My name is Amber and I’m the founder of Just a Glass Australia. I’m also a wife and mum of two beautiful kids aged 5 and 2 and a third precious baby on the way. I have an incredibly supportive and loving husband, family and friends.
My family has a long history in Australian farming near the Victorian Otway’s. I was really fortunate to have the opportunity to grow up in an environment that teaches you the meaning of caring for and working with the land. I always enjoyed seeing the labour of love that went into producing something, seeing the journey from paddock to plate.
Tell us about your brand
Just a Glass Australia provides a range of premium Australian made and owned vegan piccolo wines that are sustainably produced bottled by solar power.
Sometimes we enjoy savouring a glass of quality wine. Not a whole bottle. And often we’d like to enjoy a selection of premium wines, not just one grape variety. Just a Glass Australia was inspired by this very idea - producing premium local wines in single serve bottles. It’s an excitingly different drinking experience that lets wine lovers enjoy the labour of love that goes into producing local wines - one glass at a time.
What inspired you to start your own business?
Like the rest of the world 2020 was a year I could not have predicted, it rolled in like a tornado and turned my return from maternity leave plans on its head with a redundancy in a corporate career I had known for 15 years.
I always had this burning desire to have a business of my own. Ask any of my friends or family and they will tell you that it was always part of my “one day” plan.
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 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”
Share the biggest challenges you’ve overcome or faced as a female founder
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.
And it is incredibly rewarding, but it is incredibly hard work. It is all consuming with no real “off” switch.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who gave you this golden nugget?1. Take it one step at a time – this was advice from my parents who have run their own family business for 40+ years.
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.
2. Be brave and invest in people who will invest in you – a dear friend told me this from day one.
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 was everything.