Today we’d like to introduce you to Liz McCray.
Liz, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am the founder of Bloody Mary Obsessed and Brunch Bus SD! I am originally a Boston girl (go pahk ya cah in the havad yahd), and I have lived all over the country the last 10 years: Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, finally landing in San Diego! It’s been quite the journey!
Since I was six years old, I have loved tomatoes! I started drinking V8 and Campbell’s tomato juice straight from the bottle, and I ate tomatoes like apples, despite serious ridicule from my peers! As I grew into an adult, I became obsessed with bloody marys; hence the name Bloody Mary Obsessed.
Much like many of my foodie/blogger friends, I started my blog and Instagram to connect and share my experiences since I really didn’t know anyone here in SD. I also just wanted to feel a sense of independence; to have something that was mine.
Fast forward a year and a half later, and now I am consistently invited into restaurants to try their bloody marys and brunch, traveled around the country to judge bloody mary competitions and made money through my Instagram creating content for brunch and bloody-related companies! It truly has been a wild ride!
Recently, I decided to evolve Bloody Mary Obsessed into more of a brunch lifestyle brand that also features food, events, and collaborations, with clothing and swag coming soon!
Brunch Bus SD is a party bus concept that I launched this summer that travels to different restaurants in Temecula, OC, and North County with unlimited brunch cocktails and a brunch meal! It’s a great way for San Diegans to get out of the city and explore new restaurants without the worry of having to drive, and get to meet fellow brunch aficionados!
I am so thankful for the amazing connections and relationships I’ve made in the bloody mary and foodie community, coupled with the support of my amazing husband who has become my unofficial editor and chief! Without who, I wouldn’t be where I am today!
I don’t take for granted how lucky I have been that all my hard work has afforded me these unexpected opportunities and that I get to do something that I love as my job! I truly hope that the Bloody Mary Obsessed blog and Instagram have provided value to my readers/followers because it has given me so much!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Oh god, no. First of all, starting over 4 times in 10 years has been an incredible experience, but it is also like having the rug pulled out from underneath you over and over. I’ve worked since I was 14 years old and worked full-time since the day I graduated high school to support myself.
I’ve been let go from jobs, laid off, or been unhappy working for someone else, which lead me to finally go into business for myself. It was scary as hell, but I knew it was something I had to do. Aside from Bloody Mary Obsessed, I own my own eco-friendly cleaning business! I have a ton of flexibility to pursue Bloody Mary Obsessed, and I actually get a lot of my ideas while cleaning!!
When I first started BMO, I had no clue how to make a website, and I was terrible at taking pictures (honestly, still working on this). Also, I’ve been over-ambitious when it comes to events! I thought I could launch 3 different monthly event series at the same time and quickly found out I was in way over my head.
I was losing hours of sleep nightly over ticket sales and incredibly stressed. I realized failure is just a part of the journey, and let go of two of the events to focus on Brunch Bus! One of my favorite quotes is, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” by Wayne Gretzky. I’m glad I had the grit and ambition to go for it and hope to revisit them down the road!
Please tell us about Bloody Mary Obsessed.
Bloody Mary Obsessed is a resource for San Diegans and beyond to find the best bloody marys, new brunch restaurants, and upcoming brunch related events! On the blog, we also provide hand-crafted recipes using some of our favorite bottled mixes! Bloody Mary Obsessed also gives people behind the scenes look into the life of a foodie.
I believe a niche like bloody marys and having an active blog where my readers not only get in-depth reviews of bloody marys, but stories about my experiences have set me apart. I love to paint the picture so my readers and followers can feel like they are sharing in the experience with me!
Brunch Bus is a unique experience that I hadn’t really seen anybody else doing, so I decided to run with it. It’s a great opportunity to explore brunch spots outside of San Diego and get to meet new people who share your affinity for brunch, exploration, and fun times.
I’m most proud of the tremendous growth I’ve experienced in the last few years. I’ve learned so much on this journey about myself, about business, other people, success, and failure.
I’m also very proud to work with so many incredible small businesses to invite my readers and followers to give them a try. When someone sends me a picture of a bloody mary from a place that I recommended, it makes my heart happy, and I feel like I’ve done my job!
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I don’t think I would’ve done anything differently. All the failures and struggles I’ve had, have taught me so much and put me in a better position to move forward with a clear vision and purpose.
I guess if I had to go back and give myself some advice, I would just tell myself to reign it in sometimes. Focus my energy on doing a few things really well, rather than trying to do a million things all at once! Oh, and hire an accountant (still don’t have one)!!!
- Website: www.bloodymaryobsessed.com
- Email: Liz@BloodyMaryObsessed.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bloodymaryobsessed/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bloodymaryobsessed/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/bldymryobsessed
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/patriot-cleaning-san-diego-2
- Other: https://www.instagram.com/brunchbussd/
@enslavedbylife, @cameo.mediaproduction, @shickphotography, @chmccray, @marvelousmuncher