014: Flash vs Substance in your brand, and how Mompreneur Courtney McKee bottled the “spirit” of a city

and why Courtney’s brand will NEVER say, “buy this,” and what they do instead.


  • How to bottle the “spirit” of a city and sell it on the market

  • Why Mom business owner Courtney calls her and her husband “lucky idiots” when it comes to business

  • How to incorporate the story of a place in branding your location, website, and product.

  • Why her brand NEVER says, “hey buy this,” and what she does instead.

  • Don’t be afraid to admit what you DONT know.

  • How a small distillery in a small city population 33,000 got picked up by big news media.

  • On hiring, and how to choose what your employees WILL do, and what you WONT do.

  • Courtney’s personal story of adopting a child, the overwhelm of motherhood, and how she (sometimes) stays sane.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher (tunein coming soon).

How to subscribe on iTunes article HERE.

Download the mp3 here.

Quick Q&A:

mompreneur courtney mckee of headframe spirits

What’s one of your favorite business books, and what was the key take away?

Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath & Barry Conchie

Being a great boss is about looking at an employee as a person and finding what their talents are.

Favorite business quote?

A rising tide lifts all boats...I want to see great things happen for Butte, and that really is our measure of success for Headframe.

What’s the one business tool you use that you cannot live without?

Google Drive


Mompreneur Challenge:

Spend 5 minutes a day and take a look at your successes and challenges, and find an alternate way to tackle some of those challenges.

Maybe that’s asking for help, maybe that’s hiring a house cleaner.


How Mompreneurs can Connect with Courtney:





Mom Entrepreneur Bio               

Courtney McKee is the co-owner of Headframe Spirits and its associated manufacturing arm, with her husband John. Courtney came at this career with a fondness for great cocktails and for Butte, a perfect pairing. Another winning combination occurred when Courtney and John McKee were named the 2013 Montana Entrepreneurs of the Year.

Courtney oversees personnel and special projects at Headframe, wrangling a team of 25. Yikes! She also works closely with local and state groups to advance projects in economic development and historic preservation in particular.

In her previous life, Courtney ran an IT company where she did nerdy things for wonderful people in southwest Montana. Prior to that, she did nerdy things for wonderful people in Connecticut, where she was born and raised. She fell in love with Montana when she moved to Missoula to attend college where she earned a BA in English Literature—a perfect foundation for every job she’s had since.

Courtney is the mom of two wonderful children and Wylie, the Distillery Dog. When she grows up, part of her still wants to be a librarian.