Business Partners Daphane Carter and Taia Rashid’s Friendtrepreneur Success Story
Best Friends and Business Partners Daphane Carter and Taia Rashid have made history as the first African American women to own a citrus liqueur brand in the United States. Their debut handcrafted spirit, Daphane Limoncello, has already made quite a splash in the industry, winning two Silver Medals in the highly esteemed 2023 Bartender Spirits Awards. But that’s not all — their hard work and commitment to quality have elevated Daphane Limoncello to new heights.
Daphane and Taia are dedicated to empowering others, especially women in business. They actively engage in mentorship programs and community initiatives, offering guidance and support to aspiring entrepreneurs. Through their mentorship, they aim to break down barriers and create a more inclusive and supportive environment for women in the industry.
By championing diversity and excellence, they have helped shift the narrative and create opportunities for underrepresented voices. Daphane and Taia’s aspirations for the future are to continue making a difference, inspiring others to embrace their uniqueness and pursue their passions.
Please enjoy our interview!
Congratulations on all of the achievements and recognition as the first African American women-owned citrus liqueur brand in the United States. As well as the two Silver Medal wins at the Bartender Spirits Awards. As we celebrate National Black Business Month, what does this vast point of success mean to you personally?
Taia: First, thank you for believing that our journey is worth highlighting during this momentous time of year. There are so many black-owned businesses breaking ground and shattering barriers that we should all be proud of. I believe our achievements validate that we are building our brand the right way. We have been focused and passionate about what we want our products to represent. We are constantly asking ourselves does it represent creating a luxe experience based on faith, love, family, and friends. We have held steadfast to that mantra.
Daphane: When thinking about this question, I can’t overlook the gratitude, humility, and fortitude that fills my heart, mind, and soul. A year ago, we could have never imagined that we would be here. Given this tremendous opportunity to pave the way for future entrepreneurs and business owners by challenging the status quo and being a part of the movement to create a more diverse, inclusive, and innovative spirit industry is truly an owner. I pray that our triumphs, challenges, moments of darkness, and light will turn into valuable resources and support for others as they unlock their potential and DREAM BIG. Our communities thrive when the ecosystem of black businesses is thriving.
How did you prep for the Daphane Limoncello win of the John Barleycorn Double Gold Award in Taste Competition and Silver Award for Best Overall Marketing and Design?
Taia: I would say our “prep” occurred during the original development of our multiple award-winning spirit. We spent months on every aspect including the custom glass cork, the shape of the bottle, the label design and vast changes to the spirit formula itself. We wanted a premium product that invoked thoughts of luxury from the look and feel of the bottle to the smooth first sip of the product inside.
Daphane: When passion meets purpose, preparation is often implied. From the inception of this idea, the goal was to create an experience that was filled with joy, laughter, and luxe. We began with creating a formula that was curated from my love of limoncello and my family’s history of lemonade and moonshining. It had to be filled with premium products like Meyer Lemon and mixed with the mastery of an experienced distiller. This is a family brand and our friends are members of our family. So we actually had our friends and family had insight, ideas, and creativity to the bottle design and even allowed our community of friends and family to vote on the final design. We entered competitions that focused on bartenders, mixologists, and industry experts because we originally wanted feedback on the product more than winning an award. The added bonus was the awards but the most important part was being highly rated by industry experts.
Cashid Beverage Ltd Co began believing that ultra-premium liqueurs could have a special place in the current beverage landscape. What does the future hold?
Taia: The immediate plans are to increase Cashid Beverage’s portfolio. Daphane is limoncello lover. I am a bourbon girl! We are excited to start working on a signature bourbon recipe. We are determined to create a legacy that allows us to hopefully be an example and point of support for others driven to pursue this journey for themselves.
Daphane: We are excited to expand the portfolio of spirits in the Cashid Beverage portfolio and are looking forward to developing a bourbon to align with Taia’s love of bourbon and whiskies. We also look forward to collaborating with other women of color in the industry to create “luxe cocktails” and experiences. The world is our “oysters” and we will continue to create “black pearls” for other women and business owners to enjoy premium and luxe spirits.
What can you share with us about your newly established lifestyle blog?
Taia: We started The Limoncello Life in an effort to document our life journey with our definition of luxury based on faith, family, and joy. We want to capture moments that bring us happiness to share and inspire others on this same wonderful adventure. We are working on a revamp that highlights our personal and professional path as FRIENDTREPRENEURS! I am going to credit Daphane with coining this term for now!
Daphane: It was important to document the journey to the spirit and ensure we didn’t leave the lifestyle out of the story. Our lives are based on faith, love, luxe, and fun. We absolutely love the life ingredients of home decor, fashion, and great food; creating experiences for friends to laugh, love, cry, and share life together happens in the center of all these great ingredients. The blog has been a true labor of love. We had no experience in blogging or even creating stories or articles. We have learned so much about business, strategy, and hard work through this blog that actually helped us with launching the spirit.
What advice would you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
-Stop ideating and get to work.
-Develop your strategy as a business owner and not someone with a new hobby.
-Leverage experts in the field.
-Don’t give up!
-Reach Out and Up If you’re going to be an entrepreneur, you must learn how to ride out the ebbs and the flows, the highs and the lows. Sometimes, you will feel defeated and unable to continue. In those moments, remember you are not alone, and there is a path that someone has paved. Find the resilience and energy to seek wisdom, help, and insight. Reach up for inspiration because you were created to be great.
-Give yourself grace: I wish I could say that by doing your research and working hard, you’ll be able to magically avoid all the tough times that come with entrepreneurship. But tough times are just part of the deal. When they do roll around, give yourself grace. Now is no time to feel ashamed, resentful, or even regretful. Now is the time to focus, roll up your sleeves, get the right people to help you, and turn things around.
-Celebrate the highs. Enjoy yourself when things are going well. You will need to draw on that feeling when times are low. And there will be celebratory moments, even if it is landing your first account, which doesn’t add up to paying the bills. It’s okay. Progress is a catalyst for achievement.
-Celebrate the lows. Your life and your career are a journey. Some of the most valuable lessons are hard-earned. I believe you were built for this.
-Enjoy the adventure of entrepreneurship, you must get up, dress up, and show up, even when you don’t feel like it.
For more information please visit: daphanelimoncello.com.