This month we want to shine our spotlight on a member of the Jackalope family who is unquestionably and undeniably noteworthy. Kristen Westerbeck is a familiar face to so many Jackalope patrons, but what does she do? Who is she, and why is she so important to our team?
A vagabond of sorts, Kristen, born in Cincinnati, came to Nashville in 2008 via Philadelphia with music in mind; a story we’ve all heard before. Having sung and played guitar in Philly, her original plan when beginning her academic journey at Belmont University was to continue with what she knew. Plans changed, as they do, and she soon found herself following a different path. Seeing so much incredible talent in Nashville, she decided instead that she wanted to “develop artists and help them grow,” and thus began her studies Music Business.
During her junior year at Belmont, Kristen studied abroad in London and shortly after found herself on a 3 week trip across Europe with a group of friends. Arriving in Austria, she and her friends happened upon a beer garden – Kristen’s first of many to come. She looked around at all of the families, the people gathering and forming a community over a common interest, and decided that she wanted to be a part of something like that. Her European escapades came to an inevitable end and with senior year on the horizon, she attended a career fair at Belmont. Wandering from table to table, she realized that she had no interest in any of the displays at the career fair. Flooded with memories of Austria and the beer garden, she knew that the table she was seeking wouldn’t be at the career fair. The table she was looking for took the shape of a bar, a fermenter, and a sense of community through craft beer.
A friend (or guardian angel of beer, perhaps?) recommended she check out Jackalope and see what they had to offer. After calling for the better part of two months in 2012, Kristen finally got an answer and a five minute tour of Jackalope to follow. With plans in mind, Kristen offered, or rather, informed them that she would be doing marketing for them pro-bono on Wednesdays. And well, the rest is pretty much history.
Fast forward seven years to a time when Jackalope is regularly applauded for the stylish merchandise on the racks and any normal weekend results in a Monday morning merch restock. The woman behind it all is Kristen. She’s a major reason Jackalope has such a strong community in Nashville and beyond – one that mimics that which she saw and yearned to be a part of in Austria. When she isn’t putting in a new merch order or working to put together a new event, she’s probably either hiking, trail running, volunteering, working in her garden, or (highly likely) exploring a new landscape. Being a part of the Jackalope family for seven years, it seems fitting that this year Kristen will venture to her seventh and final continent, Antarctica. Amidst all of this, she somehow finds time to pick up new hobbies, and the latest of which is interior decorating.
We’re tremendously grateful to have someone like Kristen on our team. Someone who is diligent, passionate, filled with curiosity, and a genuinely quality friend and person. We love taking time to celebrate our family, and there needn’t be an occasion for it. Thank you for all you do for Jackalope, Kristen!