Launching an independent tequila brand into the big-brand dominated spirits industry is no small feat, but Jenna Fagnan saw great possibilities for Tequila Avion. So she quit her beloved job as VP-marketing and sales for LVMH's TAG Heuer, and joined the co-founders of Marquis Jet to launch the premium agave tequila.
It wasn't the first time she took a leap for intrigue. When she graduated from college, she moved to Japan to work on U.S. sister city programs for its government. She moved back to the U.S. to Wieden & Kennedy, working on Nike and the global relaunch of Diet Coke. She quit to go back to business school, graduating from Harvard with an MBA. Ms. Fagnan then got her first taste of the spirits industry at LVMH as the managing director for Dom Perignon USA.
She did help Tequila Avion break through; it's now nationally distributed by Pernod Ricard. However, brand challenges continue, especially after the end of the HBO show "Entourage," where Avion was a key storyline.
She recently oversaw Avion's first TV ad campaign in May, and brokered a deal with Delta Airlines as its sole tequila and for Avion Margaritas through September.
"It's not a job, it's a lifestyle, which is why I love this industry," she said.
Give us one fact about yourself that will surprise people.
I was born in an Eskimo village in Alaska.
Knowing what you know now, what career advice would you have given yourself when you were starting out?
Don't worry about making a mistake; learn from it and then move on. Too many times, we dwell on what we did wrong, wasting time and focus, rather than using that energy to push new ideas forward.
What's your favorite kind of music?
I love R&B/hip hop. I don't admit that publicly, but the beat is addictive.
What is your dream vacation spot?
Anywhere I can get an Avion margarita on the beach.