Today we’d like to introduce you to Cassie Valenciano.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Cassie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Well it’s truly been a journey to get here and I’m thankful for every twist and turn along the way. After graduating FIDM LA as a Communications major, I thought I landed my dream job out of college as a Wedding Planner- it wasn’t necessarily what I had dreamed of and eventually found myself in the beer industry. Not being a beer lover prior, I learned so much about the science of beer and the history behind the boom of San Diego’s craft beer scene, while working for yeast Mecca, White Labs. I worked my way up and naturally grew into a marketing position, running events local to San Diego and major events across parts of the U.S. This is when I claim my love for craft beer truly blossomed along with my passion for marketing and social media. I remember when they first had me running their social media pages- I always had some out of the box idea and they allowed me to just run with it and bring my ideas to life.
White Labs truly established a foundation for my marketing career and I’m forever grateful. At one point in my life, I had the urge to travel so after my time at White Labs, I managed events across the country for almost 2 years. Living out of a suitcase, in hotels, and off to a different city and state each week. I kept my love for craft beer alive by visiting as many breweries as I could. Sometimes it meant venturing on my own but I enjoyed it and was quick to make new beer friends. But the road life gets lonely after a while, and not to mention, I had a new puppy I hated being away from. So while being back home in San Diego, it was a coincidence I ran into an old friend who worked for a brewery and it just so happened they were looking for a marketing gal.
I served as the Director of Communications for Abnormal Co. managing marketing efforts for Abnormal Beer Co., their wine side, and the restaurant The Cork & Craft. I came on at an interesting and challenging time of transition but it quickly became my entire life. I wore many hats- marketing, events, and started the growth into Orange County hauling kegs in the back of my Jeep. They were my beer family and I was somewhat of a team mom, keeping us in line and on track. The most influential part that stays with me the most, is starting the beer membership program from the ground up.
Going off absolutely nothing, it became something beer lovers wanted to be a part of. There are always kinks the first go around, but there was a lot of heart and dedication put into that program. At one point I knew all 160+ members by their first and last names and that was because I wanted to get to know each and every one of them.
My time with Abnormal was anything but normal and I am thankful for every experience- every stressful deadline for marketing a new beer release, every beer festival, every social media post, and every person I’ve had the pleasure to share a beer with. Working in the beer industry has been a dream. Seeing their growth on social media alone has been a testament to what I am capable of. It sparked something in me to do more and be able to help more breweries and busy small businesses grow… So here we are now- the birth of my own marketing company, The Craft Cooperative.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Haha, definitely not! Starting your own business is terrifying. I feel that no one really shares the trials and tribulations we experience. There are really good days where you feel like you’re accomplishing so much and other days you’re literally thinking to yourself, “What the heck is going on?” If I could give advice to anyone starting their own business… I would have SO much to say! But a few major things would be to give yourself some credit, celebrate your wins (big or small), don’t give up, and to always be your biggest cheerleader.
Please tell us more about your work.
The Craft Cooperative was started out of inspiration from working with so many awesome breweries and cool people in the beer industry. I realized I had a knack for bringing people together, organizing some great collabs, and growing a business by the power of social media. Although it started with beer, The Craft Cooperative has evolved and collaborated with different industries and individuals, all working toward the same goal- GROWTH.
I am extremely passionate about helping people and their businesses grow by improving their marketing strategies. I specialize in social media strategy, branding, content creation, graphic design, and customer experiences. I believe the passion I have for this sets me apart and it’s the core of any strong brand. I’m here to help you creatively tell your story and build lasting connections with your consumers. (while giving each other high fives every step of the way)
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I was working a full-time/over-time/all-the-time job when I decided to start my business and do it as a side hustle. I just had the mindset that I was going to do it and make it work. I wouldn’t and couldn’t have done anything differently. It’s never the perfect time to choose when you want to do something. You kind of just have to take that leap of faith and hope you don’t fall.
- Website: www.thecraftcooperative.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @thecraftcooperative
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecraftcoop/