Wine bottle innovator reveals the inspiration behind her business

My lightbulb moment: Wine bottle innovator reveals the inspiration behind her business

  • Lucy Hitchcock, 28, who lives in London, founded Partner in Wine in lockdown
  • Inspiration came from having to drink warm wine in the park with friends 
  • The business moved into a fulfilment centre at the start of January 

Wine enthusiast Lucy Hitchcock, 28, founded Partner in Wine during lockdown, selling insulated wine bottles and tumblers. Single, she lives in Surbiton, South-West London.

When lockdown hit back in March last year, I moved in with my parents in Surrey. I had company, which was lovely, but I missed my friends.

When we were finally allowed to see people outside again in the summer, I arranged to join my best friend Maddie for a socially distanced drink in the park.

The weather was amazing, and after not seeing her for months, it was the perfect, and much needed, chance to catch up. Cue me popping my favourite bottle of rosé in the basket of my bike, only to realise that by the time I got to see Maddie, it was no longer cold.

Next time, I debated pouring some of the rosé into my insulated water bottle, but it wasn’t big enough to hold a whole bottle and I worried it would make my water taste like wine.

Lucy Hitchcock, 28, who lives in London, founded Partner in Wine in lockdown and was inspired by taking a bottle of the wine to enjoy at the park with friends, only for it to be too warm

My mum handed me a sad little insulated wine bag she’d been given as a promotional gift, which half-solved the problem but didn’t look very cool. After one or two glasses of warm rosé, I realised there must be a better way. And so Partner in Wine was born.

I’m a digital marketing entrepreneur and have helped businesses build their brands online, so I knew the steps I had to take to build my own. My younger brother had just graduated from his product-design degree, so he helped me find different insulated metallic bottles. We had a rigorous sampling process.

The company sell a vacuum-sealed stainless steal flask, which can hold a 750ml bottle of wine

The flask we use is vacuum-sealed stainless steel and can take a whole 750ml bottle of wine. It’s wine-bottle shaped and free of BPA (an industrial chemical used to make many plastics and resins). The vessels don’t leak and will keep drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12.

I’ve also launched insulated tumblers to match, in pretty pinks and neutrals.

Until we moved into a fulfilment centre at the start of January, I was sitting on the floor packing boxes at my parents’ house.

Today, at long last, we can meet up again with one other person for an outdoor drink or a picnic. As the spring warms up, I can think of nothing more wonderful than a glass of properly chilled wine with a much-missed friend.

I’m proud I’ve been able to help wine enthusiasts keep their bottles cool on-the-go. 

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