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Paul Wesley & Ian Somerhalder on building the Brother’s Bond Bourbon brand

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Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder, Co-Founders of Brand Guardians Brother’s Bond Bourbon, join Yahoo Finance to discuss the inspiration behind the brand, its unprecedented demand, and how it stands out from competitors.

Video Transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Welcome back. There is a new urban brand in town. And chances are you're going to recognize the co-founders-- actors Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley. Yep, they've gone from being brothers on the popular CW show, "Vampire Diaries," to launching the Brother's Bond Bourbon.

And we are so delighted to have them here with us now. Guys, thanks so much for being with us. You got your bottle. You're ready to go. Look, congratulations. I know when this bourbon launched in May, you started selling it online. And it sold out within days. Ian, I'm going to toss this one to you. What was the inspiration for doing this with your friend, Paul?

IAN SOMERHALDER: You know, this was over 10 years in the making. This guy and I spent so many hundreds-- well, thousands and thousands of hours on the set together. And this is the most authentic thing that we can think of doing. This is-- our soul is in this bottle. And I think you'd be hard pressed to find a product with this uncompromising quality with this level of IP built into the product. So we're really, really grateful and humbled.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Paul, what was it like building this bourbon brand from the ground up, especially during a pandemic? How did you guys do it?

PAUL WESLEY: You know, I mean, in-- first of all, we've been talking about doing this for 10 years. And we built this for the last few years. But I have to say, in a way, I mean, obviously, it was a horrible time. But at the same time, it forced us to sit in our homes, get on our Zooms, talk every single day, and develop this product. Ian and I live close to one another. So I went to Ian's. We blended this bourbon together in his living room.

IAN SOMERHALDER: For over a year.

PAUL WESLEY: For over a year. We created this. We created the label. We created the-- we came up with the name. So everything we did, we had, obviously, a lot of time on our hands. So, in a way, it was serendipitous. I hate to say that, but in a way, it sort of worked out to our favor. And it was such a beautiful passion project. And here we are on Yahoo Finance, talking about it. And we're just so humbled and thrilled to be here.

IAN SOMERHALDER: And we just announced a huge announcement 48 hours ago. 50,000 cases sold in the first four months after launch is pretty substantial. And we're just super humbled and really grateful to everyone.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: That is crazy good. What's the price point? What's it selling for?

IAN SOMERHALDER: $39.99.

PAUL WESLEY: Yep.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: OK, that's pretty reasonable. And I love the bottle. I love the look of it. We were talking during the break. I think I'm going to up my bottle over the holiday weekend. Talk to us about the label. It's a tree with-- is that the two of you sitting under the tree?

PAUL WESLEY: Yeah, we always argue who's who. But that's me and that's Ian.

IAN SOMERHALDER: Yeah, it's a better angle of Paul.

PAUL WESLEY: That's right. My right side is better. No, but this is-- go ahead and tell--

IAN SOMERHALDER: Well, no, it--

PAUL WESLEY: It's not an arbitrary label.

IAN SOMERHALDER: No, I mean, it's super symbolic, obviously, right? The brother's bond is the anchor that holds this big, you know, organic structure in between the boys. They have the ability to be safe and look out and have perspective. These are the grains actually built in, you know, the corn, wheat, barley, and rye, built into the tree. And the birds signify--

PAUL WESLEY: And--

IAN SOMERHALDER: --nature and freedom.

PAUL WESLEY: And the tree is an oak tree. And as we all know, bourbon is aged in oak barrels. So everything has a meaning and a significance.

IAN SOMERHALDER: Yeah, new American Oak. And so, every bit of it, like Paul said, has significance. It's very, very organic. And it feels to us that sort of sense of, like, nostalgia, solid purity--

PAUL WESLEY: And bonding, togetherness.

IAN SOMERHALDER: Bonding and inspiration because nature and each-- nature inspires us and protects us, as do you inspire me and protect me, Paul.

PAUL WESLEY: Thanks, buddy. No, it's really special.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: You guys, that is awesome. Thanks for the show and tell and for explaining the label for us. So, look, it's no-- I mean, no surprise to you. There are lots of celebrity-backed brands out there or spirits of alcohol. You know, how do you distinguish yourself and get seen and build on what you're having right now, the success, and not just sort of be like a flash in the pan?

PAUL WESLEY: Well, yeah, Ian loves to call himself a celebrity. Um, but no--

IAN SOMERHALDER: First of all, let me set the record straight. We do everything in our power not to call one another or refer to ourselves as celebrities.

PAUL WESLEY: No, but I'll just say really quickly, and then you can-- I'll hand it off to Ian. But, you know, every single thing, there is-- as you said, there's a lot of celebrity brands out there. Most people-- and I'm not saying specific names or anything, but most people will slap their names on a bottle and sell a product that they really have no part in developing. Everything you see here, from the label to the name, to the Nashville inside, to the bottle, was designed by Ian and myself and our team. And so for us, this is extremely organic.

Also, for those of you who don't know, Ian and I were on a show called "The Vampire Diaries." We played brothers. We drank bourbon on the show. Ian and I drank bourbon offscreen when we finished work. We fell in love with bourbon. We shot it in the South-- the show in the South. And so, this is extremely organic to us. And it's just-- it's something that just makes perfect sense.

IAN SOMERHALDER: It's also, too, about-- the ethos of this company is about bringing people together, right? And I think we can all sort of agree that we need togetherness ultimately more now than ever in history. And Brother's Bond is the company to do that. We encourage a deep sense of community and belonging. It's inclusive, not exclusive.

PAUL WESLEY: And you want to mention the agricul-- the--

IAN SOMERHALDER: Yeah, and 100%. Like, listen, we all know that a give-back component, particularly up and down the supply chain of any new company coming into the fold, is absolutely necessary. The future of business are the companies with triple bottom lines. People, planet, profit-- end of story, right? So we're giving back to regenerative agriculture. We obviously know scientifically regenerative agriculture can stop climate change in its tracks, put it in our rearview mirror.

So we are doubling down and putting our money where our mouth is, not just as a company, but as individuals and encouraging our partners and our families. I mean, this is what we do. We are an agricultural company. And we are going to make sure that we invest heavily, heavily, heavily in regenerative ag by sequestering enormous amounts of carbon dioxide and storing it safely back in the ground where it belongs.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Well, we like that component of the whole situation here. Spoken like true, you know, co-founders and CEOs. Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, thanks so much, guys, and best of luck with the bourbon.

IAN SOMERHALDER: Well, there's no way I would be-- our CEO, Vincent Hannah, runs the company. There's no way I would trust either one of us as CEOs of this company.

PAUL WESLEY: That's right. Hey, enjoy the bourbon.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Well, you got the lingo down.

IAN SOMERHALDER: Right, enjoy. Thank you for this, Yahoo. Thank you.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Absolutely.

IAN SOMERHALDER: Thank you, Yahoo Finance.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Enjoy the bourbon. Enjoy your long holiday weekend.