| Emily Weall

‘Ginpreneurs’ Camilla Brown & Liz Berwick discuss CollaGin & Future Products

A gin that not only tastes great but promises to boost collagen? Where do we sign up?! Dubbed the ‘beauty drink du jour’, CollaGin is the world’s first collagen-infused spirit. It’s hard to believe that a such a wondrous product melding the beauty and alcoholic drinks industries hasn’t already been created. So is this new drink the real-life elixir of youth? We spoke to CollaGin founders, and ‘ginpreneurs’, Camilla Brown and Liz Berwick, to find out more.

After working together at a PR agency, Camilla and Liz found themselves working together on a PR stunt in early 2016. They created 50 bottles of collagen infused gin for a client – which rocked the world whilst never actually being on sale and therefore led to great demand. Camilla and Liz quickly realised that turning their ‘cool and fun’ concept into an actual product for sale was – as Camilla claims ‘a no-brainer, it had to be made into reality’. This led to the creation of Young in Spirit in May 2016 and became so time-consuming as there were countless meetings with designers that had to be fitted in around agency hours, that the ladies quit their jobs and threw themselves head first into making Young in Spirit and CollaGin what it is today.

The collagen itself is added to the spirit at the 100% distilled alcohol stage, which means that the collagen isn’t broken down by the liquid and therefore won’t affect the colour, texture, flavour or smell of the gin. This means that it is an effective alternative to taking collagen tablets – and probably tastes a lot better too!

Each 50cl contains 100ml of pure collagen and the 11 chosen botanicals focus on rejuvenation including star anise, pink grapefruit and fresh Orange.

What Camilla and Liz stress is that at the end of the day, alcohol is alcohol. They are not promising that you are going to look 10 years younger after drinking a load of G&T’s the night before – because that is clearly untrue and they strive not to ‘pull the wool over anyone’s eyes’ but if you are going to drink gin (and figures show you may well be, as gin sales increased by 12% last year alone) then you may as well drink a gin that has the added benefit of collagen that also ‘tastes dreamy.’

At first glance you may think that this is a perfume – as the ladies worked with designers to create a chic look to the product along the lines of Coco Chanel, Jo Malone and Chanel No. 5, but once customers taste what is inside the bottle they realise ‘that this is not a gimmick, and it’s really bloody good gin.’

Surprisingly, Setting up a business together was never something Camilla and Liz had planned, they just stumbled across an idea and realised that if it was going to work then they had to work rapidly and arrange 6am meeting so as they could work and become self-titled ‘Ginpreneurs’

Running a business with a friend has some major benefits according to the ladies at Young in Spirit, they don’t have to commute to work to ‘sit in an office with people they either don’t know or don’t like’ – they can just sit around the dining room table in their activewear after having a mid-morning yoga session. It also means that after time off they don’t need to throw themselves back into work straight away – when we spoke to the ladies, Liz had just returned from her honeymoon after coincidentally getting married on World Gin Day!

Throughout the process of setting up Young in Spirit and CollaGin, there have been many critics along the way – and continue to this day to have people tell them that their business can’t and won’t work – however Camilla and Liz are such strong-minded businesswomen that they have conducted every bit of research possible and have a background in PR, which they feel is essential to have ‘a good product that lots of people have heard about, as opposed to either a bad product everyone has heard of or a good product that no one has heard about’

When asked if they had any advice for any budding entrepreneurs, Gin related or not, the Young in Spirit ladies said that the best advice they can give is to just ‘go out and do it, and think about it later’ because if you think about it and all the factors that you may have to take into consideration, then you will become overwhelmed and not want to even start. The second stand out point of advice the ladies gave was to get rid of anyone negative from your circle, anyone who says that you can’t achieve what you are striving for or shows any sign of jealousy and to only surround yourself with positive people. Camilla and Liz knew their families and friends were completely backing Young in Spirit and CollaGin when they weren’t questioned about leaving their safe jobs in PR to set up a new business.

Having a business mentor is crucial, and Young in Spirit’s mentor Mike Green – who has been featured on Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire, claims that once you have become an entrepreneur and worked for yourself, you will find it impossible to go back to working for someone else.

As Christmas rapidly approaches, keep your eyes peeled for gift sets and mini bottles and not long after that Young in Spirit will be launching new flavours, these are most likely going to be unique and quirky, as Camilla and Liz have developed this style after working in a PR agency for so long.


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