Local Entrepreneur Leah Nicholson of Draft Florida
In honor of International Women’s Day, Colorful Clearwater spotlights local female entrepreneur and independent hospitality owner, Leah Nicholson, who helms Draft Florida, a mobile beverage trailer she rents out to clients for their use.
The trailer is set up to serve anything that comes in a keg, whether that’s beer, wine, or even mixed drinks. She helps her clients source their desired drinks and plan for the trailer’s part in their event.
Leah built Draft Florida’s truck from the ground up herself, planning out the design in sticky notes on her bedroom wall. She funded the build with her own money and a personal loan she was forced to take out, and put all she had into the trailer’s construction, which Leah did with her own two hands. What started as a rentable wedding and event trailer, quickly morphed into a way to help out bars and restaurants in need of taking their businesses outside for social distancing.
In her search for funding, Leah found that Draft Florida was a tough sell for small business grants. From the misunderstandings about the concept to the hesitancy from lenders to support an alcohol-based brand, Leah found herself with few options.
That’s when she discovered The VELO Hustle, a virtual pitch competition series that serves as a means to support small business owners in search of funding and mentorship. As the winner of her VELO Hustle episode, Leah was awarded $10,000, which she put toward her plans for the trailer’s future including initial funds for franchise extension and marketing spend to build the brand’s awareness.
For more information on services and bookings, visit www.draftflorida.com.
Information, video, and images courtesy of Draft Florida.