Priscilla Padilla is an entrepreneur. She is from the Rio Grnade Valley but grew up in Austin, and is now living in North Texas. As a child, she wanted to be a corporate attorney; at least she thought she did. “When I was seventeen I realized I never wanted to be an attorney, that was a dream that was instilled in me,” she says. “What I really wanted was to be successful in something that I would naturally be passionate about. Which is when I figured out that I was most passionate about business. I love learning about different businesses how they started, how they became successful, the ins and outs of whichever business it is. Everything about business has always intrigued me.”
After college, she began an entertainment company managing musicians and models. “After being in the entertainment business for four years and having a successful ride my main artist decided he wanted to take time off from the music world and go to college. I felt that, that was the universe telling me this is the time to move,” Priscilla says. She moved back to Austin without any kind of plan, just figured she’d get a job and figure it out from there. “I stumbled upon a ‘boutique’ liquor distributor that was looking for a bookkeeper. I applied and a few days later interviewed for it. The interview was a phone interview and it was the oddest but most interesting two-hour conversation I had ever had with a stranger. It was as if we had known each other for years,” she says. “A few days later I went to Austin to interview in person and that turned into another hour plus conversation with my now best friend and business partner, Christian.”
Christian owned a small liquor distribution company that distributed boutique local vodka and tequila brands to stores, but a few months down the line, he approached Priscilla for help pushing a wine cocktail he had created, as he knew she had a marketing background. He would eventually ask her to be his partner in Tekeen. In what seemed an instant, Tekken was being sold at Spec’s Wine, Spirits & Finer Foods. “Initially we were only sold at Spec’s in Austin,” she says. “We would make our deliveries from our personal vehicles. In order to get into other Spec’s, Christian had this idea for me to visit all the Spec’s in Texas and personally introduce the brand to the store managers; to get them to call corporate and request it to be sold at their stores. I went to 100+ Spec’s in a few months and to my surprise Christian’s idea of being personally introducing it worked.” The next “Christian idea” was to have Priscilla randomly go to the corporate office of Goody Goody Liquor in Dallas and attempt to get Tekeen on their shelves. “That day the universe was with me and somehow I met the corporate wine buyer,” she says. “I presented Tekeen to him he loved it and gave me an order for 100 cases which at the time was our biggest order in one chain!”
The success just kept coming. Christian challenged Priscilla to get Tekeen into HEB, and if she did, he’d buy her the Louis Vuitton Never Full Bag she had been wanting. Needless to say she got that bag (figuratively and literally). “At that point we were too big to continue distributing Tekeen ourselves so we partnered with a distributor who would help us with the deliveries to the 300+ stores we were in,” she says. “We are now sold at Spec’s, Goody Goody, HEB, Kroger, Randalls, and Albertsons in El Paso. In the five years of business, we have continued to work as a two-man team of Christian and myself. I truly believe that by going to all of the stores that we’re sold in and introducing myself to the store or wine managers, and building those relationships in a personal manner along with personally interacting with our customers has been a key ingredient to our growth.”
The next “Christian idea” was to get a brand music artist, but not only have him do that, but to start an entertainment company to push that artist. “The first and as of now only artist we signed was the artist from the Valley that I had signed to my original company,” Priscilla says. “Interestingly enough we have been able to incorporate music and Tekeen together.”
“To be honest there isn’t another product out there in the market like Tekeen,” Priscilla says. “Most cocktails are malt based or spirit based. This is a wine that plays like a spirit, which makes it unique on that alone. You can actually mix it with other spirits like Vodka, Tequila, Champagne, we even have a mix with Beer, or you can drink it on it’s own over ice.” The logo is a play on a modern Aztec warrior headdress. “The logo and flavors however represent our heritage. We chose the flavors because Hispanic people drink ‘aguas frescas,’ which is infused water, the most popular kind being Cucumber Lime, which also happens to be our number one selling flavor.
Priscilla still encounters challenges, being a woman in a male-dominated industry. “… Seeing that I am a female, a Hispanic female at that, those two attributes don’t go over too well. I’ve been told before, ‘This looks great but sweetie, have your boss call me,’ or my personal favorite, ‘No, I know you work for the brand as a demo girl or sales person, but no have the owner call me, you know, the man,’” she says. She has yet to let this stop her, or even slow her down. “Our 2018 goal is to sell 10,000 cases; that’s a lot in the industry. I’m currently working on a social media campaign for that. Our overall goal is to expand out of Texas to become a national brand.”
A typical day for Pricilla looks like:
7 a.m. – 30-60 minute recap phone call with Christian
8 a.m. – back to sleep
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Calling stores throughout Texas to schedule in-store demos and scheduling those demos with the Tekeen promotional staff. “By noon I’ll have twenty plus emails from people that want sponsorship, or to partner up with, or from our distributor,” she says.
2 p.m. – Depending on whether she’s in Dallas or Austin (she splits her time evenly between both), she’ll either go on store visits or go to the distributor office. “If I’m in Dallas I generally utilize this time to meet with bloggers, or podcast for sponsorship opportunities as well,” she says. This will usually run to around 8 p.m.
8 p.m. – 12 a.m., twice a week, she’s in the studio with their artist, Danny Jai. She’s involved in everything from choosing beats to the delivery of his vocals.
1 a.m. – 5 a.m. – Her best/peak time for marketing ideas, and analytical reports.
5 a.m. – “I’ll sleep for two hours than it’s time for my daily 7 a.m. Christian recap phone call and my day starts over again.”
We #COSIGN Priscilla for her relentless hustle and extreme work ethic. For being a multifaceted entrepreneur and playing multiple rules to help build the Tekeen brand as well as the artist she manages.
Who does Priscilla #COSIGN?
1. Bryanna Sims @_Bryannasimsxo
2. Shamar Willis @Shamar_atlas
3. Byrd House Filmz @_bhf_
4. Kiki J @officialkikij
5. DJ Dawn @whoisDJDawn
6. Kayla McDowell @1kaylamac
7. Cassidy Hill @awandererspen
8. Danny Jai @RioDannyJai (what kind of manager would I be if I didn’t add him)
9. 808 Entertainment @808dtx
10. Jeff Adair @JeffAdairFilms