Introducing K. Simpson, who is the owner of Kocktails with K Mobile Bartending and Sweet Treats LLC, based in North Carolina. She is here for all of your bartending needs, specializing in tasty cocktails and alcohol infused treats. Guess what else?!?! She travels anywhere!!!! Yes, this beautiful spirit will come to you with her mobile bartending service.
Question: Tell me about yourself.
K. Simpson: I am an original native of Wilmington, North Carolina. I currently live in Greensboro, North Carolina. I moved here to attend college at North Carolina A&T University, graduated, and never left. I am a corporate trainer in the daytime and at nighttime I am a certified mixologist. I have been bartending for about eight years and in the last two and half years I got really serious about it and turned it into my business, which is my baby, Kocktails with K.
Question: Can you go into a little bit more depth about your business?
K. Simpson: Sure. Kocktails with K is a mobile bartending and sweet treats service. I offer everything with mobile bartending services whether its onsite setup bars, bar to go packages, and I also do infused treats. Infused treats that include candy apples, strawberries, popcorn, rice krispie treats, etc. These are great for a treat bar, gift baskets, care packages, or whatever the client wants. I make them tailored for the individual, recipient, or the event. I also offer signature glassware and products that can be personalized.
Question: Did you go to school for bartending?
K. Simpson: Yes, I went to school at Professional Bartenders Association. It was a two week course, I graduated, and then hit the ground running. Private events is my niche, from a mocktail where there is no alcohol, or a private event where there is 200-300 individuals. I went to school, I am staying certified, and working on my craft. One day I would like to have my own distillery of some sort.
Question: You mentioned a party of 300 individuals, do you have a team that works with you?
K. Simpson: I do have a team that works with me depending on the guest count. I have a go to team that I use for when I have more than 100 in a party. I have been able to onboard, uptrain, and help get my team their certifications. I call them Kocktail Babes. They assist in waitressing and working the bar with me. They are a group of successful women who have supported me through this and now they are a part of my team.
Question: How do you find time to juggle your job as a corporate trainer and Kocktails with K?
K. Simpson: Being organized. Being organized is key. Having a list of organizers, a list of planners, and planning ahead.
Question: How far do you travel with your mobile bartending services?
K. Simpson: I will go anywhere. I will get up, catch a flight, or drive down. There are really no limits. If you need me there, I will be there.
Question: What advice would you have for someone who is looking into getting into the bartending scene?
K. Simpson: I would definitely advise them to seek education. You can learn basics on YouTube, but bartending is a science. You should have the education on how to not poison people, not be a liability, and look out for support groups. Always protect yourself and have insurance with anything you are looking to do in regards to serving people and make sure you are insured. I am insured in general liability and liquor. You need to know the risk and protect yourself. It really is a science. My degree at A&T is in agricultural science. I am able to elevate my cocktails.
Question: How long did it take for you to get your business up and running?
K. Simpson: It took me some time because I did not want to work in a bar scene. I was told by a lot of others that I should make my services a business. One of the first things I did was call ABC, the Alcohol Beverage Control, and asked questions about what I could and could not do. They were very helpful and allowed me to ask questions. I then filed for my LLC and then I hit the ground running. Next I found my niche. The thing with my niche is offering signature experiences, customized of glassware, and the infused treats.
Question: How long did it take to start having customers and get busy?
K. Simpson: Well actually it was my sister. I lost my little girl in 2019, which I have a non profit in her honor. One day my sister asked if I was ready to start by business, get out the bed, out of the slump, and keep living. So that was my push. Next covid hit, and that gave me some extra time. Like they say, if covid did not bring the hustle out of you its not in you. So with my sister, I started thinking about packaging, the holidays was coming up, and I started offering my services. My sister was someone I could brainstorm with and I was able to jump on Facebook and Instagram live and start offering my services. Signature glassware, ornaments for drinks, and it was a hit.
Question: How would someone reach out to you for your services or to work with you?
K. Simpson: I can be reached via Instagram at @kocktails_with_k. Someone can reach out to me there for services or to work with me. I would send them an application to make sure they are able to work with alcohol and when an event becomes available I would book them.
Question: Is there a uniform for your Kocktail Babes?
K. Simpson: Depending on the event if there is not anything the client wants in particular it is a standard black and a purple or pink apron that says Kocktails with K, and hair back.
Question: Is there anything or advice you would like to add regarding the business aspect?
K. Simpson: Yes, make sure to look out for allergies and gluten free foods. I try to add gluten free ingredients to my products. Just be mindful when running a business regarding liability.
Question: Tell me about the non profit in honor of your daughter.
K. Simpson: It is Ariana Gifts of Joy in honor of my daughter who I lost in 2019. She was autistic and she attended Herbin-Metz Education Center in Guilford County. This is a scholarship that will open up in two weeks and it is for children with disabilities. It goes from Grade K to College. It is a $500 medical grant that I give to them or their families to assist with things that can not be purchased with medical insurance or Medicaid. It is through the Guildford County Schools. They will offer it to families who qualify. Starting next year I will offer more that will be geared toward other students.
End of Interview