Coming across Just a Glass was basically love at first sight. These cute mini bottles of wine would be the PERFECT addition to our Beaut Boxes and we just knew we had to have them. I caught up with Amber - The founder of Just a Glass for a Q&A session!
1.The first thing that drew us in was the beautiful branding and colourful artwork. How did you come up with this unique concept/what was the inspiration behind the unique concept?
The visuals for the brand were such a fun element of bringing everything together. I knew that I wanted to celebrate Australian native fauna and flora and I had been following an amazing artist on socials called Kasey Rainbow. The second we connected, and I spoke with her about my vision I knew she was the perfect person to bring my brand to life. I remember seeing the very first label design she sent through, it was exactly what I had pictured and more.
2. How did Just a Glass come about?
Like the rest of the world 2020 was a year I could not have predicted, professionally it was a year that a redundancy returning from maternity leave paved the path to leave the corporate jungle I knew for 15 years and chase a dream. Personally, it was an opportunity to reassess what really mattered and what kind of life I wanted to build for myself and our family.
It was during the Melbourne Covid Lockdown that I kept thinking about Just a Glass as a brand. I had always thought about premium single-serve bottles of wine and couldn’t find what I was looking for on the shelf. In fact, the thought of opening a whole bottle of wine just to enjoy one glass felt like such a waste.
I was fortunate that I had a connection to the wine industry and had people with whom I trusted. Having worked at a vineyard growing up I understood the passion and dedication that went into every bottle. I spoke with experts in the field and the more I spoke about it the more passionate I become and felt “if not me then who”.
3. You mentioned you have little ones, what was it like juggling mum duties while trying to get a whole business up and running?
I launched Just a Glass Australia in November of 2020 with a 4.5-year-old daughter and one year old son. Building the brand during covid lockdown with young kids at home I would have meetings via zoom or over the front fence with them right by my side.
It was such a unique time for me as I was learning to build this brand from the ground up as well being in this stage of family life. Three months after the business launched, I fell pregnant with our third little love, and she was born a week after Just a Glass had its first birthday. It was definitely a whirlwind first year in business, but I feel so fortunate to be able to bring the Just a Glass Australia brand to life as well as having the flexibility of working for myself and having the kids by my side.
4. What was the most challenging part of getting your business off the ground and how did you overcome those challenges?
As a start-up I’ve had to learn that I can’t do everything at once. It’s a test and learn and it’s a slow build. I have my roadmap of where I see the brand going in the future and I have to remind myself that it’s important I don’t rush to get to step XYZ before I’ve completed ABC.
I realised very early on that I would need to find a team of people to surround myself with who I could fully put my trust into and who would become some of my biggest supporters. It can be overwhelming on your own and I underestimated how much I would miss working in a team environment after leaving the corporate world. So I made my own team by carefully choosing who I would surround myself with. This was other women in small business who I could ask for advice and also the businesses I choose to work with including my winemaker, packaging team and artist.
I’m really proud of the people and businesses I worked with as their advice, support and encouragement has been everything.
5. Who has been your biggest inspiration throughout the process?
My family has always been my biggest inspiration, particularly my parents. Growing up in an environment where you live off the land teaches you so much. As farmers they taught me the valuable lesson of nurturing the land and celebrating Australian grown. They have been and continue to be my biggest supporters including my husband and kids.
6. How would a typical day look for you?
Everyday looks a little different but a typical day for me starts with organising the kids for their day ahead. Our eldest daughter has just started school so it’s packing lunch boxes and brushing teeth and getting all three kids out the door on time for school drop off. I will then usually head to Just a Glass HQ and pack orders that have come through with my 3-year-old and 4-month-old with me. Most of the admin running of the business happens at night-time when the kids are in bed and I have a moment to myself. I definitely don’t have any type of traditional work hours which suits me and our family life perfectly. I really try to make the moments count when I am in the work zone and power through as much as I can.
7. Did you have any reservations when you started your business? How did you move forward from them?
From the moment I registered the business I honestly didn’t really have any reservations at all. It was the middle of 2020 and everything happening in the world felt so unknown, but everything about what I wanted to create felt so right. The biggest thing though I think is the constant reminder to believe in yourself as I think anytime I did stop and have to problem solve something I had remind myself of my why, what I was trying to build and trust my gut instinct a lot of the time.
8. What advice would you give to someone who is on the fence about starting their own business?
I’ve always had a very clear vision of the brand and belief in what I am trying to create, however I think it’s the continued push to believe in yourself and the confidence to be your own biggest supporter. I’ve really focussed on fostering relationships with other small business owners and other female founders as I never knew what it was like to run a business of my own until I was in it myself.
Key pieces of advice I would give to anyone looking to start their own business:
Don’t stop learning
- Ask the hard questions – of those you work with but also of yourself to ensure you stay true to what you are trying to build and why
9. What are you most proud of in terms of your business venture so far?
In the first 12 months of Just a Glass Australia I created a brand that was true to the vision I had planned, sustainable in its creation while focusing on Australian made and owned supporting other small business to bring it to life, as well as birthing our third child. When I take a step back and look at all of this, I feel incredibly proud. Proud of what I have created in such a challenging time across the globe, but also proud of what I created in front of the eyes of my children.
10. What is your best selling wine?
Our most popular drop would be our Just a Glass King Valley Prosecco. It sings with notes of yellow apple, pear, white peach and lemon and has been described by our customers as “dangerously good”. It would be closely followed by our Just a Glass King Valley Rose. It has such a smooth introduction carrying a subtle sweetness with hints of rhubarb and rosewater.
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