And then, the cultural phenomenon that brought back both booze and the crimson lip: Mad Men. "All of a sudden, everyone wanted a well-stocked bar," Campbell says. She saw an opportunity in the lack of spirits professionals in her industry, and she jumped on it. "I thought, 'I'll learn more than all these dudes, and I'll kick ass.'"
Kick ass she did. After making an effort to have her face known at local breweries and distilleries, she landed the mentorship of Todd Leopold, of Leopold Bros. distillery in Denver. The family-owned distillery gets huge respect in the small-batch American spirits world, and its hands-on owners exposed Campbell to the day-to-day of distillery life. With Leopold's encouragement, she completed her diploma in craft distilling technologies from the Siebel Institute in Chicago. Shortly after that, she got her first big break: Hubert Germain-Robin offered her the assistant distiller position at Germain-Robin, the esteemed Cognac-inspired brandy distillery in Northern California. "I was very lucky to learn Cognac techniques. Cognac is very closed-door," she says.