Immigrant Daughter Crowdfunds History’s First Woman-Led Scotch Whiskey

Carin Luna Ostaseski’s journey into the world of Scotch whiskey is an inspiring tale of discovery and resilience. As a graphic designer for 17 years, she grappled with questions about her identity and passion. It was a chance encounter with a glass of Scotch that sparked a deep connection within her. The flavors and stories woven into each sip ignited a new purpose, leading her to embark on a whiskey adventure. Overcoming financial challenges and societal expectations, Carin’s determination shone through as she delved into the unconventional path of creating her own Scotch brand, Sia. Her pioneering spirit and unwavering commitment to change the narrative surrounding Scotch whiskey are a testament to her entrepreneurial journey. Carin’s story resonates with the pursuit of authenticity and the courage to pursue one’s true calling, making her a beacon of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs seeking to carve their own unique paths in the spirits industry.


In this episode, we cover:

  • Secrets to Starting a Scotch Whiskey Brand and carve your path in the spirits industry.
  • The Power of Crowdfunding for Spirits Brands and revolutionize your approach to funding.
  • The Entrepreneurial Journey of Immigrant Founders and gain insights into overcoming unique challenges.

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Connect with Carin here:     

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Timestamped summary of this episode:
00:00:00 – Introduction and Career Change
Carin discusses her transition from a successful graphic design career to starting a Scotch whiskey brand after discovering her passion for the spirit. She emphasizes the need for financial advice and shares her motivation for leaving a legacy.

00:01:00 – Whiskey Adventure and Inspiration
Carin shares how a breakup led her to explore her passion for Scotch whiskey, leading to her hosting scotch tasting events and eventually finding her inspiration for creating her own blend. She highlights the emotional and sensory aspects of whiskey that drew her in.

00:03:53 – Unconventional Start and Kickstarter Success
Carin discusses the unconventional nature of her Scotch brand and the successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. She explains the unique story behind her brand and the approachability of the spirit that resonated with backers.

00:06:32 – Financial Challenges and Imposter Syndrome
Carin opens up about the financial challenges she faced as a daughter of Cuban immigrants and the sacrifices she made to pursue her dream. She also addresses the imposter syndrome and the constant rejection she experienced, emphasizing the importance of resilience.

00:09:29 – Overcoming Rejection and Personal Growth
Carin reflects on the mental and personal growth she experienced through rejection, highlighting the need to develop thicker skin and separate her identity from the brand. She shares the lessons learned from rejection and the importance of asking for what you want.

00:13:18 – Pursuing Passion Over Expectations
Carin discusses the challenge of pursuing her passion for graphic design instead of meeting her mom’s expectations of becoming a lawyer or doctor. She shares how her dad supported her creative interests and encouraged her to reach out to magazine art directors.

00:16:40 – The Power of Asking
Carin reflects on the lesson of asking for what you want, recounting how she wrote letters to magazine art directors as a high school student and received positive responses. This experience taught her the importance of making the ask, a lesson she applies to sourcing materials, getting investors, and making sales for her company.

00:17:19 – Shifting Perspectives on Money and Success
Carin delves into her upbringing with immigrant parents and how it influenced her view on money and success. She shares her journey from associating success with negative qualities to embracing the abundance mindset and giving back to underrepresented entrepreneurs through grants and mentorship.

00:21:48 – Manifesting Success
Carin discusses the power of manifestation and setting intentions, sharing how she wrote herself a check for a million dollars during a challenging fundraising period and later achieved the acquisition of her brand by Diageo. She reflects on the fulfillment of her dreams and the possibility for future success.

00:23:54 – Embracing Authenticity
Paul shares a quote that resonates with Carin’s journey, highlighting the conflict between being true to oneself and meeting others’ expectations. Carin expresses her appreciation

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