- interview by Sara Gorelick
With Tales of the Cocktail (TOTC) just a few short months away, Sara spoke with Christina Sudderth from the TOTC team about the upcoming festival and her role in it. As the Sales and Purchasing Manager for Tales of the Cocktail, Christina works with the Sponsorship Team on securing brands to host and sponsor events. She also works with presenters and sponsors on the daunting task of ordering the thousands of bottles of alcohol used each year during the 5 day cocktail festival. Read on...
SG: Where are you from?
CS: I'm originally from Dallas, Texas, and I left to attend college at Loyola University in New Orleans. I relocated to Austin, Texas at the end of 2013 when my husband was offered a job there. Now I work remotely from Austin and visit New Orleans for meetings and also to work the event in July.
SG: How did you get started in the cocktail world? What was life before Tales?
CS: I found Tales of the Cocktail when I was looking for an internship while I was in college. I volunteered for an event Tales was hosting called Cocktail Film Fest, and had such a great time that I kept helping out and started working part-time once I graduated college. Before Tales of the Cocktail I was in college so I liked to imbibe, but I didn't know what a well-made cocktail tasted like.
SG: How would you describe your career currently?
CS: Tales has allowed me to work on many different projects and hone my skills. I naturally fell into selling sponsorships and like Tales has grown I have grown with them. Since Tales of the Cocktail is always evolving I am constantly challenged by new events. Now we host events outside of the US and it has been quite an adventure working and learning how to do business in different cultures.
SG: You help run the biggest cocktail event in the world. In a word it's...
SG: What's the best part about your job? The worst?
CS: The best part is working with people that are excited about the industry and trying all the great drinks. The worst part is getting people to stick to their deadlines - we always wish we had more time and everyone always needs more time.
SG: Do you have a favorite spirit or cocktail?
CS: I like different drinks at different times of the year. Lately I have been drinking the Aperol Spritz.
SG: What are you most proud of about the experience?
CS: The way that Tales has grown while maintaining great customer service and exceeding our attendees' expectations.
SG: What do you want people to walk away from Tales saying?
CS: I want them to say "That was awesome! I can't wait for next year!"
SG: What do you do during Tales? How do you prepare?
CS: I have to mentally prepare myself to not stress too much and know that everything will be great. I try to eat well and drink lots of water before and of course I have to plan my outfits in advance - one less thing to worry about that week!
SG: What's something we may not know about you?
CS: Last year at Tales of the Cocktail I was pregnant so I wasn't able to partake in the cocktails - but I still had a great time anyway!!