Malerie Stanley, owner of Los Angeles-based bartending company, Amore Bartending, doesn’t hide the fact that she’s a Los Angeles transplant. Born to a single mother in a sleepy Northern California town, Stanley still proudly acknowledges her roots despite having resided in the Los Angeles area for fourteen years– if anything, her success in Los Angeles may be, in many ways, attributed to her incredible small-town work ethic. The now well-established actor, photographer, and business owner got her first job at the age of fourteen and obtained an online degree while working full-time.
Now, Amore Bartending (one of Stanley’s many successful professional endeavors) works closely with high-profile clients across Southern California to design custom cocktails tailored to specific themes of any event. Created with locally sourced ingredients and garnished with edible florals, each cocktail enhances a guest’s experience to the most enjoyable, immersive degree possible.
Taking into consideration Stanley's enduring commitment to ethical work conditions for her employees as well as her strong penchant for business, it isn't difficult to see Amore Bartending expand past its current SoCal jurisdiction. FLAUNT sat down with Stanley to dig deeper into the history of, and goals for, Amore Bartending.
You’ve established yourself as a professional in a number of different industries. Can you describe how your varied career path led you to found Amore Bartending
Funnily enough, I fell into bartending by pure coincidence. A friend of mine worked for a mobile bartending company and offered me a slot to fill for an event. Bartending was something I always felt I’d be a good fit for because I love the social aspect. Creating cocktails was something I loved to do for friends when hosting get-togethers. Truthfully though, I had zero experience but I was a fast learner, so it came naturally to me.
I worked for the company for a while and felt there were a couple of key things that could really use improvement. Then, a guest at an event said he loved my drinks/service and asked if I could put together my own team to serve his upcoming party. I put together the team and the theme of the event was “Amore”. After a very successful night, partnered with the encouragement from the host to keep the name and start my own business, I did exactly that! I filed the paperwork to get my business license and once it was approved I began networking and advertising my new business.
What sets Amore apart from other event-planning firms? Do you have a central philosophy that fuels your specific way of doing business?
As I said before, there were a few key things I felt were very important to maintaining this business. The first was that I would pay my staff a better wage. It really upset me to see these teams–including myself–working so hard and not being compensated properly. The second was that my team would know when work began and when it ended. The company I was working for would never set an end time so these bartenders would at times work up to 11 hours and be paid the exact same wage as if they’d worked 8.
When starting my company I made it a standard that my team would not only be compensated properly, but pay would reflect the hours worked. My belief is that when you treat your team with respect and gratitude, they will be excited to work for you!
How do you source your cocktail ingredients? Can you walk us through how the company crafts client-specific cocktails?
Our cocktail ingredients, such as fresh juices and fresh fruit garnishes, are all locally sourced. The client-specific cocktails are something we do for each event. We speak with the client in detail to gauge what cocktails can be created to their liking. From the liquors to the mixers, as well as the garnishes. It’s a custom cocktail based on the client’s taste and preferences to ensure it’s something they will love!
As a female business owner, can you speak to your experience in the bartending and event-planning industry, particularly in Southern California?As a female business owner, I recognize it comes with its challenges. However, I do feel I’ve been very fortunate in partnering with other women in the industry to build one another’s businesses simultaneously. I work consistently with two female event planners and hope to continue expanding. Don’t get me wrong– I’d love to partner with men as well, but there’s something to be said about women empowering other women who work their asses off!
Where do you see yourself (and your business) in the next five years?In the next five years, I see Amore being a worldwide service. A household name in Los Angeles as the top dog of mobile bartending. I have very big plans that will take the experience to the next level for all of its hosts! I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say the word “mobile” will take on a whole new meaning!