Serita Braxton is the owner of Monita Tequila, a new brand that will launch with its first blanco beverage January 2022. (Courtesy Photo)

By Megan Sayles
AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member

For Serita Braxton, entrepreneurship was not something she entirely expected for her future. But, when her mom died five years ago, the D.M.V. native wanted to find a way to honor her memory. 

The mother-daughter duo was often confused for sisters, and it became tradition for the pair to go out and have margaritas. Braxton’s friends regarded her as the “margarita girl” because she knew which restaurants served the best of the beverages. 

Now, she has turned her tradition with her mother and her love for the cocktail into her own business. Monita Tequila, named after Braxton’s mother, is a Black female-owned premium spirits brand established as an ode to Braxton’s late mother. 

“I know that she would just be so excited, she would want to drink it,” said Braxton on {AFRO Live}. “I wish she was here to share in the moment, but sharing her story and also her inspiration through this brand is equally important.” 

Because Monita’s favorite color was purple, Braxton incorporated the color into the label. The tequila is 100 percent agave, and it integrates agave honey to give it a smooth taste. The blanco profile will be ready in early 2022 and will subsequently be aged into reposado and añejo profiles for a later release. Braxton also plans to incorporate the blanco into ready-to-drink cocktails.

Fundraising for Monita Tequila will begin on Oct. 1 through Dec. 6 on IFundWomen and the blanco liquor officially releases in January 2022. (Courtesy Photo)

At first, Braxton started the process of creating her tequila remotely, but she soon realized a hands-on approach would be more effective. Consequently, she traveled to Tequila, Jalisco in Mexico to be a part of the distillation. 

“On top of wanting to pay homage to my mother, it’s really important for me also to respect the culture that tequila comes from,” said Braxton. “Seeing the people there working, bottling by hand and putting labels on bottles, it’s ingrained in their history and their lifestyle. This is how people feed their families so it was also really important for me to go there and not just phone it in.” 

On Oct. 1, Monita Tequila’s fundraising campaign will commence. Braxton chose the website IFundWomen to host her fundraiser because the company is dedicated to bridging the capital gap for female entrepreneurs, especially those of color. Rewards, including engraved shot glasses, t-shirts, temperature-controlled tote bags and tumblers, will be given to donors based on monetary contribution. 

Braxton compared starting her own business to creating a painting. Before you arrive at the finished product, you have to take it one step at a time, or one brushstroke at a time. 

“A lot of times we feel this pressure to reach the next milestone and get our product out there or secure funding, but really I think being kind to yourself, taking your time, realizing it’s a road you haven’t navigated before and just doing it step by step is really important,” said Braxton. 

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