A former Mayer, Brown & Platt attorney and McDonald’s Corporation corporate strategist, MARA SMITH switched gears and founded Inspiro Tequila. Interested in the clean, gluten-free beverage, Smith searched for an additive-free brand with an appealing look, taste, and aroma. Not finding the perfect tequila, she decided to create one. She not only crafted an ultra-premium smooth and sippable tequila but she brought a female voice to the spirits industry. Women are involved in every aspect of Inspiro Tequila’s process from creating the taste profiles to getting bottles on the shelves. As a female founder, Smith’s mission is to inspire and support other women on their entrepreneurial journeys through financial support and mentoring. Here is how this spirited entrepreneur stays on-trend.
ON HER NIGHTSTAND
“I really enjoy business founders’ stories and I just read Believe It by Jamie Kern Lima. It is fascinating to see how other women got started and I always appreciate when they share their ups and downs. As marketing is a whole new area for me, I read a lot of books about marketing strategy. Most recently I read They Ask You Answer by Marcus Sheridan. This book provided practical advice for building a digital marketing strategy and it helped me prioritize an e-mail strategy for Inspiro Tequila. Since traveling more lately, I have been indulging in the book Not All Diamonds and Rosé by Dave Quinn on my plane rides. It’s an inside scoop on all of the Real Housewives shows. It’s just what I need for a little downtime in between the nonstop startup grind.”
ON HER MOBILE
“Generally, I seek tips on how to do things better in business and at home. I subscribe to a number of newsletters that I find really informative. Nik Sharma’s weekly newsletter provides great guidance on marketing in the consumer product world. Nik is a marketing prodigy. I also enjoy David Greenfeld’s, founder of Dream Pops, weekly Ice Cream Sundays newsletter. He is a master of collaborations, and he shares his strategies. In addition, I don’t keep up on social media regularly, but I do find a lot of great information on LinkedIn. There are so many women who offer wonderful insights—Ali Webb, Kara Goldin, and Jaime Schmidt are just a few.”
IN HER EARBUDS
“I listen to a lot of podcasts. I try to get through as many as possible by listening on double speed. You can learn about a wide array of topics. Some of my favorites are Entreprenista, Founder’s Journal, and Dear FoundHer. Clearly, I like to hear other founders tell their stories. In my car, I listen to music. I have an eclectic taste. People are always surprised that I enjoy Eminem. I listen to his music when I need an energy boost. My feel-good go-to is ’80s music, and I’ll usually torture my family by singing along. Sting is my all-time favorite musician and listening to him always puts me in a good mood.”