The move to ownership or “having equity” in a business partnership is becoming a key factor in many celebrities’ business moves.
Multi-talented entertainer Pearl Thusi is one such celebrity who chose having a stake in a premium gin company, Black Rose, over collaborating or being an ambassador.
Speaking to The Citizen, the actress said she was a fan of the gin company long before they approached her. She adds she wanted to have ownership as she believes she could offer far more as a business partner than a brand ambassador.
“The alignment was real, I have a candle range called Black Rose and I had worked with Seth [CEO of Luxe Brands] years before.
“For me, what was special is the history, the name, the quality of the product, it’s super-premium but it also is kind of sweeter but organic. The natural botanicals they used to create the flavours that they have in the ruby blood orange and the blush pink organic,” she said.
For Thusi, being authentic isn’t only her aesthetic, it is what she loves and who she is and it is one of the main reasons why she signed up with Black Rose.
The actress has, in the past, been approached by other brands to keep up with the alcohol trends but she calls them ‘fly by night’ and said she lost interest as a result.
“But this made sense, the stars aligned and it was a no-brainer,” she added.
Pearl Thusi’s role in Black Rose gin
Her role as an owner will see her focus more on marketing and strategising.
“It’s going to be a lot different on how we communicate with the market. With the platform I have, I would be giving a different perspective. The young black female, the LGBTQ plus community, looking at the gentleman who loves their liquor, who love their women, who don’t want to be seen in a sinister light who want to enjoy and not be part of the problem.”
The actress says she is excited about how her role will be in executing her strategy. A form of empowerment for people from all walks of life, “I want to expand the idea of what a black woman is and empower people doing good. This is the lifestyle we want to celebrate, a beautiful, successful and happy people.”
In future, she plans on helping people in need by using profits to sponsor and donate to causes.
Shifting focus from the business side of things to the product, Thusi explains that the Black Pearl blend called the ‘Satin Original’ is a London dry gin, celebrating a classic. The flavours, blood orange, have been described as being potent, strong and could be the perfect drink choice on the rocks with just some ice and maybe a touch of tonic.
Thusi does reveal she didn’t create this blend due to her management changes, however, she is looking forward to creating her gin flavour and heading to the distillery to make something special.
In the long term, this business venture is to leave a legacy for her children.
“I have two children and I see Black Rose in a long time. For me, I definitely want to see it grow and I do have a timeline and those timelines are related to the partnership and building a structure.”
She wants to reach her goals for the gin is within three years, but possibly five, and see Black Pearl sold internationally.
DJ Zinhle’s advice to Pearl Thusi
A close friend, DJ Zinhle, was the first person Thusi called on the business venture. Zinhle has an entity in a Boulevard Rose and she advised her to believe in herself and tackle her own self-doubt.
“She just reminded me to be positive, believe in myself, trust myself and trust my own instincts. She helped me piece together the puzzles myself,” Thusi said.
The TV presenter adds they have a responsibility as women in the industry to be intentional in the agenda of women, that women can support each other and stand together.
“Even through tough times women still need to continue to support each other,” she concludes.
Black Rose is available online at TakeAlot, NormanGood Fellows, Makro, Ultra Liquor city and Tops Spar.