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Meet Tracy Lawler of EZ Pour Drinks in Santee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tracy Lawler.

Tracy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My 17-year-old daughter passed away in 2006. I was a personal trainer at the time but was no longer able to function, let alone work. I lost my marriage, job, filed a complete bankruptcy and was diagnosed with Melanoma Cancer for the 2nd time all within 6 months of her passing.

I met my husband (remarried in 2013) and in 2009 his neighbor at the time was having a Halloween Party and rented a Margarita machine. I was not working still but had a settlement coming from the woman that killed my daughter from a Civil Suit. She also was criminally charged and went to prison for 6 years. (not a DUI related incident) My husband (then boyfriend) looked at me at the Halloween Party and said, “You need to do this” and pointed to a Margarita machine. So, the next day he began the research on what it would take to start renting out frozen drink machines. He found a business out of Dallas, Texas and once I received money from the civil suit, I purchased 2 machines and everything needed to start EZ Pour Drinks.

I began renting out machines in 2010. I started out with 2 machines and currently have a total of 6 machines.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I began this business with absolutely no idea how the machines worked. I was in law enforcement prior to becoming a personal trainer! So, I was “green” from the beginning. I had never run a business before and I found myself learning as I went.

My very first party, the customer called me and said the machine was not working. I drove back to the party to find it had frozen completely. I had absolutely no idea why or what to do! I was finally able to unclog the tube the drinks came out of and it began working. Then, when I was driving to go pick the machine up I blew a tire on my trailer on the highway. A car pulled up next to me and said, “You have sparks flying off your tire”! I had to call the customer and he understood and was ok with me picking up the following day. I sat on the roadside for 3 hours! If something was able to go wrong on that first party, it did!

I can honestly say, I really have had a good time running EZ Pour Drinks. If there are any struggles, it comes from a machine breaking down during a party. In most cases, if that happens, I refund the money. If it is possible to get them another machine for the party, I do that. They are commercial machines and have wear and tear issue’s that are unavoidable even with keeping up the maintenance on them.

Please tell us about EZ Pour Drinks.
EZ Pour Drinks is a frozen drink machine rental company. I have commercial machines that I deliver to parties and events that come on a rolling cart with a nice skirt around the cart. They are completely self-contained and fit anywhere. I provide everything with the machine EXCEPT the alcohol. You receive the commercial machine on the cart/skirt, 1 mix (3-5 gallons), 66 cups, 66 straws, laminated directions for a 2nd mix, an extension cord if needed and delivery/set up. The machines can accommodate alcohol and non-alcohol parties.

When a customer calls and wants to book a machine, I tell them everything I provide and that all they need to do is have the alcohol available for me when I arrived and I will do everything. It’s as simple as turning off the machine off at the end of the party and I will pick it up the next day! Also, once the party is booked, the customer receives a Confirmation/ Reservation email that reserves the date/time for them and has how much alcohol is needed for the mix of their choice. No deposits and payment are due upon arrival!

I believe I conduct business with the utmost integrity and that is what makes me so successful. Since I began my business, I have only had 1 party that I forgot and did not show up at. I was devastated! I spoke to the customer and apologized and promised him the next party they had I would GIVE them a machine for free. So, when he was having another party several months later he called me. I honored my promise and they had a machine for free. He told me he honestly did not believe I would do that for them. But, I pride myself on my word.

I believe Customer Service is the most important piece of the service I provide. I get to meet people with every delivery and talk to them while I am setting everything up. I get to know them in those few minutes and get invited to come back to parties all the time! Many times, I give the customer a hug when I am leaving and I believe no one gives the customer service I do and THAT’S what sets me apart!

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I began doing gymnastics when I was 11 years old with an organization called SOKOL. I competed for the very first time in a huge competition in the “Advanced Level”. It was a big meet outdoors on a football field. It wasn’t your traditional gymnastics (floor exercise, balance beam,etc). There were about 6 or 7 different things to complete on and the scores were added up to have the winner. You did not see your scores at all so you never knew where you stood in the competition.

That evening there was a big banquet for all the competitors and there parents. The awards were given out that night and I won 1st place in the competition and received my first gold medal in competition. That was in 1976 and I still have the medal!

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