21 May 2015

Cristina Ros Blankfein: Be Mixed


Cristina Ros Blankfein (MBA 2015)

Tell us about your business.

Be Mixed is an all-natural, zero-calorie cocktail mixer that gives you the great taste of mixology-inspired cocktails without the added sugar and calories. Our single-serve bottles make it simple to prepare delicious cocktails so you can spend less time fussing and more time enjoying. It’s as easy as a shot of your favorite spirit and a bottle of Be Mixed over ice – or go on and get creative to make it your own. Check out our Recipes section for some inventive combos!

Tell us about yourself.

I graduated from Harvard College in 2008, where I concentrated in the study of comparative religion. While at Harvard, I cofounded Circle of Women, a nonprofit that builds secondary schools for girls where they are needed most (such as Afghanistan, India, Kenya, Malawi, and Pakistan). Today, Circle of Women has 160 members and 9 chapters in schools across the country. After college, I spent three years at Citi’s Microfinance Group, where we created products and programs for the underbanked. I’ve spent the last four years at Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School getting my JD / MBA.

If there has been one theme to my career, I think it’s my love of working with people to solve big problems. I thrive when someone tells me "It can’t be done.”

What have you learned from HBS?

I have met incredible people who love to problem-solve. Learning from classmates and professors in and out of the classroom is the highlight of HBS.

At HBS, I have learned the importance of self-reflection, confidence, and teamwork. HBS and its network gave me the confidence to start my own business. My partner and I were new to the beverage industry when we started Be Mixed. We spoke to everyone connected to HBS who was willing to meet with us and read every case. HBS gave us the confidence and resources to pursue our business.

The New Venture Competition was a great opportunity for us. We received very thoughtful feedback from some of the smartest investors and business leaders, and it helped us hone our pitching skills and refine our business plan.

Where is your business headed in the future?

We’re very excited to launch Be Mixed in New York City and the Hamptons this summer! We tested out one flavor (Ginger Lime) in the NYC market this winter and got great results. We are expanding our distribution beyond the 20 stores we're in now and starting to work with select, on-brand restaurants and bars in the city and Hamptons.

We also are building out our line of flavors with a handful of year-round cocktails, as well as a few seasonal flavors (taking a page out of the game plan of our mentors at Samuel Adams). Our focus is on building the brand through a devoted and vocal target customer who can now always opt for a low-sugar, delicious cocktail when they drink. From there, we will grow to other markets so that everyone can have a better-for-you alternative when they choose to drink.

What do you, personally, hope to accomplish in the future?

I'm excited to build a brand in the wellness space so that people can continue to enjoy their lives and have better options with which to do so!

An interesting fact or two about yourself.

I am the first person in my family (after 8 generations) to skip medical school. English is my second language. My father is Spanish and my mother is Cuban. Although I was born and grew up in the U.S., I didn’t learn English until I went to school.

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