Revae Schneider, female entrepreneur and founder of Chicago based bar-styling company Femme Du Coupe, doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to the reasons for her success. “There is something uniquely alluring about being served by a woman behind a bar.” Her chicks-behind-bars philosophy is quickly spreading through the city and bleeding equally into both Chicago’s top restaurants and fashionable homes.
Exclusive venues hire her to stock their bars with the liquor-of-the-moment and provide instruction for the preparation of new chic concoctions. The well informed keep her on speed dial for the same services at home. Revae reminds you of your favorite roommate – the one who was always smiling for no particular reason, inspiring you to follow your dreams, dominating the social scene, and mixing the best drinks. Okay, so you’ve probably never had a roommate that awesome which is even more of a reason for you to meet this girl and invite her to your next party!
Kari: How did you come up with the name, Femme du Coupe?
Revae: My business mentor really pushed for that name. I wanted the brand to be called Crabapple Consulting, in homage to my grandmother. She was like “NO! That is not cool. It’s not sexy at all! It’s not happening!” (Laughs)
Kari: Uh-oh. Was your grandmother ‘crabby’?
Revae: Not at all! I was thinking of the beautiful flowers on a Crabapple Tree, and I wanted my brand to remind clients of that beauty. I think the next name I had was Luxurious Libations or something. In the end, we found inspiration from one of my favorite items of barware. The coupe glass is my favorite bar glass. So I decided to name the brand ‘Lady’s Cup’, or Femme Du Coupe.
The Coupe glass is said to be styled after Marie Antoinette’s breast. I like that! It’s a little cheeky, a little sexy, and it really represented my idea. I ran home that night and purchased the website domain even before I had developed the product.
Kari: Femme du Coupe specializes in traveling female mixologists and bar services. How did you develop this idea?
Revae: I was working the beverage program at Union Sushi and Bar and dating a guy, at the time, that would come and hang out at the bar. He once said to me, ‘You make such great drinks! I just bought a new place. Can you show me how to shop for my bar … and you can teach me how to make drinks at home.’
At that moment, a light bulb in my mind turned on. I thought, “I can totally make a business out of that. I’ll help people shop for their bars at home and they can hire me for their parties.” When I told him my idea he [responded negatively] and we never went out again. (Laughs) Where would I be had we never met? I talked to my manager at Union and she thought the idea was brilliant!
Kari: I love your motto: “There’s something uniquely alluring about a woman behind a bar.”
Revae: It’s so true and I think that’s part of the reason we’ve been so successful. We don’t just relate to women but to all people on a very realistic level. Before I was behind the bar I was a regular consumer and I understand how daunting it can be to walk into a bar with an overwhelming variety of spirits, having to make perfect cocktails for strangers.
There are more and more cocktail bars popping up. You can’t just have vodka anymore. You need to have a great cocktail selection. Everyone has their own unique take on each cocktail. If you’re opening a restaurant in Chicago you need a great bar.
Kari: How did you find like-minded people to work with and brands to merge with?
Revae: Before I launched I told maybe five people what I was doing. I hired a graphic designer, someone to do my website, and a publicist. I had no preconceived notions. I was so blissfully unaware of how to make it all happen but I thought, “I’ll just do it. If I fail, I fail. But if I don’t try I’ll never know.”
The first six months were not easy at all. I wanted, at first, to be a personal shopper for clients’ home bars. Now, most of what we’re doing is teaching mixology classes. I go in homes and make cocktails or teach people on an interactive level how to mix drinks, how to stock their bar at their home or business. We receive on average 5-10 inquiries a day asking about classes.
It’s been such a cool progression. Honestly, I had no notion as to what would happen but to see just how it’s taken off has been so cool!
Kari: What are five items every bar needs?
Revae: These are my top five:
- Most importantly, a great bottle of gin. Personally, I like Bombay Safire. It’s not as heavy on Juniper which is great for me. I like Nolet’s gin as well. It’s amazing. Those two are my staple gins. For a great martini, Ransom is a great aged gin also.
- A really good bottle of bourbon. If I’m having a cocktail I’ll go for Maker’s Mark. It’s more on the sweet side of the bourbon family.
- Plantation Five Year Rum
- Rash Citrus
- Oh, and some of my syrups of course!
Kari: Describe your favorite cocktail?
Revae: I think there’s something to be said for simplicity. So, my drink of choice is gin, lemon, and one of my syrup flavors.
Learn more about Revae and Femme du Coupe by visiting their website: http://femmeducoupe.com/
Featured Image: www.LuxandConcord.com