Entrepreneurial Spotlight: Sky High Dreams

tito beveridge

Tito Beveridge (yes, that’s his real name), head of Fifth Generation Inc., created Tito’s Handmade Vodka 18 years ago when he decided that the mortgage business wasn’t for him. At the age of 33, Beveridge got himself into the vodka business and made Texas’ first and oldest legal distillery located on the outskirts of Austin, Texas.

After a series of trial and error batches, Beveridge was finally happy with his gluten-free vodka, made 100% from corn and distilled 6 times in an old-fashioned copper pot still.

In the beginning, it was a struggle. At one point, Beveridge racked up 19 credit cards to the tune of $88,000 in order to turn his dreams into a reality. “I didn’t make any money for eight years,” Beveridge told Wall Street Journal. Beveridge launched the Tito’s brand through word-of-mouth marketing alone, beating the pavement and giving away lots of free samples. His hard work paid off in 2001 when he submitted his vodka at the World Spirits Competition, where 28 judges named Tito’s the best of 72 vodkas.

The company has seen rapid growth in sales since Tito’s humble beginning, and we expect the product to reach new heights in popularity and dollar signs with the help of their new partnership with United Airlines, announced on May 10, 2013. United has officially made Tito’s the exclusive vodka for the carrier indefinitely, and the small, Austin-born vodka drink will now reach over 370 destinations around the world.

Beveridge’s value proposition is to make the best vodka in the world and sell it at a reasonable price, and he’s stuck to that theory since day one. This United Airlines partnership is not only a testament to the quality of Tito’s vodka, but also to Beveridge’s hard work and persistence to be the best.

Tito Beveridge changed course when he found himself unhappy with his desk job. He found inspiration through a motivational speaker on TV, who suggested that those facing a crossroads consider what they are passionate about and what they’re good at – and find a job where the two intersect. Vodka was Tito’s answer — it unleashed his potential to be free and happy. What will unleash yours?

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