“Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is an opportunity for me to rise.” – Kobe Bryant

I’m from Southern California, born & bred. Like many of my fellow Californians, Kobe has had an immense impact on me since childhood. I admired his Mamba Mentality – the ability to execute in the clutch; the relentless dedication to achieve his goals. After basketball, I looked up to him for his tenacity in the universes of business and art, where he invested in a multitude of successful companies and even won an Oscar just a few years after retiring. I literally only have 4 posters in my room, and 2 of them are of Kobe.

As we’re experiencing the first Kobe Day (8/24) since the legend passed earlier this year, I wanted to share how the example he set has inspired our team at BOMANI to earn success through all of the unpredictable hurdles that 2020 has thrown our way.

We launched a company during a global pandemic, so we have certainly already experienced our fair share of pressure and challenges. First, all product samplings were banned. As unbiased as I can be in saying this, BOMANI tastes really good, and samplings were an important tool for us. In fact, when samplings were allowed, we were able to sell out of a store’s inventory within the window of the sampling!

Second, events were cancelled or postponed until further notice. This one hurt, too – we had working deals in place to serve BOMANI in major sports stadiums, world-famous music festivals, a long list of concert venues, and more.

Finally, brunch spots, our crown jewel, were largely forced to shutter their doors or restrict their offerings to only delivery for a few months.

In the face of all of this negativity, we found opportunities to rise.

We found an opportunity to invest in our friends and peers who were unable to earn their wages as shelter-in-place started. Within days of bars and restaurants closing, we committed to a partnership with the USBG, where we reflect BOMANI’s 5.7% ABV by donating 5.7% of our net proceeds to the Bartender’s Emergency Assistance Program.

We found an opportunity to listen to everyone who loves BOMANI to learn about how we could help use BOMANI as a bright spot during these uncertain times, whether it’s in-home brunches, creative cocktails, and more. On that note, we found opportunities to begin working with brunch spots for outdoor dining and delivery.

We found an opportunity to lend a helping hand to our wonderful retailers. For example, Joe, our Field Sales Manager in New York, spent hours restocking shelves at a retailer when he learned from the manager that they were understaffed.

We found an opportunity to make a stand against systemic racism, both by donating to the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund and using our voice across platforms to share educational materials.

We found an opportunity to invest in one another, acting on our belief that the team is the single most critical aspect of a business. We believe that a team should be a group of individuals who feel empowered by one another; a collection in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. By normalizing honest & vulnerable conversations, we have built a culture with strong fundamentals centered around empowerment. We have learned that by empowering our talented people and rewarding their courage and creativity, we can retain our talent and continue to grow together.

It’s no secret that 2020 has put substantial pressure on the business world, challenging us week after week – and I could not be more proud of how our team has managed to create opportunities in the midst of all the negativity. We’ve expanded into 33 states (9 on-shelves and 33 online), earned key authorizations at retailers such as Whole Foods, Total Wine, BevMo!, Wegmans, Draeger’s, Lucky’s, and more. We’ve strategically grown our business to earn notable success month over month, and with all that we’ve got coming up this Fall, I can confidently say that we’re just getting started.

I’ll end this with one last opportunity that we found: investing in our business. Let’s just say that Amin has been extremely busy preparing for the Fall (hint hint – he’s our Chief of PRODUCT & Design).