CollaGin’s Camilla Brown from Appleton, claims her gin fights ageing

Let me take you back a bit. 10 months to be precise. I’d been in PR for eight years and alongside my line manager, Liz Beswick, from Cassington, had just nailed a successful PR campaign for a new drink, with worldwide coverage.

This was the push I needed to finally decide to create something I could call my own – my product.

With a little goading and many over-excited after-work phone calls, Liz and I decided to turn our creativity into reality, and thus began a journey of ups, downs and hilarious tribulations.

We became ‘Gintrepreneurs’.

Fast forward and we are now launching the world’s first collagen distilled spirits company. ‘Young In Spirit Limited’ is combining the ever-growing worlds of beauty and booze, with our first offering being a gin… aptly named, CollaGin.

And we’ve learnt that working hard pays off, kids. It’s not been easy though. There have been many hilarious antics we’ve endured in our exhausting (but utterly brilliant) adventure so far.

Two young women trying to make it in a stuffy, sexist, man-heavy industry? Hellish. But it was their big mistake.

We’ve been offered multiple thousands of pounds worth of investment, which was all turned down as soon as the main boys decided to speak over us.

Our original distillery automatically assumed Liz was a PA, and with that, they were gone. Add to that a lascivious alcoholic chancer trying to steal our idea, sexist, disgruntled competitors having us pulled up by the ASA, many a ‘seasoned’ naysayer trying to dampen our passion and a load of eye-watering, self-funding to prove a point... We have been very close to quitting on numerous occasions.

But then we focused on the positives: the unprecedented amount of people wanting to buy CollaGin when it’s not even bottled yet, the fact we’ve got an amazing mentor (Mike Greene from Secret Millionaire), having our website designed for free because he loved the idea, how our new distiller texts me about yoga and I ask her advice on men, the fact Sarah Willingham from Dragon’s Den took time out to call us and spur us on, and knowing my once line-manager is now my best friend and we are going to nail this.

One more nod has to go to our family and friends who have kept us going and didn’t bat an eyelid when I decided to do this fulltime, all self-funded.

I’ve learnt along the way that the positives are great, but without the negatives you should be worried. Nothing is that easy, and if the idea is good enough then people will try to sabotage it.

The gin is blooming stunning. It’s packed with anti-ageing botanicals such as star anise, pink grapefruit and orris, and the added bonus of pure collagen. We suggest you enjoy it in a Martini with a garnish of grapefruit, or if you prefer a longer, refreshing serve, try it in a classic G&T. Or, as we call it, a ‘skin and tonic’.

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