea. They all said yes. Simon, Gareth & Tomas offered their venues, and The London Sessions were born. Everything's been communicated over social media because... it's free and we have no money. If you want to give us some money please send me an email. We take all forms of payment, including alcohol.
Big up someone that you've met along the way!
I don't technically remember meeting him as I was about 1, but my little brother is the best person I know. Plus he's proof reading this for me.
Advice for other people looking to start their own thing?
Just do it. You can spend a lot of time waiting for the perfect moment, but you might not get that. You have to take risks and if it scares you, it'll likely reward you tenfold. Have great people around you who'll big you up if you succeed and still big you up if you fail. And don't be afraid to keep trying, even when it's really tough and you want to give up. Even when you're sat at home with a broken TV and no internet and you don't have enough money to order Dominos. Theoretically.
If you had a superpower what would it be?
To play pool really well.
What's been your biggest achievement?
I'm proud of myself for what I've achieved; building a career with no formal training or further education.
Who would play you in a movie?
I rarely watch films, so I asked Gareth and he said Christina Ricci because 'she's dark'.
Tell us something amazing about the Drinks Industry?
All the people you expect to be dicks, are never the dicks. The most talented, successful people tend to be the most lovely, it's the other ones you need to look out for.
Do you have any Quirky/OCD Rituals?
I get scared before anything that involves public speaking. A few days prior the sleepless nights start, and I always leave the preparation til the last minute, because there's a little voice in my head saying I can't do it. It screws me up every time, but I'm trying to overcome that fear.
Other brands you respect?
Maverick Drinks because of what Michael Vachon has achieved off his own back. Ocho Tequila because it's delicious and I respect what they do. Dead Rabbit for making themselves a brand and not just a bar. The Social Company because I feel like they've created their brand of drinks.
Can I say beer? Beer.
If you had to make BarChick a drink what would you make?
I would send you to the bar to ask someone who can make drinks to make you a drink, and ask you to get me a beer whilst you're there.