Q&A with the ladies of Three Spirit, a line of plant elixirs designed to enhance mood—yours and everyone else’s around - Boisson

Q&A with the ladies of Three Spirit, a line of plant elixirs designed to enhance mood—yours and everyone else’s around

Posted by Boisson Staff on

When Three Spirit entered the scene, we knew immediately: whatever happens, we’ll never be out of spirits again. The elixir of good mood, the elixir of sticking to social plans, the elixir that takes the edge off—they have it all, and with their recent addition of functional wine proxies Blurred Vines, we can exhale—in our search for zen, Three Spirit is an ally.  

Although busy working on a fix for our anxieties, the female part of the team, co-founders Meeta Gournay and Tatiana Mercer, sat down with us to muse over what being a female entrepreneur means and how we all can be happier at work, no matter the gender. Read ahead to learn the ladies’ takes on why their drinks entice anyone from herbal pros to biohackers, why the right timing is so important, and what gender biases the VC needs to reassess to finally put their money where their mouth is.  

Has starting a wellness business changed the way you care for yourself and what can we do to balance our work and personal life?  

Tatiana Mercer and Meeta Gournay, Three Spirit Co-founders 


Meeta Gournay: Three Spirit is the answer to some of my self-care needs that were not being met. Being on this journey continues to open my eyes to how important it is to take care of myself. When I'm feeling good, everyone and everything around me is better, and I've realized, it's not being selfish, it's essential for my mental and physical wellbeing to take care of me and not feel guilty about it. From treating myself on Valentine's Day with a present to myself, to having a Nightcap with an amazing book to destress, learning to meditate and stretch more, or finding the time to exercise. Also turning off my phone, putting it away, so I can be present is something I'm always working on; it's all about knowing what makes you actually feel good and finding time for those activities. I like to remind myself that life is a journey, not a destination, and it's important to choose how you spend your energy. I have read an amazing book called 'Four Thousand Weeks', which is about how long we live on our Earth, and rather than trying to 'get everything done', it encourages you to find meaning by embracing that inherent limit on our time on this planet and make thoughtful choices about how we want to spend our time, by saying no more often and not just trying to get through a neverending checklist of things. 


Society’s finally starting to recognize how inherently feminine skills&qualities such as resilience, empathy, ability to recalibrate goals, etc. help businesses drive success. Can you share an example of how being a woman improved your brand and let it stand out? 

M. G.: My cofounders [Tati Mercer and Dash Lilley] are married and have children, and I'm married and also have children. We all work incredibly hard, but I think that starting a business with our personal commitments make us more understanding when others have personal requirements, whether it be childcare or taking care of a parent, or having a sick day. We often have to remind our team to take their vacation and some of our team have definitely commented it's unique for a company to encourage employees to take time off. Maybe we are very British/European in this perspective. 


As a wellness brand in the beverage industry, who’s your current consumer, gender-wise, and what are some of the consumer segments you’d like to tap into more? 

We have a few types of consumers, and we skew a little more female. While we resonate with anyone looking to cut back on alcohol, or remove it entirely, I'd say the consumer we speak to, that more traditional NA brands perhaps don’t, are our “herbalists" — those who love our amazing stack of ingredients. They may be very well-versed in adaptogens, teas, nootropics or beginning a journey and are keen to explore and learn from our alchemists. Then we have our biohackers, performance-motivated people who are tuned in to their bodies and interested in the functional aspect of our drinks and the ingredients we use. They have a heightened awareness of what they are putting into their systems and what works for them to get the most out of their days. Having hangover-free mornings is a game changer for everyone, and our drinks have the addition of functional ingredients, which helps people optimize their potential.  

What does wellness & mindfulness mean to you and how does that apply to your brand ethos? 

Wellness shouldn't feel like a sacrifice. For too long, unhealthy habits have not been challenged, and so we're here to offer a choice that, we felt, was missing. Life is about what you put in, not what you take out, and that is exactly how we make our drinks. While none of us are sober, we wanted to create something we felt was missing, something to fulfill different moments. We have all reduced our alcohol intake and feel better for it. It helps that we have an awesome product that speaks for itself in terms of quality, efficacy, and taste. 

What are some of the roadblocks you observed as a female founder? 

At first, fundraising felt like a bit of an old boys network. Despite us all having previous founding experience, we were in an emerging category, with an innovative, out-there product, and sometimes, it felt that despite our fortunate connections and backgrounds, being a woman could feel like a handicap, when in fact, it's a superpower. In any industry, there are other players, who may be louder and therefore perceived to be more ambitious or disruptive. It's not always clear that being loud means that you have built a more successful or sounder business. The result has been for us to pivot more quickly to a break even and sustainable business.  

What’s at the top of your wish list for women founders and how can we be a support system to the female business owners in our lives? 

Shifting the balance of investments into female founded companies. More female investors. The conversation is happening, but the proof is in the pudding, and sadly, it’s still a way off being where it should be. 

With the rise of female entrepreneurship, the girl boss notion recently backfired and turned into a slur. What does being a female founder mean to you and how do you achieve this balance of being empowered, yet not unethical? 

Hard one to answer, think we are just being who we are. We try hard to empower our team, we're a lean team and want to nurture anyone who comes our way, to be someone who can inspire, not intimidate. I have been so inspired by women in my career, and that inspires me to do that same, it was never about bossing or personal success more about being on top of their game, helping others and conducting themselves with such an energy and way that made great things happen. 

What pushes you out of your comfort zone now? 

Everyday is a new day at Three Spirit, finding the balance of learning new things and entering new territories, and knowing when to hire. One thing we're not, is unafraid to hire someone better than us, that is something I am happy to do, but getting that timing right is key. The right timing and the right people will be the key to our success. 


Are there any questions you’re tired of being asked as a female founder (we hope none of the above), and what should you be asked instead? And what’s your answer to this question? 

No, but it’s funny that men aren't asked these things, nor would you ask a father how he does it all. 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be like you? 

For us, it's been about finding a strong set of partners and trusting and listening to them. When you are small, everyone can have an opinion and contribute, but at some point, everyone has to find their lane in a company and trust that others are capable of driving their areas. Of course, ask for help when you need it or are struggling. 

It's also incredibly important to find cofounders, who have similar goals in terms of outcome and, especially, timing. Because building something is hard and not for the faint hearted, we all will face obstacles and roadblocks. If you are committed to starting or building something, it will almost always take longer than finding a job, so be patient with yourself and honest with your partners, too. 

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