Kylie Jenner's best friend, Greek American instagram star and social media influencer Anastasia “Stas” Karanikolaou has teamed up with entrepreneur Zack Bia and launched a gluten free vodka, called Sunny Vodka, reports Forbes magazine.
'Now, the two West Coast friends are launching a new venture, Sunny Vodka, a small-batch corn-based American-made spirit, just in time for the long overdue post-lockdown summer parties that were promised last year. The venture represents an emerging trend in business: social media stars flexing their global visibility to expand into self-owned brands, rather than merely promoting other people’s products.'
“[The opportunity] fell into our laps,” Karanikolaou says. “This makes so much sense for us. We love entertaining, hosting get-togethers, throwing parties, organizing dinners. To be able to have our own line of vodka at events is just a dream.”
Both Bia and Karanikolaou are aware of the negative perceptions generated with anything 'Russian' generated by the conflict in Ukraine, but say "there never is a perfect time to do anything, but you have to control what you can control. If you hold back on it for too long, that right moment might never come. You have to create it."
Per Forbes, 'to be sure, launching a vodka brand, when the category has, for several years, been America’s top selling spirit by volume, makes a certain amount of business sense, current events notwithstanding. Vodka sales notched a 4.9 % gain in 2021, moving from $341 million to $7.3 billion in revenue, according to the most recent data from the Distilled Spirits Council of America. Over 78 million 9-liter cases of vodka were sold in the U.S. last year (up 1.6% from the year prior); vodka sales dwarfed every other category, with ready-to-drink cocktails (36.6 million 9-liter cases sold) and American whiskey (29.7 million 9-liter cases sold) bringing up distant second and third places.'
ABOUT ANASTASIA KARANIKOLAOU
'Anastasia Karanikolaou is a model and social media star, who is also known online as Stas, Stassi or Stassie Baby. With over six million Instagram followers and 200,000 YouTube followers, Karanikolaou frequently models outfits for her audience and occasionally vlogs about her life, including one popular video about her entire plastic surgery journey.
'The influencer has also recently poured a lot of effort into her TikTok presence, sharing videos of herself and Jenner from lockdown dancing to popular songs on the app. She's also shared TikTok videos alongside Too Hot to Handle star Harry Jowsey, sparking rumours that they're dating.
Stassie’s father is Periklis Nikolaos Karanikolaou, a Greek-born broker for World Financial Group, according to LinkedIn. The pair appear to be close and he has previously featured in vlogs and on her Instagram.
On Father’s Day, she shared a snap of her dad cradling her as a baby and wrote, “thank you for always being there for me when i need you, for showing me unconditional love, for knowing how to cheer me up when i’m sad, and for dealing with my annoying ass on a daily basis. i couldn’t have asked for a better dad. i love you to the moon and back. happy father’s day.”[Source: https: Evening Standard ]