MEET Chante’ & Ciara AKA Ce & CeCe. They are the founders of Meet Me At The Bar in New Orleans, Louisiana. MMATB is a social brand created to help people CONNECT while enjoying signature cocktails.
Looking to become a bartender for the day? These cocktail enthusiast will provide you with the ingredients and tools to create classical and signature cocktail recipes & bring the EXPERIENCE to the intimacy of your own HOME!
And for the LOCALS, come join Ce & CeCe for one of their multi-stop bar tours where guests can experience new bars, new cocktails, and meet new friends.
As you can see, these ladies want nothing more than to help spark NEW CONNECTIONS through a night of fun and Drinks! They BELIEVE that good drinks and conversation can lead to UNFORGETTABLE experiences and bonds.
Good drinks & conversation can LEAD to unforgettable experiences and bonds.-Ce & CeCe
YOLANDA J: Hey ladies, it’s so good to be able to feature you all in my blog series: Women Rising To the Top! Can you start by telling us how Meet Me At The Bar (MMATB) started?
CIARA: MMATB officially started during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The vast majority of social gatherings in the first half of 2020 were canceled or postponed.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, everything SOCIAL was at a standstill. We were starting to “meet at the bar” virtually more frequently because we couldn’t see each other physically. We weren’t the only ones who resorted to maintaining bonds virtually due to being sheltered in place.
Our first thought was… how could we create a perfect substitute for the quarantined lives we were currently living, knowing we couldn’t fully replace real-life experiences. From that day forward we shared a passion for maintaining bonds/friendships and meeting new people. Our method of choice to accomplish both just so happens to be over a COCKTAIL.
ONE of the major benefits of Meet Me At The Bar is that the bar is always open because this activity can be virtual or physical. Meet Me At The Bar officially launched March 11th, 2020.
YOLANDA J: In the midst of the pandemic how did you guys handle your challenges with MMATB?
CHANTE’: The beautiful thing about our business is that we have each other. We fill in the gaps where one of us may lack and we reinforce one another. When doubt comes we usually take a step back and REFLECT on how far we have come in such a small amount of time.
In less than a year, we’ve already sold multiple products, collaborated with several influencers and local businesses, and partnered with a national alcohol beverage company.
Of course, there are also MOMENTS where we just have to rely on our faith and do it scared or uncertain. It usually always works out and when it doesn’t, it is a learning experience. We are still in the start-up phase, but some challenges include EXPANDING into different markets, growing customers beyond our amazing friends and family, and balancing our 9-5’s while also managing MMATB.
There are also MOMENTS where we just have to rely on our faith and do it scared or uncertain.-Chante’
YOLANDA J: That is ONE statement I’ve heard continuously throughout the interview series! Was there anything in particular that helped keep you guys motivated about moving forward with MMATB? I know you all were limited in your ventures & wondering how you were going to proceed with making your business a success.
CIARA: Our first e-book motivated us to keep going. We released Meet Me At The Bar (A Collection of Beginner Cocktails) on May 21st, 2020, which was our first product offered by our brand.
Once we announced the release we received an enormous amount of support! We sold over 100 electronic copies on the first day! This created a feeling that if this single product can gain so many sales, the next item (physical or electronic) could too. We felt all the EMOTIONAL HIGHS of excitement and thrill, that allowed us to gain a sense of urgency to go harder. It was the beginning of something great!
YOLANDA J: 100 copies! Wow, I know that affirmed that every move you made was the right one. That’s a great milestone you all will remember when looking back on that special day. So ladies, I’d love to know where your idea for Meet Me At the Bar came from. We also would like to hear about any mentors or special people in your life currently that give you all advice on a regular basis & help you all create avenues for your business.
CHANTE’: Our business ideas/plans come from one another, which typically happens over a cocktail (or two). LOL! Once one of us suggests something, a plan of action is usually created within days. We also have TWO business mentors (Nick Reed & Ross McDonald), who provide us with entrepreneurial business advice. Both are trusted as they are respected EXPERTS in our field with years of experience.
YOLANDA J: Thinking of ideas over drinks..not a bad idea! I like the way you ladies strategize.
What do you typically tell people when they ask you what you do?
CIARA: MMATB is unique in that we offer an experience & some products. When people ask us who we are and what we do, we usually respond by saying that MMATB is a social brand that was created to help people maintain bonds and CREATE NEW ONES. We do that by connecting people over cocktails through our curated experiences & products. Titles usually aren’t necessary because we are a two-woman show and the face of our brand.
“THREE magic words: Let’s Get Drinks”
We are a TWO-woman show and the face of our brand.-Ciara
YOLANDA J: I heard that hunny! Tell us some things you ladies do on a daily basis to continue your growth as an entrepreneur & also some practices you ladies have put in place to help you grow as a business?
CIARA: As a business less than one year old, we are very much still in the start-up phase and thus continuously learning and growing. Like many small businesses, to save costs we do EVERYTHING from marketing to event preparation. We are still learning to use technology & automation (e.g., scheduling social media posts to help us work smarter as we grow & expand.
We are in constant communication with our mentors for advice and feedback. We also take the feedback from our friends and customers very seriously. This journey has taught us to simply TRY NEW THINGS. Everything won’t be a hit, but you’ll never KNOW until you actually TRY!
Everything won’t be a hit, but you’ll never know until you actually try!-Ciara
YOLANDA J: I’m glad you mentioned that. We can take things personal sometimes if our hard work doesn’t get the attention we were hoping for. So, knowing what you know now, what would be ONE piece of advice you would give yourself?
CIARA & CHANTE’: Knowing what we know now, keeping it simple is the best advice for us as first time business owners. Once we started, we hit the ground running, like many entrepreneurs, and soon realized that we needed to remain small and narrow our focus. We FOCUS on doing what we do well. We can always add additional products, services, and experiences as the brand grows and becomes more established.
YOLANDA J: That’s true! It’s always smart to leave room for your future growth.
Chante’ & Ciara, I have ONE last question for you guys. How would you like people to remember YOU & your business Meet Me At The Bar & what legacy are you looking to leave behind?
CIARA & CHANTE’: We would like to be remembered by our catchy taglines #MeetMeAtTheBar & #TheBarNeverCloses. With just those few words it captures our brand’s identity – connections, cocktails, & conversations. It’s our unique selling point, that’s MEMORABLE!
Thanks Ladies! You have blessed so many today just by telling your story! If you would like to CONNECT with Chante’ & Ciara please CHECK OUT their social media platforms posted BELOW.
If you’re interested in collaborating, brand ambassadorship, or sponsored posts, please send us an email.