LOCKDOWN meant that many people were flocking to their local parks to meet friends for socially distanced get-togethers.
Fortunately we had a good summer that meant spending time outside in parks was possible.
Lucy created her wine bottle business during lockdown with £3k of savings Credit: TikTok/@partnerinwineuk
Picnics aplenty, many of us found ourselves tucking into sausage rolls and bottles of wine.
However, 28-year-old wine-enthusiast Lucy Hitchcock was not at all pleased with the hot weather, when she found it would leave her beloved bottle of wine warm.
That’s when Partner in Wine was born – when Lucy was on her way to have a socially distanced drink in the park with her best friend Maddie.
She explained on her TikTok account: “Last year when the pandemic hit and the pubs closed, I decided to start a problem I was having.
“Like many people, I headed to the park to have socially distanced drinks with my friends, but I couldn’t keep my rosé cool or find anything to hold a whole bottle of wine.
“A self-proclaimed wine enthusiast, I was simply not willing to drink warm rosé.
“So my mum handed me an insulated wine bag that she’d been given as a promotional gift – it solved the problem but it was so not cool.
“I debated pouring some of the rosé into my insulated water bottle – but that posed issues; firstly, it wasn't big enough to hold a whole bottle of wine and then I thought it may also make my water taste like wine…ew.
“Surely, this is an issue many warm-wine haters must be experiencing I thought and after doing some research, I felt it was my duty to help wine and cold drink enthusiasts all over the UK keep their wine cool on the go – and so Partner in Wine was born.”
But Partner in Wine didn’t come easy.
Lucy explained: “I’ve been poor, I’ve lived with my parents, I’ve not had a real holiday in the whole of that time.
“We started trading last July and in just seven months we have sold thousands of wine bottles and tumblers, launched in seven colours and I couldn't keep up with the demand packing all the orders from home so in December, we took all remaining stock to a fulfillment centre.
“Due to the socially distanced drinks in the park, we have sold out three times and have been featured in Grazia, Sheer Luxe, Heat Magazine, Good Housekeeping and the Daily Mail even wrote a fulla article about me and both of my businesses.
“My business now makes over five figures per month, so I just wanted to tell you that if there’s something that you want to launch, you should do it now – you never know where you might be in seven months' time.”
Partner in Wine keeps your desired drink cold for 24 hours (or hot for 12 if that’s your thing).
It also doesn't leak, is BPA free, and most importantly, it holds a full 750ml bottle of your all-time fave wine.
Just seven months after the business launched, Lucy was contacted by Selfridges.
She explained: “Back in March, just seven months after launching I received an email…
“It was from the buying team at Selfridges!
“Like many other small businesses I had manifested this from the moment I started my business.
“You can find us in store at Oxford Street.
“And online too!
“I can’t believe my wine bottles and tumblers were stocked there just 9 months after launch.
“It’s one of my greatest achievements.”
Then, within 14 months of launching the business, Partner in Wine was also contacted by Oliver Bonas.
Lucy said: “You can find the turquoise Partner in Wine bottle on Oliver Bonas online.
“I honestly can’t believe what TikTok has done for my business.
“They contacted me after *that* viral video.”
FABULOUS BINGO: GET A £5 FREE BONUS WITH NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED
Lucy has since uploaded an update of how her business is doing, with the caption ‘Well that escalated quickly.’
She said: “When you just wanted a cold bottle of wine with your friend during lockdown…
“And now you have nine colours of insulated wine bottles and tumblers…
“A fulfillment centre who is holding 10,000 units of stock.
“And you’re stocked in Selfridges and Oliver Bonas.”
Since Lucy’s success, she has received a lot of comments from people doubting her and her business.
This led Lucy to post another video with the caption ‘Not that I need to explain myself.’
She explained: “Addressing some of the assumptions haters have made about me and my business.”
One assumption was: “You need at least £500,000 to start a business like this. Admit you were rich beforehand” to which Lucy said: “I spent £3,000 in total of my own savings to start the business. I spent what I had to,and did a lot myself.”
Another assumption was “So it’s basically a water bottle but for wine? How original” to which Lucy replied: “It’s a wine shaped insulated bottle, started by me – a female entrepreneur in her twenties. We all like the idea of supporting small female lead businesses…but some people don’t put their money where their mouth is.”
A third assumption was “Daddy bought me a business” to which Lucy said “I spent 6 years building a digital marketing business from scratch. I’ve been poor, I’ve lived with my parents, I’ve not had a real holiday in the whole of that time.
“But I funded everything myself from the little money that I did have.”
Clearly Lucy’s business has impressed numerous people as her TikTok account has 18.5k followers and 314.9k likes.
One person said: “Well done this is very impressive.”
Another added: “Love seeing stuff like this! Well done.”
A third commented: “This is amazing and it’s the first time I’ve seen/heard about your business – just placing my order now.”
Lucy said: “A huge thank you to all of you and my customers for making my dreams come true.
“I’m so happy.”
The Partner in Wine bottles retail for £35 and the wine tumblers are sold for £20.
They come in a range of gorgeous colours, including turquoise, lavender, desert sand, pink, white, khaki, black, red and stainless steel.
The wine bottles are £35 Credit: TikTok/@partnerinwineuk
The wine tumblers are sold for £20 Credit: TikTok/@partnerinwineuk
Meanwhile, I started a jewellery business at 18 with £400 in lockdown because I was bored – now I’m raking in six figures.
Also, I made £300 on my wedding – we got more in gifts than we spent, I even wore Primark shoes and accessories from Claire’s.
I was bored working in a supermarket during lockdown so I set up a bag business… it raked in £100k in the first year