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Exploring Life & Business with Alexi Fisher of The Hammered Copper

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexi Fisher. 

Hi Alexi, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
When I moved to Salt Lake City for school, I needed a job and shortly after began working for David’s Bridal as a dress consultant. One day, a wedding planner came in with her bride. I had overheard her mention that catering was short of a bartender and she was stressing if she could find someone in time. I mentioned that I could bartend for her event, never mentioning that I had never bartended before and that I was only 19 at the time. I got the gig. Fast forward to 2013 and I am using bartending as a means to pay for school and supplement my social life. By 2015, I had graduated with my second degree and was applying to all mental health jobs I could but unfortunately did not get any response. I moved back in with my mother and took a bartending position at the Park City Hilton, known as the Yarrow to locals. It had been recently acquired by Vail which meant big things for the winter season. 

With the upcoming Sundance film festival, a cocktail competition was calling for submissions from local restaurants and bars. My boss at the time asked me to come up with a new cocktail. This was my first time crafting for a competition. It must have been about a week or two later, I was coming in for my shift to find out that I had won and my cocktail was going to be featured in People Magazine. The feeling that I had created this whole new cocktail was huge for me. Little did I know that I would spark a passion point I didn’t know I had. 

I started working for various bars in Park City. I even started working as a promotional educator for Diageo’s Johnny Walker. By the beginning of 2017, I had entered 3 competitions and won 2 of them for my craft cocktails. I loved what I was doing but I hated who I was doing it for. Remember, I still worked in a bar. It was encouraged to flirt with the customers. Sexual harassment and assault were rampant but ignored. I often received racial insults and when I complained to my bosses, they often told me “You probably heard them wrong”. I remember asking myself what I wanted to do and if I really wanted to be a “bartender” forever. While it was never a path that I had considered forever, I knew I didn’t want to be there. 

I decided to start reapplying for jobs within the career field I went to school for, Psychology and Neuroscience. I ended up taking a position with a well-known name in the mental healthcare field in Utah. After 6 months I was being harassed and verbally accosted by a coworker. I uncovered significant insurance fraud and even found proof of client-therapist relationships. I went and reported every incident with no support or response. I eventually was let go due to “creating a caustic environment for my employees” aka whistleblowing. This time in my life was one of the hardest things I had to endure but by far this was one of the best things that could have happened to me. 

After a few more “rock bottom” events, my boyfriend (now husband), Joe, who was a wildland firefighter at the time was consoling me through my depression. He asked me what I wanted to do. I told him I had no idea; I didn’t even know what made me happy anymore. He said he remembered how much I loved bartending. How being able to create a delicious drink and take witness to the people’s enjoyment was a time that he remembered me at my most happy. So, I began to freelance bartend to make money. On a short RR home, Joe and I went thrifting. We came across a pair of handmade hammered copper mule mugs. They were beaten and dented but that is the thing about copper. The more that it is hammered and put to work, the stronger it becomes. 

While I cannot think of a specific event that really began my career, this was definitely the moment that gave birth to what has become one of my greatest achievements, The Hammered Copper. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Has the road been smooth? Aggressively, no. The service and especially the liquor industry is predominately white and male. I am a strong, outspoken, and independent multiracial woman who has chosen a career in a field that has on multiple occasions abused me. I don’t stay in this field because I love it or just because I am good at what I do. I stay because women who look like me are disrupting the status quo. There is a literal revolution that is taking place in the service and liquor industry. Workers and bartenders are demanding better from their bars. Better pay and working conditions, Health insurance, and the end of patron on staff harassment and/or abuse. The fact that I get to be a part of this movement and I have the opportunity to do what I love, gives me a sense of confidence and peace that I am doing exactly what I was meant to all along. 

We’ve been impressed with The Hammered Copper, LLC., but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The Hammered Copper, LLC. Salt Lake City’s premier mobile bartending service for weddings, corporate parties, and social events. Providing delicious drinks and stress-free service. This is still a new-ish concept to Utah. When people ask “What exactly is a mobile bartender”, I explain that our job is to bring your favorite bar to your private event. We specialize in craft cocktails and mocktails. We are by no means opposed to serving the classics but we love creating that cocktail and/or mocktail that embodies a couple for their wedding of a theme for an event. 

Most people are surprised that not only does this kind of business exist but that it is legal with Utah’s strange liquor laws. I have personally been in this industry for almost 13 years and have seen just about everything. I feel that this has not only prepare me to be able to provide great bar and customer service but also to mitigate any issues that could arise. We want our clients to have fun and enjoy their event and the drinks and be able to trust that they can do so with safe service. 

The thing that I am most proud of for The Hammered Copper, LLC. is that we are women-owned and operated. Women have been looked over in this industry since begin pushed out from behind the bar after WWII. Within the last 20-30 years women have started to reclaim that role and I love it! I love that I am able to teach a valuable skill to women that they are able to use at any point in their lives. 

In 2019, we started offering cocktail classes on a small scale. During the pandemic, we started offering those classes online. My dear friend and host of The Living – True Crime Podcast and I started Crime & A Cocktail and it has boomed. It has been a great opportunity for us to take our loves of true crime and bartending and be about to provide a unique and intriguing experience. 

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
I can say that I truly love what I am doing. Owning and operating The Hammered Copper, LLC. is the thing I want to do for the rest of my life. I know that is a truly rare place to be in and I have worked very hard to be here. 

I would give three pieces of advice to anyone wanting to start their own business in this industry or elsewhere: 

1. You are never too old to start doing what you love.

2. It is okay if the thing you want to do for the rest of your life is not what you had planned.

3. Remember tomake timefor yourself. If you are starting a small business, you realize that the 9-5 work schedule is non-existent and there will never be enough hours in the day to complete that project. However, if are burning the candle at both ends and, in the middle, you will being to resent that thing you love. Take care of yourself! 

Pricing:

  • Classes: $55-120
  • Bartending: $800+

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Alexi Fisher
@melanated.mixologist
@etsujoe

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