Willa is the new premium vodka brand from Free Spirits Brands dedicated to celebrating the independent spirit in all women.
Women today are more empowered than ever before. From the boardroom to the yoga studio to the city streets and back again, they juggle friends and family, lovers and lives with an effortlessness and independence that blow the men around them completely out of the water.
Introducing Willa Vodka: the first and only vodka that’s as smart, health-conscious, stylish and sophisticated as the women drinking it.
Willa Vodka is the first ultra-premium organic craft vodka brand designed for the lives and lifestyles of the 21st-century woman.
Women today care about what they put in their bodies. So with Willa, we’ve made it our mission to care every bit as much about what we put in our vodka.
Perfect for a night on the town or a girls’ night in, Willa Vodka is:
Ultra Premium, Ultra-Organic
Willa is made from 100% organic, non GMO, wheat straight from the mountainside fields of Northern Italy, combined with pristine water straight from the Nantucket Aquifer for a purer, healthier, lighter vodka experience. There are no additives in Willa!!
Smooth & Silky
Willa Vodka has a smooth, silky mouth feel, without that harsh bite or aftertaste that make you want to swear off anything other than wine forever. This allows for wonderful natrual cocktails.
The Ultimate Guilt-Free Indulgence
Willa has a lower alcohol content, which means a lower calorie count as well compared with other vodkas, leaving you free to enjoy responsibly — and save yourself the headache and the guilt trip while working or working out the next day.
Bottled With Love
Willa is blended in small batches and bottled by hand one bottle at a time, guaranteeing the highest-quality product available on the market.
Liquor companies have tried in the past to create vodka brands that appeal to women. Tried being the operative word.
From Skinny Girl to Voli to Little Black Dress, the result has always been the same: a sickeningly sweet, non organic, cheap, high-calorie nightmare that today’s savvy, sophisticated women wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.
Only Willa has managed to bottle that elusive balance of taste, health-consciousness, quality and class that reflects the healthy, active, modern lifestyle that women live today.
The result: an innovative, category-defining take on premium vodka that will be setting the industry standard for years to come.
Willa Vodka got its start in early 2013, and we’ve seen some incredible success in the less than 2 years since.
Willa made its debut in 2013 in the great city of Chicago, where our brand has been been welcomed with open arms by some of the trendiest and most influential restaurants and bars.
Willa is also available at some of the top supermarkets in the Windy City, including Mariano’s, Heinen’s, Binny’s and Whole Foods.
In November 2014, Willa expanded into Texas, where we have won over hundreds of customers and multiple retailers, trendy bars and restaurants in Dallas already. As our list of locations continues to grow, we are on track to sell through the entire inventory of our first 10,000-bottle production run in 2014.
Market acceptance isn’t all that Willa has going for it: we’ve been racking up the critical acclaim as well! Willa Vodka was awarded the silver medal for Small Batch Craft Vodka at the New York International Spirits Competition in 2012. In 2013, Willa brought home the gold medal for both taste and bottle design at the SIP Awards, as well as a bronze medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
And there’s much more still to come from Willa Vodka and Free Spirits Brands! Up next, we’ll be adding new flavors that reflect Willa’s signature commitment to providing quality, organic, health-conscious premium vodka options for women. From there, we’ll expand outward into new liquor categories, including gin and rum, that are sorely in need of Willa’s signature touch.
For more information about what’s to come from Willa Vodka as we continue our mission of challenging expectations about what it means to make liquor for women, please request access to the Business Plan page of this profile.
Free Spirits Brands founders Chris and Greg met through a mutual friend, and became partners through their shared free spirited entrepreneurial attitude. Their synergistic relationship and shared belief that you have to “have a little fun every day” is reflected in everything they do and create.
Chris is largely responsible for the sales and expansion of the Willa brand, in both the on-premise and off-premise marketplaces. Chris is in charge of day-to-day operations, long term strategy and national sales management while building overall acceptance at every level. With extensive previous experience in the financial services industry, Chris’ unique qualifications enable the company to understand the practical and financial needs and benefits which are critical to launching a high profile brand like Willa.
Greg created the Willa brand, the brand strategy, packaging and subsequent marketing plan using his 35+ years of experience in the design, marketing and communications fields. After years of creating and consulting with high profile brands and corporations adept at understanding consumer buying habits and positioning, Greg created and guided the Willa brand, message and design of the product and bottle to its present acceptance in the market.
Carlo has over 30 years of experience in the beer, wine, and spirits industry. He is involved in such brands as; Tito’s, Heineken, and Jewel Wines. Carlo is directly responsible for sales in on-premise and off-premise channels, as well as, national on premise chain account development. Barone’s complement of direct sales people in our key markets ensures the necessary focus to our direct field efforts.
The established team of Douglas-Hammond bring over seventy-five years of beverage alcohol experience to the table. They excel in the distributor and supplier tier and manage the distributor growth and other back of the house functions. This team has exceptional brand expansion know-how and will help lead the important operations strategy. Past Brand experience include: Gallo, Dewar’s, Franzia, and Baileys to name a few that provide part of the brand scale of the team.
Jay is the manager of Willa’s distilling partner in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Jay has over 15 years of hands-on experience in the spirits industry. He was instrumental in starting Massachusetts’ first craft distillery from the ground up while helping reform state law to allow for micro distillation. He has successfully developed, and grown, a network of distributors spanning 35 states and 6 countries. Jay is well-versed in the organizational, financial, and production aspects of the distillation process and the industry. Jay holds an MBA in entrepreneurship from Cambridge and a BS from Fairfield University with a focus on marketing.
Tammany has been active in the restaurant and bar industry for the past 22 years. As National Director of Marketing for Passbook Clubs of America, she helped her family grow this local discount company into a national powerhouse that distributes through thousands of corporations and organizations across the country. In 1993, Tammany founded BestOfGuide.com to meet the constantly changing needs of the Dallas advertising market. BestOfGuide is a vertically integrated direct marketing publication that is distributed to a very select demographically qualified consumer. Currently, BestOfGuide.com reaches well-over 300,000 consumers in the greater Dallas marketplace, including the season ticketholders of the Dallas Mavericks, CEO’s of Fortune 500 Companies, and a six-figure BOG targeted demographic audience. Tammany is also a longstanding member of the board of directors of the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association.
Kendra is Vice President of Operations for Bread Winners Cafes where she is directly responsible for the company’s operation and marketing strategies with a focus on sales building, team development, and expansion. Kendra manages more than 350 employees based in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. She has over 27 years of hands-on restaurant and bar operations and marketing experience. She is also co-chair of the National Restaurant Association’s Marketing Executives Group, one of NRA’s most influential and important national groups. As a member of this group, Kendra collaborates with other leading restaurant marketing executives to identify trends to improve the industry. Kendra holds a degree in corporate telecommunications and marketing from Texas Tech University. In her spare time, she lends her expertise to such philanthropic endeavors as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
Rita began her career in global public relations where she was instrumental in demonstrating how consumer marketing techniques could translate into trade areas. She later co-founded Dragonette, Inc., one of the first agencies to offer comprehensive services throughout the sales chain. The agency quickly became one of the nations’ top 15 independents. Rita has earned multiple industry awards for excellence and leadership in consumer marketing. She provides her knowledge, experience, and guidance to many advisory and management boards including: LifeSpace Communities and Northern Illinois University College of Business. Ms. Dragonette also serves on the advisory board for The Woman Road Warrior.
Jan began her sales career launching Moosehead Beer into the city of Chicago and 19 states east of the Mississippi. She grew the brand from inception to become the most consumed import beer in Chicago and the 7 collar counties for three consecutive years. Jan brought the brand into the spotlight by pioneering the Moose is Loose parties at high-end bars and restaurants, including, rolling it out at college campuses around the country.
She later worked with California Cooler initiating the market campaign on a national level to nationwide retail chains such as Walgreen’s Kroger, Safeway, Jewel etc. negotiating shelf space, point-of-sale space, as well as, working with the countries’ top beer distributers to house the product – all while lifting California Cooler to become the #1 wine cooler in the country.
Jan is an accomplished author. Her book Staying 10 Steps Ahead…Exceeding Your Boss’ Expectations speaks to her knowledge, passion, commitment, problem- solving and networking skills. Jan brings all these skills, relationships, and more to her career with American Realty Advisors. She graduated Columbia College, Columbia Missouri, with a BS in Marketing/Business Administration. Jan is a wish grantor for Make-A-Wish, where she grants wishes to terminally ill children.
Noreen Morioka is a co-founder of AdamsMorioka, leading the team in client interface, and business development. Her creative input has led to the success of multiple communications programs. Noreen believes that personal involvement with a client helps her crack the brand’s spirit. This allows her to interpret her clients’ sometimes vaguely articulated goals into actionable and profitable plans.
In 2006, Noreen was named as a Fellow of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Noreen is past President of Los Angeles Chapter of AIGA, past chair of the AIGA National President’s Council, Fellow of the International Design Conference at Aspen, Chair of the James Beard Foundation Award for Design and Architecture and currently serves as a board member of the ADC. In 2014, Noreen and her business partner, Sean Adams, were award the AIGA Medal for their lifetime dedication and work in the design profession. She is a frequent competition judge and lecturer.