Why Dwayne Johnson Wants His Tequila Brand to Remain a Family Affair

At a recent pop-up for Teremana, Johnson spoke of using the brand as a lesson for his little girls

Dwayne Johnson poses with a Teremana Christmas tree at a recent pop-up in Beverly Hills.

(Photo courtesy Flannery Underwood)

When Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson launched his tequila brand Teremana in early 2020, it was “baptism by fire.” The world was in the thick of a pandemic, the tequila industry was crowded with celebrity-backed spirits and a tediously-constructed marketing plan was dumped as in-person interactions became off-limits.

But Johnson soon took a unique approach, turning to social media to promote the drink through fun cocktail-making lessons. With it, he and business partners Jenna Fagnan, Ken Austin, and ex-wife Dany Garcia surpassed two million cases sold as of April 2023. And while that online community continues blooming, being able to celebrate the spirit in person in L.A. marked a special moment for the actor. 

“It’s really awesome,” Johnson told Los Angeles magazine while chatting to media during Teremana’s two-day pop-up, the Mana Holiday House. “We had our work cut out [in the beginning]. I remember saying, ‘I don’t know where all this is gonna go [or] what’s going to happen around the world. Things feel heavy, but let’s have a drink and toast family.’”

Set up in a Beverly Hills mansion, the event greeted visitors with a Christmas tree built from Teremana bottles. The sun-soaked courtyard featured more bars, ornament-adorned trees, festive lights, and snacks like tacos and French Toast – a salute to the cheat meals Johnson enjoyed during the pandemic. 

Meanwhile, a virtual experience took fans through the agave fields of Jalisco, Mexico, where the small-batch spirits are crafted by the local Lopez family at Destilería Teremana de Agave. 

Johnson poses with a figure of himself at a recent pop-up for Teremana in Beverly Hills.

(Photo courtesy Flannery Underwood)

“Terra means Earth [in Latin] and mana’s part of my culture – I’m half-Black and half-Samoan and on the Polynesia n side we have a word, ‘mana,’ that I use often,” Johnson explained. “It’s spirit. I believe in the positivity of mana and the idea behind the Mana House was [to] create a real place [where] people can come to feel the mana and enjoy the drinks. I’m a hopeless romantic when it comes to positivity, especially [during] the holidays.”

The holidays were an ever-changing time for Johnson as a child. His father Rocky Johnson was a professional wrestler meaning Johnson lived in 13 places, including Hawaii and New Zealand, by age 13. The family’s only Christmas tradition was to simply be together.

As a father of three, he’s now implementing more stability and festive traditions with his daughters, seven-year-old Jasmine, five-year-old Tiana, and 22-year-old Simone.

“On Christmas Eve the little ones stay up as long as they can,” Johnson shared. “Around 11, they finally fall asleep then Santa comes and when Santa comes that’s a whole couple of hours process! That’s our tradition now – to wake up and live Christmas through the girls.”

The girls are a big influence on Teremana, which he envisions becoming a legacy brand that remains in his family. Johnson hopes they learn valuable lessons from the company, which is donating $250,000 to Another Round Another Rally, a non-profit helping the hospitality industry, over the holidays.

“What I try to do with the girls is show them the world is yours,” Johnson said. “As little girls of color, you’re gonna have your struggles. If Teremana is an example of hard work [and] creating something for people that they enjoy, let it be your example.”

While family remains a key driver, Johnson reflects that the values behind Teremana have also helped him on a personal level. He’s proudly embraced who he is and connected more deeply and authentically with the public than he ever did in his Hollywood life and work.

“The world of movies and marketing movies is a machine and process,” he said. “Teremana enabled me to strip it all away and [say], ‘Let’s just have a drink and talk.’ It enabled me to connect with people and community in ways I hadn’t before.”

“It’s easier said than done, [but] the most powerful thing we can be is ourselves and it took me years. I didn’t realize the power of it until I started living it.”

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