As part of our new By Women series—which spotlights the best women-owned products and companies—we're committed to giving female founders who own 51% or more of their business a platform. This not only allows them to introduce their brilliant products to a wide and potentially new audience, but it also helps you—the reader—discover really cool stuff. Like TCapri tequila, which was created by Tiffany Capri Haineswoth. It's smooth and sippable, and has the distinction of being the first and only tequila created and owned by a Black woman.
It might sound clichéd, but many make a major life change after a near-death experience. This was the case for Tiffany Capri Hainesworth, a Washington, DC, analyst for the SEC who suffered a brain injury following a 2012 car accident. While dealing with its tremendous after-effects—including grand mal seizures—she realized life was too short to not at least try to pursue your passion. “I had given my entire life to the federal government,” she says. “With everything that transpired, it made me say, ‘What do I want to do with the rest of my life?’”
The answer to that question, at first, was to tweak the recipe for her side business, TCapri Gourmet Treats, which included booze-infused sweets like gummy bears. For obvious reasons, this took off immediately, and Hainesworth found herself on morning shows to promote her business. But she still wanted to do more. As she tells it, she started to see the empty alcohol bottles in her recycling bin used for her recipes and said to herself, “I'm using so many people's liquor—I want my own.”
From that moment she began researching tequila, a favorite of hers, and what goes into regulating and creating a liquor brand. In 2018 she took multiple trips from DC to Guadalajara to meet jimadors, farmers who harvest agave plants, the primary ingredient in tequila. She says she used a translator app on her phone because she didn't know a word of Spanish. Five years later—without any partners, bank loans, or investors, just money she borrowed from her retirement plan—she is the proud owner of TCapri tequila.
Read on to discover more about Hainesworth’s biggest challenge, her recent splurge item, and the importance of Black and female representation in the liquor industry.
Glamour: First of all, why tequila?
Tiffany Capri Hainesworth: Who doesn't love tequila? I'm a margarita girl. I didn't want to do wine or vodka because everybody has that. I wanted to do [a liquor that] I drink.
What was one big challenge you faced at launch or after?
I launched in the eye of the pandemic and faced what all businesses did: the global supply chain disruption, which was devastating. My first shipment arrived in the United States in January 2021, and by July, I was off store shelves because I couldn't get access to 750ml bottles. All the bottle manufactures were behind and only taking orders from the larger companies, and even some of those suffered. So I went from making history as the first Black woman to own a tequila brand to no one being able to get a bottle.