Hey guys, Tyler and Soph here :) We are the founders of Yes You Can Drinks!
A bit about us… Aussie sportsman met Kiwi Googler in 2015. Tyler conceded rugby dominance. Soph didn’t care much for sport but cheered Tyler and her adopted country on at the 2016 Olympics. Soph quit her job in 2018 and they traveled together for 6 months through Africa and South Central America. Settling back into Bondi on their return, Sophie studied psychology at Sydney Uni while Tyler continued to run his sportswear business, Delfina. They fell pregnant. Covid hit. Tyler and Sophie retreated to New Zealand for ‘4 weeks’ in March 2020 and returned to Sydney a year later with their little souvenir, Teddy.
5 years after meeting, and against the ‘you should never work with your partner’ mantra - they decide to launch a business… with a newborn baby... while displaced from their home… during a pandemic… and here we are today!
Yes You Can was born out of the sum of our past and present experiences, and the desire for a good drink to drink when you’re not drinking (or just cutting down a touch) 😊 A little more about how we came to be is on our story page here.
Sip & Savour
What has the journey through building Yes You Can been like?
We will need a Harry Potter length book series to detail the ups, downs, challenges and triumphs of the journey so far! From building a brand in an emerging category from the ground, to developing our unique proprietary flavours from scratch - the journey to bring our Yes You Cans to market has been a steep (and sometimes treacherous!) learning curve for us and something that now, after more than a year of brand building and product development, we are incredibly proud and excited to bring to the world!
What has the journey through parenthood been like?
Parenthood started for us the second we saw that little line appear on the pregnancy test. There was so much uncertainty around the effects of covid on pregnant women at that stage and New Zealand felt like the safer option for us and our little jellybean. Although we were so lucky to be surrounded by the support of close friends and family, being stuck away from our home in Sydney, the daily uncertainty of if/when we could get back to Australia, couch surfing, scrambling to find an obstetrician and create a birth plan at the last second, and the wild hormones on top of it all felt a bit discombobulating at times. No wonder I was constantly craving (but obviously never had!) a drink. This is partly when the idea for Yes You Can non-alcoholic drinks was born! Then, once we met our little man for the first time in October, all external stress fell by the wayside. It was the most amazing, indescribable love-bubble! Like nothing we had ever experienced before. Although we had the colic/reflux phase for a bit in the early months, overall parenthood has been a truly enjoyable, enriching experience. I think we are extremely lucky to have an easy-going, happy baby and so much amazing family and friend support in both Australia and New Zealand. Without that combination, I don’t think getting this business off the ground would have been manageable. We love being parents and can’t wait to hopefully have more babies in the future :)
Tell us about your evolving relationship with alcohol. What is a session for you now vs what a session was for you at 21?
Tyler: Playing sport kinda kept me away from consistent drinking when I was younger but I made sure to make up for it when I did indulge. Because I hadn’t built up the same level of ‘piss-fitness’ (we will go in to that in another blog) that my mates had done over years of practice, turns out I would often be the first soldier to fall on nights out.
A session at 21 was probably getting together for a pre-game gathering at around 5pm, playing drinking games til about 8-9pm before heading out and trying to convince the security that I “have only had a couple mate...”. If we were allowed entry, it would be a matter of maximising how quickly and cheaply I could get to a level of drunk that I considered optimal to enjoy the night. The ‘optimal’ period would normally last around 3 minutes and was usually followed by being escorted by security from the venue.
A session these days is everything from a nice wine with dinner, a few drinks with friends watching sport or more recently, watching Love Island (I’m ashamed to admit!) with Soph once we have put our 10 month old to sleep - downing a couple of Yes You Cans!
Sophie: As someone who struggled with mental health during early adulthood, I found the tension between not wanting to drink alcohol and succumbing to peer pressure really difficult. I would oscillate between binge drinking with friends or making up excuses to avoid social situations. Other times I would volunteer as the sober driver, which seemed like the only plausible excuse, or camouflaging myself by ordering a vodka soda (without the vodka) at the bar. I didn’t like the feeling of being blind drunk, and I really didn’t like the feeling of hangxiety the next day! Yet, I still engaged in binge drinking behaviour because, unfortunately at 21, I was more interested in ‘fitting in’ than confidently and proudly doing what felt right for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have definitely had my fair share of big nights out over the years (and still do every now and then) that I wouldn’t change for the world… but mental ill health or winding up in vulnerable situations as a young female shouldn’t be the price you pay. It wasn’t until my mid-to-late 20s where I truly began to challenge this tradeoff.
Now, at 29, I mindfully and confidently enjoy the occasional glass of red wine, Fellr seltzer or an aperol spritz (or five for special events). But 99% of the time I just don’t drink. It helps me to prioritise my wellbeing. Tyler and I prefer to get outdoors, engage in activities or go on adventures. Even more so through pregnancy (where I couldn’t drink at all), breastfeeding (where I have to limit drinking to very specific, calculated windows or pump and dump) and now that we are parents (where hangovers are harder than ever before) I find the desire to drink alcohol continually decreasing - even though I still crave the taste!
Furthermore, as parents we want our son to grow up in a more mindful drinking culture than we did. We aren’t anti-alcohol... we are just pro-balance and empowering people with choice. :)
Is there a particularly embarrassing drunk story you can share with us?
Sophie: One that immediately jumps to mind is actually about Tyler… In the early days of us dating, I went to join him at his friend’s flat party. Nowhere to be found, I eventually knocked on the bathroom door. Tyler opens it and basically falls on me (the big water polo player he was) and when I look over his shoulder, there was vomit ALL OVER THE WALLS. He missed the toilet bowl completely. Another party-goer and I ended up washing the walls down with buckets of water while his friend tucked him into bed.
In terms of my own cringe story, I can remember going to a party as a teenager, not knowing how much feijoa vodka you could skull before it hit you. After only an hour of being there I vomited on the carpet of the host’s living room! My older brother and his friends embarrassingly collected me and drove me home where I slept by the toilet bowl.
Tyler: There are probably a few I thankfully don’t remember so for now will stick with Soph’s answer!
In order to prioritise your mental and physical wellbeing, what are some non-negotiables you live by?
Tyler: I normally try to do some form of fasting to start the day as I find it energises me. I am not super strict about it but generally only have black coffee til around midday on most days. In addition, despite the limitations of lockdown at present, I try to get outside and ideally get the heart rate up on most days too. I always find a cold water dip resets me mentally and physically as well (although sometimes staying warm inside wins out!)
Sophie: A quick morning routine of getting Teddy up, fed, and changed, making the bed, skincare, coffee, and being present with our little guy while he is awake helps me start the day right, before jumping into my inbox. Then getting outside in the fresh air every day and trying to hit 10,000 steps. In the past I have been guilty of setting too many daily non-negotiables. Consequently, feeling disappointed if I didn’t achieve them all. Juggling motherhood, keeping the house clean, and starting this business is demanding enough. So now I keep it simple and anything extra, such as fitting in an at-home pilates class, is just a bonus!
How do you cultivate balance in your life?
Tyler: I am a hypocrite here because what I am saying is not what I am currently doing 😝 When I feel most balanced is when I have a strong routine that involves sufficient time dedicated to sleep, working out, eating well, enjoying fulfilling work and having real and dedicated social time with friends and family. At present I am definitely skewed most to the launch of this business, followed by family time with all the other pillars falling by the wayside. I hope I can move towards a better balance in the very very near future!
Sophie: Making sure I’m present with Teddy when he’s awake and focusing on work in his down time. Although there are times where the business requires urgent attention and we need to put Cocomelon on TV or get Tyler’s selfless Mum to babysit, most of the time things on my side can wait until he’s down. Additionally, once we ‘retire’ for the night we try to really shut off from our phones.
If you were a drink what would you be and why?
Sophie: Our Yes You Can non-alc Spritz. I drink so many of them I’m probably going to turn into one… or run us out of stock!
Tyler: Probably a double espresso. Full of energy and not for everyone! 🤣
Describe your drunk alter-ego in 3 words
Sophie: Seems sober. Isn’t.
Tyler: Funny, sloppy, hungry.
What is your favourite thing to spend money on at the moment?
Sophie: Whatever the latest baby item is that I have convinced myself I need.
Tyler: Maybe not my favourite but definitely the most expensive haha -bringing this business to market.
If you could share a drink with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be?
Sophie: Louis Theroux - ever since I was younger I have been a huge fan of his documentaries and find him so funny.
Tyler: Michael Jordan - Although after watching The Last Dance I somehow think it would end up in some form of competitive drinking game
What is something that really energises you?
Sophie: Hearing our son’s laugh or watching him light up when he sees us.
Tyler: Going for an ocean swim.
In your ideal adventure what would you be doing, where would it be, and who would it be with?
Sophie: Ethically swimming with orca whales in Norway with Tyler.
Tyler: Climbing another one of the world's highest peaks with Soph. We deliriously summited Kilimanjaro in 2018 so would love to take on another!
What is one thing that always cheers you up?
Sophie: Listening to voice notes from my besties while going for a walk.
Tyler: My favourite song (whatever it may be at the time). I find music is one thing that can immediately change my mood. In another life I would have loved to be a frontman :)
One song you can’t stop listening to at the moment?
Sophie: The Happy Song by Imogen Heap - but not necessarily of my own choosing! (New parents, this is a saviour at times!)
Tyler: I am actually just constantly playing the easy listening albums of an artist by the name of Noah Kahan on low volume in the background while I work (and type this actually - funnily enough the current song is called Busyhead which says it all!)
A motto or quote to live by?
Sophie: Expect nothing, appreciate everything.
Tyler: Cliche but a classic - when the going gets tough, the tough get going!
Give us two truths and a lie about yourself
Sophie: I have my pilots licence, I have my skydiving licence, I have my boat driving licence
Tyler: I can do a flip on a snowboard, I have bungee jumped, I have been diving with bull sharks