Jane Thomson

The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society (FLWS) has opened franchise opportunities, which will allow women to create their own communities and events for wine-loving women Australia-wide.

Jane Thomson, Founder of FLWS, said the idea to franchise the business has been in the works for a while. Back in 2019, when FLWS was seeing a really positive growth rate, Thomson began working with a franchise development company with the goal of launching the opportunity in 2020 – until COVID hit, severely impacting the events and travel industries which were crucial to FLWS. 

Now that both sectors are recovering after pandemic restrictions have lifted, Thomson has taken the original franchise idea back off the shelf and updated it, ready for franchisees from 2023 onwards. After exploring a few options, she decided this was the best way for the values behind FLWS to be maintained as the business continues to grow.

“I’m really passionate about equipping and empowering women to be confident around wine while supporting women in wine production at the same time. I thought the best way to continue that would be to equip and empower women in their own geographical regions [to do the same],” Thomson explained. 

Since announcing the franchising last month, Thomson said interest has already been high, especially as franchisees could come from anywhere. 

“I think it’s a fairly broad net – if you have some existing experience, interest and qualifications in the wine industry, that’s great, but it’s not absolutely necessary. As in my early days, a lot of the work that you’re doing is with the wine producer themselves, so they’re the expert in the room.” she said. 

“There’s a training requirement for each of the franchisees, so if you don’t come with existing wine knowledge, don’t worry, we’ll train you to make sure you get some. 

“The most important thing, I think, is to share a passion for women supporting women. I think that’s really key –  having that real desire to support women in their growth and learning journey about wine, and also supporting the women who produce it.”

Another key thing that Thomson is seeking out with the franchising of FLWS is to find women who have a serious drive to create their own business in a great sector. While people often ask Thomson if FLWS is more of a ‘hobby’ than anything else, she said there’s much more to it. The franchising opportunity is aimed at those who are really serious about starting their own business and putting the time and effort required into it to make it a success. 

“It’s one of those sorts of businesses that has a bit of an excitement factor around it, but at the end of the day, you need to be prepared to run your own business,” Thomson said. 

“It’s absolutely a viable business and it’s a really exciting one. I mean, what better way is there to make money, than by getting out there and bringing together women who love wine with women who produce wine?”

This news is the latest development from FLWS, after launching a revamped website last year that featured an online marketplace to help consumers browse female-led wines in an easier way. Thomson predicts the franchising will take some adjustment as the first three to five franchisees get on board, and then will start to transform the wider business in the next 12 to18 months. 

“We are looking for those first fabulously courageous and amazing women to take this on, and then we’ll build some momentum… after that, what I’m hoping will happen is that most locations around Australia will finally be serviced with amazing wine events for women,” Thomson said.

“At the moment, we can only really get to those capital cities and a few regional markets that we’ve penetrated over the last 10 years, but there are so many other regions that we can get into through this franchising arrangement. And we can also service those areas we have been running events in much more frequently.”

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *