Elon University – Alumni In Action

Ryan Vet ’13, Michael Thomas ’20 to highlight small businesses with new TV series. In an effort to put small businesses in the spotlight during the COVID-19 outbreak, the team’s pilot episode of Sip’d will air on April 9 and focus on local craft beverage artisans in Durham, North Carolina.

Elon alumnus Ryan Vet ’13 and Business Fellow Michael Thomas ’20 are releasing their new reality travel television series ahead of schedule in an effort to put small businesses in the spotlight during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ryan Vet sitting and headshot of Michael Thomas
Ryan Vet ’13, left, and Michael Thomas ’20 hope to bring attention to small businesses through new TV series Sip’d.

In September 2019, Vet partnered with Triad Studios, a media production company co-founded by Thomas, to produce Sip’d, an episodic show exploring craft beverages around the world. Each episode will feature a different city and highlight local craft beverage artisans, including coffee roasters, tea rooms, distilleries, speakeasies, cocktail bars, meaderies, craft breweries and wineries.

With filming suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Sip’d team spent the past few weeks finalizing the pilot episode in order to release it early on April 9. The team hopes it will help bring attention to small businesses while providing entertainment and education during this time of social distancing.

“Due to the recent outbreak, many beverage purveyors and curators have had to furlough their team members and temporarily shut operations down entirely,” show host Vet said. “With $376 billion allocated by the federal government to aid small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is no secret that small businesses are crucial to the American economy.”

The pilot episode, featuring Durham, North Carolina, will livestream April 9 at 8 p.m. EST at sipd.tv. It will not be available for viewing again until the complete series is released later in 2020.

Sip'd for the love of craft

Vet is a co-founder of The Oak House, a coffee shop and bar located in downtown Elon and Durham, North Carolina. He is actively involved at Elon as an advisory board member for the Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and through guest speaking in classes.

Vet met Thomas, a finance and marketing double major who serves as Triad Studios’ creative director, through this project.

“We began Sip’d with Ryan to learn more about the industry and grow as a studio,” Thomas said. “It was a unique opportunity for us to explore a different type of video content, which allowed us to push our creativity throughout the production. We’re extremely happy with how the relationship and series has progressed so far and are looking forward to learning, traveling and creating more very soon.”

Thomas is currently finishing his coursework remotely and will continue to grow Triad Studios after completing his studies next month.