The saying that everything is bigger in Texas definitely rings true for Ego Tequila.

Smashing Spirits Industry Glass Ceilings

In 2019, Rikki Kelly broke barriers by becoming the first Black woman to own a tequila brand in the state of Texas at the tender age of 23.

Additionally, she is the third in the United States to accomplish the feat.


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“As a black business owner in a traditionally-underrepresented industry, it’s important to me that Ego Tequila opens the doors for further representation across the spirits landscape,” wrote Kelly via the company’s website.

Kelly, who is self-taught and a spirits mogul in the making, launched Ego Tequila’s Blanco and Reposado flavors in 2021. Now, the brand has distribution throughout Texas, with 50 additional locations across Dallas Fort Worth, Houston, and Southeast Texas.

In November 2022, according to a press release, the Black-owned tequila brand was among the second round of angel investments from Pronghorn — a company on a mission to diversify the spirits industry.

In addition to Ego Tequila, other Black-owned brands such as Tequila With Friends and Den of Thieves also received investments.

Pronghorn's Latest Investment

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to add these leaders and their brands to the Pronghorn family,” said Pronghorn Portfolio Director Connor McKenna at the time. “They are exactly the kind of visionary entrepreneurs we look for, individuals who will lead the way as together we build a more diverse and equitable spirits industry.”


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On Jan. 17, Pronghorn announced a capital investment in Hella Cocktail Co. and appointed its first-ever CEO, Jomaree Pinkard.

According to a press release, Pinkard — Hella Cocktail Co.’s Co-Founder — will serve as Chairman of the brand, as well as Pronghorn’s CEO and Managing Director.

“I am thrilled to be joining Pronghorn. I look forward to helping drive wealth and economic power to the next generation of Black entrepreneurs and business leaders in the beverage alcohol space,” said Pinkard in an official statement of the news.