When Jennie Ripps and Maria Littlefield started their company, the initial goal of brewing premium tea blends for some of NYC’s top restaurants quickly grew into their popular brand, Owl’s Brew: a collection of all natural, botanical flavored teas combined with alcohol to create a clean refreshing beverage that can be enjoyed on its own or in a cocktail. (Added benefit: The truly all natural ingredients mean less potential for suffering the next day!) 

As these two women found growing success with their company, their mission to contribute in a positive way grew to include their Wise Women Collective. Through this platform, Jennie & Maria support women in their area, as well as nationally, through conversation, supporting community programs and their Boozy Book Club. We sat down with Jennie & Maria to learn more.

How did the Boozy Book Club come together?

Community and conversation are important to us at Owl’s Brew, and our Boozy Book Club was born out of a love for books. We focus on celebrating amazing female authors. Through our conversations, we get to know the author, the story behind the book, and give our community the chance to dive deeper and ask any of their burning questions!   

Why do you feel it’s important to highlight female authors?

Our goal is to shine a light on strong female voices.  We’ve featured a variety of fiction books to date covering a range of topics, and we do have a few non-fiction titles coming up later this year.

Each month, BBC announces the latest book to its members (and now Serendipity readers). Towards the end of the month, BBC schedules an Instagram Live event so members can learn more about the authors and the stories they’ve created. Readers can send in questions for Jennie & Maria to ask the author and tune in to find out more. 

What makes the live conversations so interesting?

We love to hear the inspiration behind the books and the characters. Were they drawn on real life experiences?   Real places?  Research?  Something else?” It’s been fascinating to learn about the writing process, and how each author brings their stories to the page.   

For instance, Andi Bartz shared that sometimes the story takes her by surprise, and she doesn’t start with a beginning, middle and end – everything evolves!  In a recent conversation, The Lifeguards author Amanda Eyre Ward, let us know that she will write out little scenes (moments, locations, vignettes) on notecards and picks one for the day as a prompt to bring her story to life. And Charmaine Wilkerson, author of Black Cake, told us that the eponymous “black cake” of the story was a pretty-last minute add, to bring everything together.  It’s been fun to get a behind the scenes look at how these incredible novels came to be.  

Tell us about the May book selection.

Funny You Should Ask is written by Elissa Sussman and is about a restless young journalist with big dreams who interviews a Hollywood heartthrob—and reunites with him ten years later, in an unexpected way.

What is it about reading that you find most rewarding?

“I love to be drawn into a story”, says Maria. “I love to learn about characters. I always know I’ve read a really great book when I miss the characters when it’s over.” 

“I love to curl up under a blanket with a cup of tea (spiked or unspiked!). Right now, I’m reading a book by Maggie O’Farrell and love it. I also dabble in business books like The Hard Things about Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz.”

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