LISTEN | Pearl Thusi on venturing into the alcohol business and building an empire
Media personality and actress Pearl Thusi has obtained ownership equity in premium gin brand Black Rose Gin, becoming one of the growing list of celebs entering into the lucrative market.
“We grew up in an era when this type of opportunity was impossible. You never had the power and that's why I love how the industry has evolved over the last couple of years because now we understand — either through social media or the evolution of the internet — we understand the power we have as public figures,” she told TshisaLIVE.
Pearl admitted seeing her best friend DJ Zinhle becoming the CEO of sparkling wine brand Boulevard Rosé was one of the things that made her believe she could do the same for herself.
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“In the past I would have definitely dreamt it if I knew it was possible, but now with people like Zinhle and P Diddy and The Rock, now they've shown us that even for you it's also possible. You can make it happen, you just have to dream bigger. So I think only in recent days was I able to dream of venturing into this business in a way that I am now.”
Having close friends that are already within the alcohol business has been helpful for Pearl, she explained.
“She [Zinhle] was one of the first people I called to ask a few questions. I phoned three or four people to get some advice. I think it's one thing to get excited about an opportunity. It's another to make sure you're ready, prepared or at least aware of how much you're going to put in in order for it to be successful.”
It took a lot of learning, relearning and unlearning to finally partner with the gin brand. Pearl said she had to constantly remind herself that she was capable of embarking on such a huge venture.
“Imposter syndrome is a real thing and to venture into a new territory like this you need proper guidance but you also need to believe in yourself. It really was about thinking about my own confidence, my own self-belief and understanding I do have the power to do this. Self-doubt and belief can be the biggest enemy of progress so I have always been working on that and to have people like Zinhle around me and many other people that I can speak to about this has been very empowering.”
The actress who co-owns a hair care line called Black Pearl by Pearl Thusi, luxury scented soy candles and artisan soaps called The Sitota Collection, which is a collaboration with her manager Yvette Gayle, says she's always looking to explore and expand as an entrepreneur.
“I have a better understanding of who I am and what I want to do and the legacy I want to leave. I'm growing and I need to grow into different spaces and if any artist hasn't learnt in this last 18 or so months that you really have to have another plan to live comfortably in your actual career, like as an actress or an entertainer.”
Pearl joins Bonang Matheba, DJ Zinhle, Kelly Khumalo, Khanyi Mbau and J'Something among celebs who have stakes in the alcohol industry.