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Women's History Month: Shelley Elkovich of For Bitter For Worse

What does being a badass disruptor in a predominantly male beverage industry mean to you?

Disruptor is kind of my natural state, so it feels normal, tbh. I guess what it means is that I'm co-creating community and leadership within the industry. I collaborate with badass women (and men who aren't "too bro" for me). Rather than playing by the boys' club rules, I'm working to create a new, more inclusive industry. And nonalc has so many women founders, so that's invigorating.

What are some things you admire about the women in your life?

I seek out women who are bold, generous, and creative. They are often disruptors as well. As a human in her 50s, I've had several distinct "chapters" in my life: radical environmental activist, homeschooling mom, MFA student/writer, and now—founder of a startup. I have the most incredible crew of women from all those stages: These are world-changing women who write novels, organize huge labor unions, who farm, who improve maternal and child health on the African continent, and women who run mission-driven food & bev brands. In addition to this sisterhood, I have two biological sisters who are very supportive, funny as fuck, and who live inspiring creative lives.

We love seeing women supporting other women. What's an example of that in the last year that has inspired you?

Right now I'm inspired by and benefitting big time from women supporting women! I'm part of the 2023 Stacy's Rise accelerator cohort. Stacy Madison, founder of Stacy's Pita Chips, built her brand from a food truck through exit to PepsiCo. She created a grant fund, in which 14 women receive funds and mentorship. The formal program gives me access to two brilliant Pepsi execs. These women are donating their time to meet with me weekly to build my business! In addition, I'm forming lifelong supportive relationships with 13 other founders who are in the trenches. We on Zoom meet every other week and chat via WhatsApp whenever something comes up (which is daily, let's be real).

Who’s your favorite female comedian?

Maybe it's because I'm a Scorpio, but I have a dark sense of humor and I most appreciate comedy that also delivers a gut punch that makes you think, that jolts you into a more contemplative or compassionate POV, that might also make you cry. For this reason I love Australian comic Hannah Goldsby. Her Netflix show Nanette is fantastic and so funny! I think everyone should watch it.