Jazz Shaper: Alex Carlton

Posted on 03 April 2021

Alex Carlton is Co-Founder and CEO of STRYYK, the distilled non-alcoholic spirits company.

Alex previously founded Funkin Cocktails in 1999 after identifying the growing trend for natural and fresh products in the cocktail market place. Funkin became a market leader in cocktail purees and mixers before expanding globally. Alex sold Funkin in 2015 to AG Barr, owners of Irn Bru, Rubicon, Ka and Rock Star Energy Drink.

Within a year of selling Funkin, Alex was drinking an alcohol-free spirit and tonic drink with a friend when they realised they could create a better product and capitalise on an increasingly popular sector.

With a passion for innovation and building brands, Alex prides himself in being a forward thinker, a natural networker and a strategic consultant, helping bring brands to life.

Highlights

I always had an entrepreneurial tendency and flair at school growing up.

I’ve always loved innovation and been fascinated by design.

When you build a business, you never put your feet up for five minutes, you are on it 24/7 but that’s the passion that comes from building a brand.

You fall in love with your brand and when you see the reaction your brand has with people, it’s a deep affiliation and the passion is driven harder.

Think about the idea first and execute that as brilliantly as you can, [rather than] how you can make money out of it, because it can immediately put you in a conflict of interest with your customer.

I think [a flat, collaborative structure] works so much better and you get the best out of people… for them, for the company, for the greater good of the shareholders.

It’s not a given when you start a business that you are going to see an exit.

I’m really conscious of utilising every minute of every day… I just love keep feeding the brain and learning and pushing forward.

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