In celebration of International Women’s Day 2022, I undertook a series of interviews with women that have supported and inspired me in my first year of running Boxi. I never knew how much I needed this community of women - when you’re running a business on your own, you need the right people in your corner. We share advice, we cry, we laugh (a lot!) and most importantly, we help each other grow both personally and professionally. We fiercely back each other.
We are women who inspire.
Women Who Inspire: Amber Duggan
An Interview with Amber Duggan – Founder of Just a Glass Australia
Tell us about Just a Glass
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.
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”.
I launched Just a Glass in November 2020- it was one of the biggest and bravest things I’ve done in backing myself and chasing a dream. Just over one year in, I haven’t looked back.
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. What would you say your biggest achievement is so far?
Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow – that is the theme of International Women's Day 2022. It is about Changing Climates: Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow – a theme that recognises the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are working to change the climate of gender equality and build a sustainable future.
This resonates with me as I have two daughters and a son, and I hope that I am showing them there is no boundary to what they can achieve if they put their heart and mind to something. I’m also focussed on building a brand that is sustainable and mindful in its footprint as well as being female founded and owned.
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.
What advice would you give to other women looking to start up in your industry?
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 a business in any industry:
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
Who is a woman that really inspires you?
I always love this question as there is so many incredible women across the globe who inspire me with how they advocate and lead. However, from a personal level I have been incredibly fortunate to have grown up in an environment of strong women including my grandmother who is a true inspiration to me. Someone who lives life full of love, empathy, true determination, and grit as well as a sense of calm and positivity. Now in her 90s, she has witnessed the best and worst of humanity, but she inspires me to be in the moment and to build the life I want to live.
What is your number one self-care tip?
I don’t think I have one standout self-care tip; it is a combination of little things that add up. True to the name enjoying just a glass of wine is one of them, and of course my morning coffee is a must!
What’s next for your business? What does the future look like?
I have so many incredible plans for Just a Glass Australia in the next 12 months which I cannot wait to share. I will continue to look for ways to innovate the premium wine-by-the-glass category and look forward to announcing some new partnerships we have planned for 2022-2023.
What is your favourite Boxi product or one that you are desperate to try?
I can’t go past the Sweet Addiction White Chocolate Raspberries. Not only do they pair incredibly well with the Just a Glass Australia King Valley Prosecco, but they are also highly addictive.