#HERMoment: Ariel Neal of Leira Knows Cocktails

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on 28 Jan 2017 12:00 AM
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Ariel Neal, is the CEO of Leira Knows Cocktails & Events. As bartender and businesswoman she understands the value in connecting with people through food and alcohol. As director of newly formed organization, Casuing A Stir she has set out on a mission to build healthy and prosperous business relations between professionals that work in the Restaurant, Alcohol & Hospitality Industries.

Ariel recently had a chat with Far'falla Girl's founder, Lauren Tiffany. We are honored to have her as our very 1st Career profile on Bella Elite blog!

Lauren: What is a mixologist?

Ariel: I define a Mixologist as the creator of a delicious experience in a glass!


Lauren: Why did you choose this profession?

Ariel: I do not believe I choose it; It chose me. 


Lauren: Did you always own your own business?

Ariel: Yes! I have had other business they all involved hospitality, pampering, serving or creating experiences. 


Lauren: What has been the biggest challenge as an African American woman and business owner?

Ariel: As an African American business owner and mixologist (who is also a woman), the biggest challenge has been getting people to understand with quality and professionalism. Time and standards are wanted but, often overlooked as far as value and demand. Clients want the experience, the look and feel but then, only willing to budget for the minimum amount. #TheStruggle


Lauren: Does your business put you in a position to give back to the community?

Ariel: My business puts me in a position to give back to the community by hiring people from community. Alexis Brown of 'Serving Life Behind Bars', started a group called 'Causing A Stir'. We are a partnered NPO with a vision to diversify the hospitality industry through educational and career development programs which focus on engagement, empowerment, collaboration and mentorship.


Lauren: What advice would you give a woman who wants to establish her own business one day?

Ariel: Follow that passion and see it through. Don’t be afraid to immerse yourself in that world you envision. Research and become legit. If you like doing hair; become a certified cosmetologist. Find like-minded people and collaborate. Invest in yourself and take up some business courses. Stop talking about it and just do it. 


Lauren: What is you motto for life?

Ariel: My motto for life is: TRY! The answer will always be no if you don’t at least ask or pursue.


Lauren: With only using 5 words, how was teenage life?

Ariel: Using only 5 words, life for me as a teenager was:  Fortunate to acknowledge having favor.


Lauren: Have you ever faced a moment in life where you just wanted to give up and how did you overcome it?

Ariel: I have faced a few moments in life where I just wanted to give up. Just recently as a matter of fact. I realized, time is not my only measure. The big picture is my contribution to the over good. Things happen (Hashtag S*it Happens). However, my attitude and preparation stabilizes me and unforseen situations.


Lauren: What is your theme song for life right now and why?

Ariel: My theme song for life right now is 'Ambitious', Jay z and Pharrell. Ambition is what fuels my fire. I just want to try. Nothing can stop that. When I go to bed I’m "thinking of a master plan..." It may get derailed but I’m still thinking. 


Lauren: Who is Ariel Neal?

Ariel: Ariel is a black, educated, confident and fun Woman who only wants to host and take care of your needs by providing an experience. 


Lauren: Share with us your perfect non-alcoholic recipe that a Far'falla Girl could enjoy

Ariel: Now you speaking my language!



1/2 oz Orange Juice

1/2 oz  Passion Fruit Juice

1/2 oz  Lime Juice 

1/3 oz * Honey Syrup 

Shake all ingredients with ice in a shaker.

Everything including ice goes in the glass 

Top with a splash of cranberry juice. 

* Honey Syrup 

- great honey

-orange peels

-pinch of sea salt

- water 

Bring to a bowl, cool strain off peels 

*Causing A Stir official launch party is Sunday, February 18, 2018!

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