The company originally started as La Leona meaning “Lioness.” With that came my first big lesson in starting a business. Think long term from day one and make sure global trademark search when looking for a name. “La Leona” was in conflict with a Tequila brand in the states named “De Leon” owned by the one and only Sean Combs, Puff Daddy.
It was time for a change and an upgrade. With our first investment from a new partner we upgraded the branding and brand name to something better, LEONISTA and a new logo of the Lioness face with a sugar skull design. Leonista means “Lion energy” or “lion person.” The inspiration for this came from 100% Agave spirits, when made properly are meant to be energy giving. We hope when you sip on Leonista you awaken some of the lion within. Lionesses are a powerful image of Africa connected to the origin of the Agave, sourced from the Karoo and the sugar skull design on her face is in honour of the Mexican heritage. If you look closely, you will see an agave in her ears ;) The experience of having to change the name was a huge lesson for me that difficulty or an obstacle sometimes leads to better things on the other side.
Patagonia's mission statement (and reason for being) states “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” I am very inspired by this company and hope to instill the same ethos into Leonista. The dream will be for Leonista to be driving agave to be a profitable farming crop for the farmers in the Karoo. We want our packaging to be 100% sustainable and for every bottle sold a % goes towards supporting conservation in southern Africa.
It's been 3.5 years since Leonista launch and the P Diddy incident and so many lessons, wins and losses but we are still here. Launched nationally into PNP and exporting to Europe, Japan and Australia and on the road to sell the most we ever have in a year. Corona has thrown us for a loop but at the same time has allowed for the opportunity to step back and begin again. Thank goodness for PNP and Exports or we may have been Kaputt! I have the feeling of a new beginnings and again, better things on the other side. I am excited.
If you are interested in any of our products overseas see links below to our partners:
Netherlands - https://www.leonista.nl/
Japan - https://www.axas.co.jp/