Fierce & Kind: A Spirited Journey of Passion and Impact

We got to sit down for a chat with Basem Harb and Cyndi Smith, the dynamic duo behind Fierce & Kind, a San Diego-based brand that goes beyond crafting exceptional spirits, to embodying a spirit of purposeful giving.

A Love Story, a Business Venture

The story of Fierce & Kind is a testament to the power of love and partnership in entrepreneurship. Basem and Cyndi, both driven by a desire to create a meaningful legacy, found inspiration in their shared love for whiskey and community. 

Now, they embark on a remarkable journey to build the Fierce & Kind spirits business and the Fierce & Kind Equity Foundation, which is funded by 25% of Fierce & Kind’s profits and founded to drive work around social, political, economic, and climate justice, and to help build generational wealth for our communities.

Basem’s background in entrepreneurship and Cyndi’s expertise in education technology provided them with the perfect foundation to embark on their entrepreneurial journey together at Fierce & Kind.

From Passion to Purpose: The Brand Origin Story

Founded in the summer of 2020 during the pandemic, the journey of Fierce & Kind is a tale of turning passion into purpose, inspired by a Maya Angelou quote: 

“Continue. Be loving and be strong. Be fierce and be kind. And don’t give in and don’t give up.”

With steadfast determination, Basem and Cyndi set out to create a brand that would not only offer exceptional products but also serve as a force for good in the world. 

They combined their talents and aspirations to create something truly remarkable, driven by a shared vision of positively impacting communities across the country.

25% of Profits for a Greater Cause

At the core of Fierce & Kind’s ethos lies a commitment to giving back. Basem and Cyndi are firm believers in the power of entrepreneurship to drive positive change, and they’ve woven this belief into the fabric of their business model.

A staggering 25% of the brand’s profits are dedicated to the Fierce & Kind Equity Foundation (many “double bottom line” businesses contribute one to two % of profits), which aims to do good in historically underserved communities.

In Cyndi’s words, “Our vision is building ecosystems of regenerative wealth. We know when a dollar comes into an underserved community, it leaves within six hours.”

“In more healthy economic communities, that dollar moves from business to business to business and stays much longer. So we want to work with organizations who are doing things to help keep that money in the community.”

Reinvesting in the Local Community

Basem and Cyndi are deeply rooted in San Diego and passionate about supporting initiatives that uplift and empower their neighbors. Their philanthropic efforts are currently focused on City Heights, where they support two organizations. 

The first is the Nile Sisters Development Initiative, which works on upscaling women to health careers by providing courses and funding and helping them start their own businesses.

The second is the City Heights Economic Development Corporation, which seeks to address housing and transportation issues while also working with small businesses.

Both initiatives align with Basem and Cyndi’s belief that a big part of changing economic opportunity is cultivating entrepreneurship and helping people build their own businesses.

Crafting Spirits with Heart (and Awards!)

Fierce & Kind’s commitment to excellence extends to every aspect of their craft. From sourcing the finest ingredients to meticulously crafting their spirits for maximum enjoyment, Basem and Cyndi leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of perfection.

Fierce & Kind currently offers three bourbons and an American vodka—all award-winning—with a tequila soon to be released. Each bottle is a labor of love, reflecting Basem and Cyndi’s dedication to quality and commitment to making a positive impact.

To describe the company, the mission, the foundation, and the spirits, they like to use the word sustainable.

Putting words into action, they source their grains sustainably. The vast majority of their ingredients come from a 20-mile radius around the distillery from family farmers all paid a fair trade price. And all their spirits are additive-free and true to nature.

Investing in Fierce & Kind: A Partnership for Change

As Fierce & Kind continues to grow, Basem and Cyndi invite others to join them on their journey through equity crowdfunding.

Their commitment to transparency and community engagement is evident in their approach to investor relations, as they strive to build a collective of stakeholders who are aligned with their values and vision.

By investing in Fierce & Kind, you not only become part of a unique business but also become an agent of change in your own right. With every sip, you’re supporting initiatives that create lasting impact in real communities.

A Toast to the Future

In a world where profit often takes precedence over purpose, Fierce & Kind stands out as a beacon of hope and inspiration. 

Basem and Cyndi’s unwavering pursuit of their vision—of crafting exceptional spirits, giving back to the community, and making a meaningful difference in the world—serves as a reminder that business can be a force for good. 

As they continue to expand their reach and amplify their impact, aiming to go global within the next five years, Fierce & Kind is poised to become not just a brand but a movement—one that celebrates the spirit of generosity, compassion, and kindness, one sip at a time.

Find Fierce & Kind in independent bottle shops all around San Diego and in select bars and restaurants, including the Whiskey House, Mr A’s, RoVino, and University Club.

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