Riddle me This… Sam Paget-Steavenson
Up close and personal with owner & founder of bespoke cocktail service The Rum Runner
If you knew then what you know now… would you still do it?
Of course! I would definitely still do it, but I am not sure I was aware of the amount of work I was signing up to. The main difference between working for someone else and for yourself is the fact that you can never really leave the office when it is your own company. There are also lots of perks of working for yourself too. It’s refreshing to have total control creatively with what we do. I also have a fantastic team around me who truly understand the concept so I’m able to bounce ideas off them which helps a lot.
Luckily I love being able to create something, be it a new cocktail or designing a bar. I’ve always been a very creative person so I’m really grateful that my job means that I can be inventive on a daily basis. Obviously there are bits of the job that aren’t so glamourous but that’s all part of it
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“Pick a trade and master it.” Definitely haven’t mastered it yet, but that is the plan of course! Thankfully I love what I do so am always thriving to make it to the next step. I think there is definitely scope for expansion in the business and it will be a steady process, but we are slowly but surely on the way! We’ve been very lucky in that most of our jobs have come from recommendations which inspires me to improve with each event.
What was your biggest break?
I had a number of quite random and at times depressing jobs in my early twenties. A conversation one day led to me leaving my desk job and starting work at a nightclub. This was the first time I could genuinely say that I enjoyed work. It provided me with an environment in which I could express myself creatively and I truly enjoyed the time spent with the other like-minded people who worked there. It was that initial conversation that started me down my path.
What’s the weirdest rumour you’ve ever heard about yourself?
Why, what have you heard?!
Do you consider yourself lucky?
Anyone who can honestly say that they love what they do is lucky. There may be elements to my job (mostly admin and accounting based!) that I hate, but for the most part I can’t imagine doing anything else. I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve been able to transform my passion into a career and I am always learning new things, be it about different ingredients we can use in our cocktails to new ways to build & design a bar, which keeps things interesting!
What’s most important in your life?
My family and friends are of course most important to me. A close second is making time to do the things that I want to do and not simply talking about them. It’s one thing to come up with ideas, but it’s another to put in the graft and make them happen.
What brands do you admire?
I can’t help but be impressed by the success of Fever-Tree. They saw a gap in the market, filled it with an infinitely superior product and dominated in a relatively short period of time. Well done them!
Do you have a guilty pleasure – if so what is it?
Any rom-com with Matthew McConaughey!
Describe your personal sense of style.
There is a polar difference between my everyday wear and my work wear. By day I am rarely seen out of trainers, jeans and a t-shirt and by night (when behind the bar) I wear a Nehru collared shirt and waistcoat.