Name: Kaleena Goldsworthy-Warnock
City: Chattanooga, TN
Main Hustle: Event and Beverage Coordinator. After working my way from a bartender to a bar manager to an assistant general manager, I wanted to learn more about the beverage industry in a similar, yet different field. I took on a position at an art museum where I oversee the bar program and create specialty cocktails inspired by art and for weddings/events. I feel so fortunate to have a main hustle that so closely aligns with my side hustle!
Side Hustle: The Bitter Bottle – A modern apothecary of cocktail solutions. I create small batch bitters and tinctures and offer beverage consulting services to startups, existing bars/restaurants, and for those establishments seeking to find more ways to support local/community-oriented suppliers and sustainable practices. I am incredibly passionate about the agricultural community in Chattanooga and seek to find more opportunities to use their products in the food/beverage industry. Everyone loves the idea of farm to table, but it extends beyond that to teaching classes at the farms and getting people excited to work alongside the farmers. This helps us to both better understand their ingredients and also support local agriculture with our time and resources.
How did you get started?: I fell in love with historic cocktail culture about six years ago. I was fascinated by the idea that your bartender, back in the day, was almost a sort of pharmacist, reaching for bottles of preserved botanicals to not only create a drink that tasted good but also offered a sense of wellness. I started studying herbalism and volunteering at a local farm to further my education by getting my hands in the dirt. After that there was no turning back. I realized that we needed more locally-sourced herbal bitters and tinctures in the craft cocktail world; after all, if we’re trying to pay respect to our industry, we should pay respect to the ingredients.
From there things really started to line up for me and make sense. Teaching classes with nonprofits and farms, instructing people on how to make ‘conscious cocktails,’ and how to use their farmer’s market finds in drinks and not just food became a passion of mine. I also started working with bars and restaurants, as the idea of curating a menu with these ‘conscious cocktails’ has become very appealing.
One thing led to another, and I am so grateful and fortunate to have found myself in a city and community that wants to work together and build each other up.
When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: I am one of the lucky people who spends about 20-30 hours a week on my side hustle. Dare I say it’s starting to look like my main hustle without the monetary compensation right now. Startups can be tricky, especially ones with a substantial amount of overhead. The consulting, fortunately, doesn’t have much of this, but the bitters/manufacturing facility does. Once that is up and running and I’ve gone into full production, I am hoping to make this my main hustle!
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Time and money. I’ve bootstrapped The Bitter Bottle on my own until I was presented with the idea of a Kiva loan. I was fortunate enough to get funded through them, and this loan allowed me to cover my rent and pay for a lot of my start-up costs associated with the manufacturing facility.
Time is also an issue. When you’re your own boss, it can be hard to set hours. Your to-do list is never done, so how do you decide when you’re done with work for the day? I’ve adapted the mentality that I work for the same amount of time my husband works: I get up with him, go to work when he does, and call it a day when he comes home. It’s SO important to have a work life balance, and I’ve found I feel less guilty calling it a day when I know I’ve put a full day in.
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: Every time I have the opportunity and privilege to help another start up, that is the reward. It really is a privilege to work with other people and inspire them.
Who is your greatest supporter?: I am so lucky—I have a great team of supporters. My sweet husband, my parents, my sister, and a great group of close friends are my support system. I have found myself surrounded by inspiring entrepreneurs, and I couldn’t be more fortunate.
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: My parents are my greatest source of inspiration. They have worked a handful of jobs over the years—many of which they created—to support my family. My mother has worked her way up through the same company for over twenty years.
They were the ones who instilled in me that if you follow your heart and what you really want, you will find the money to make it your life.
Have you received recognition for your work?: In the bartending world, I have been humbled and honored to have been selected to a number of opportunities:
2019: Participant in USBG European Wellspring Program, Amsterdam
2019: San Antonio Cocktail Conference – Cocktail Prep Team, Team Leader
2015 – 2019 : Chattanooga USBG Vice President
2018 : Tales of the Cocktail – Cocktail Apprentice Leader, Grey Coat
2017 : San Antonio Cocktail Conference – Cocktail Prep Team, Team Taco
2017 : Regional Semi-Finals for Heaven Hill’s Bartender of the Year Competition
2017 : Cocktail featured in the July Issue of Chilled Magazine
2016 : Cocktail and bitters recipes published in The Complete Cocktail Manual: 285 Tips, Tricks, and Recipes
2016 : Chattanooga Whiskey / Cynar Cocktail Competition Winner (1st place)
2016 : Tales of the Cocktail – Cocktail Apprentice, Red Coat
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: My dream is to make my side hustle my full-time hustle. I know I’m close!
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
If you want to make your side hustle your full-time job, take steps to actively achieve that. When the time comes to make the leap, trust that you’ve been preparing for this for a long time and DO IT!
If you’d like to learn more about Kaleena, check out her website and her blog, follow along as she seeks out educational opportunities on her personal Instagram account, stay up to date on The Bitter Bottle by following her Instagram account, or reach out via email to connect or collaborate.