Community//

“5 Thing I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO of Original Cocktail Club,” With Jess Horan

If everyone thought of people in this world as being a brother, sister, or friend, then we wouldn’t have war, and that would be the greatest contribution I could make. I had the pleasure to interview Jess Horan. Jess is the founder and CEO of Original Cocktail Club. As a frequent Las Vegas diner, Horan […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

If everyone thought of people in this world as being a brother, sister, or friend, then we wouldn’t have war, and that would be the greatest contribution I could make.


I had the pleasure to interview Jess Horan. Jess is the founder and CEO of Original Cocktail Club. As a frequent Las Vegas diner, Horan noticed an opportunity in the food & beverage industry. She decided to take advantage of her extensive marketing background and business education to fill this market opportunity, and Original Cocktail Club was born. Prior to creating the company in 2018, Jess spent 7 years building her background in advertising. In 2015, she worked as an Account Manager at a Gum Gum, a Computer Vision company in Santa Monica. She managed all of the west coast automotive clients including Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Honda, Acura, Nissan and Mazda. Horan’s success propelled r to be promoted to Senior Account Manager in 2017. In this role, she continued growing the automotive brands while leading meetings and pitching clients. In 2013 Horan worked at Connexity (formerly PriceGrabber)where she started as a Sales Planner creating custom digital advertising plans for clients. She was promoted to Media Sales Associate the following year where he managed and monitored her own book of business. She began her advertising career in 2011 at Amobee (formerly Adconion Direct)as a Campaign Manager where she was responsible for trafficking ad campaigns. She was soon promoted to Deliver Manager where she managed campaigns and developed strategies for clients. She graduated in 2010 Cum Laude from Boston University with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. When Horan is not working or cocktailing, she is an avid fitness enthusiast.


Thank you so much for joining us Jess! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Ialways knew I wanted to start my own business. My family loves dining out to eat. Oftentimes during the week we would go to fabulous restaurants with tons of empty tables. I saw an opportunity and OCC was born.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

Initially when I would approach restaurants, I would constantly get rejected. Now, we’ve made it to the point where restaurants have actually reached out to me to partner with OCC, which is an awesome feeling!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The funniest mistake was trying to figure out what our price point would be. We started at $25 per month, which is crazy. We kind of just picked a price and ran with it, but once we started doing our research, we quickly realized that had to change. Now we’re down to $9.99!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

OCC stands out on its own simply because we’re the first to market. There isn’t an app that exists that’s anything like it. We cater to people who love to dine out, enjoy trying new places and, of course, love a good cocktail. OCC allows members to try new restaurants without breaking the bank, but also helps restaurants fill empty tables during slow times.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

OCC has been focusing on building a community. Las Vegas can be a difficult town to meet new people and make new friends. OCC is changing that, though! We have events throughout the month and member meet ups so everyone can stay connected and are able to discover the best restaurants in Vegas!

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

You are stronger and more competent than your male counterpart, women just need to internalize that!

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

I’ve learned that you need to recognize your weaknesses and hire people who are better than you at the skills you don’t have. My advice would be to put people where their skills are best suited, which will maximize the probability of success.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My stepdad has many successful businesses and always supported me when it came to starting my own. He has taught me a lot along the way. Something I’ve learned from him is not to overthink things. I am an overthinker by nature, but have learned to make things happen, take action and learn from whatever happens. You can also lose and/or miss an opportunity by overthinking.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

OCC has partnered with Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation. Anyone who signs up using code NVCCF, we donate their first payment to the charity. I love this charity and it holds a special place in my heart, so it’s great to be able to give back.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  1. You’re going to be stressed out…all the time! I am an incredibly hard worker, but I definitely work harder than I ever have before. I’ve found that I’m always working even when I’m not working. If I’m out I’m talking about the business, eating, sleeping, DRINKING the business.
  2. There are things that you never knew that you didn’t know. For example, I took an accounting class in college…that doesn’t cut it though. I have definitely learned to recognize my weaknesses and hire those people who fill that void.
  3. I am responsible for everything, good and bad. It’s great to bask in the success of signing new partners, but when things go wrong it’s also important to take accountability.
  4. There has to be a line between employees and myself. I love being friends with everyone, but it’s important to maintain a level of professionalism.
  5. Nobody cares about the company as much as I do. Even the most hard-working employees are never going to have the same passion that I have for OCC.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

If everyone thought of people in this world as being a brother, sister, or friend, then we wouldn’t have war, and that would be the greatest contribution I could make.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” It always reminds me that someone else has worse! Even on days when I feel down or defeated, it is going to be okay. At the end of the day, OCC isn’t saving lives, just trying to make them more fun!

We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

I really look up to women entrepreneurs, specifically Barbara Corcoran. She’s a self-made, incredibly hard working bad-a$$. When her boyfriend at the time told her she would never succeed without him, it only made her stronger and queen of an empire! Let’s get lunch!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

“Take care of your people.” With Jess Ekstrom

by Ben Ari
business and office - businessman and businesswoman on the top of chart with success word
Community//

Working Hard Or Being Good At Your Job Might Not Get You That PROMOTION. Here Are 3 IMPORTANT Additional Things That Will

by Nidhi Kush Shah

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.