Published on August 29th, 2022 | by Charles Myambo0
“We Pride Ourselves On Being Unique” – Brett Berish | Luc Belaire
Brett Berish is the renowned owner of the highly touted Sovereign Brands. He is a globally acclaimed entrepreneur who has managed to dominate the wine & spirits industry for decades. In 2012, Brett launched Luc Belaire, an award-winning line of French sparkling wines. Since being notably propagated by longtime ambassadors Rick Ross and DJ Khaled, their signature black bottles have evolved into symbols of self-made success for prominent artists, athletes and entrepreneurs alike. In just five years, the brand’s flagship blend Belaire Rosé ranks as the top-selling French sparkling wine sold in the United States. The Hype Magazine’s Life & Style correspondent, Charles Myambo (CM) had an interview with Brett Berish (BB). Below are some excerpts from the interview.
CM: I think it is “POETIC JUSTICE” how only a few decades ago you were lost and trying to discover yourself during your tenure in “ASIA” but nowadays your brand Belaire is number 1 in “ASIAN” countries such as Vietnam. How did this happen?
BB: Hard work, we pride ourselves on being unique in this business and we’ve never followed trends. We have created multiple successful brands while most companies our size typically only have one. We find new places; the Asian market has been great for us, so we keep pushing it. We have a whole portfolio of successful brands, and while each of them is different, we have a large contingent of customers who drink more than one of them. People all over the world have become excited to try the entire range we offer and are equally excited to see what we have coming next. I don’t think there’s another liquor company that has so many unique, successful brands and a fanbase that wants to try them all.
CM: Anyone who knows you well enough understands that you are not willing to create anything unless it will be the “BEST” in that category. Where does this thoroughbred mentality come from?
BB: From my mother, Mollybelle Berish. She raised four boys, and some would say she raised our father, too. She always believed in me, even when we were at our lowest point. She has come up with the names for several of our products and plenty of other ideas have come from her too. She is my biggest supporter, and all our success is thanks in a huge part to her believing in us.
CM: You love the word “ORGANIC”, and it has become somewhat of an ethos for your brands and relationships thereof. Why such an emphasis on everything being so organic?
BB: Far too many brands rely on paid advertising to achieve success. Although these methods work for some, today, rather than promotion, people are gravitating to companies that focus on personal connections, and that is what Sovereign Brands does. We want ambassadors of our brands to stand behind our product because they love it and believe in it, not because they are being told to hold it and take a photo.
CM: It’s well documented that you perceive “BRANDS” as being synonymous with “CHILDREN”. What truths have you discovered about your own brands during the nurturing and discovery phases?
BB: Well first, I have to like the way it tastes, and I have to prefer the product from competitors in a blind taste test. I have to feel the product stand out on the shelf and I want our bottles to be something that people don’t want to throw away when they’re empty. I want to create brands that are really offering something that’s not already out there in another bottle.
CM: Still on the subject of “Brands” and a certain Jay-Z. How difficult is it to relinquish control of a beloved “BRAND” when you feel that “IT IS TIME” to move on both for the brand and for yourself?
BB: Selling Ace of Spades allowed me to create my current brands, Luc Belaire, Bumbu, McQueen and the Violet Fog, and Villon. It’s always difficult to part with something you love, but it allowed me to create more of what I love!
CM: Prior to the pandemic, your hit series; “SELF MADE” rivaled some of the best work from media giants like “VOGUE” and “GQ”. As the world is opening back up again, what can we look forward to seeing from “Self-Made”?
BB: More, more, more! I love connecting with people and sharing our brands. The “Self-Made” series really ties into Sovereign’s spirit of independence, it’s a chance to celebrate artists who have paved their own path to success. It’s given me a lot of perspective, talking to people from all walks of life from all over the world. Recently, we have been focusing a lot on artists in Africa. I love hearing stories of how people got to where they are. Anyone can talk about their successes, I want to hear about the struggles, that’s what makes you Self Made!
- Personal Life
CM: Onto a more “SENSITIVE” subject. Have you dealt with humiliation, depression and/or failure in your life?
BB: I’ve had plenty of problems in my life, but the key is to learn from each mistake. One example that comes to mind is my first brand, 3 Vodka. It was distilled from soy (which no one at the time was doing) so it was a little ahead of its time. I took what I earned from the brand to fuel my next project, which happened to be Armand de Brignac, better known as “Ace of Spades,” Champagne, which became one of most successful brands of all time in the super-premium Champagne category. So, I like to think 3 Vodka is my most successful brand, because it got me to where I am today……every failure is a chance to learn and do better.
CM: Walk me through how your father reacted when you opted against being a “FINANCE” professional like he had always hoped for?
BB: Both my parents have been very supportive my entire life. I’ve always admired my father and his achievements, so I tried to model myself after him. He was a hardworking, self-made man, he instilled the importance of work ethic and having a passion for what you do. He used to always say “if you love what you do, don’t be afraid to show it, all good things live on the other side of fear.” My father is still a big part of my life and continues to teach me new lessons every day.
CM: A lot of people told you flat out that you “WOULDN’T” be where you are today! What did it take for you to prove them wrong?
BB: Never follow the trends – I’ve always done things differently, but when you’re different there are going to be skeptics. I’ve never believed in doing the same thing as everyone else, and for that, the industry has always doubted me. I need to feel like there is a meaningful difference between our brands and what’s already being sold – otherwise what’s the point in creating something new?Tweet