A new online liquor retailer has just recently launched in Australia, aiming to make it easier than ever for consumers to discover, celebrate and support women in the alcohol industry.
Sip’er was founded by Bree Nicholls and Jenny Cheng, who thought there wasn’t enough celebration of women in the industry outside of International Women’s Day. The online store features products from brands led and created by women, and also includes stories about these women, so customers can learn about where the products come from and celebrate who created them.
“We wanted to create a platform where consumers could easily celebrate women in the alcohol industry: read interesting stories, discover their personalities, and shop their products all in one place,” said Nicholls and Cheng.
“Being consumers ourselves (and no background in the alcohol industry), we noticed there weren’t many consumer-facing resources to discover women-led alcohol brands. It was around the time of International Women’s Day where we saw a lot of support given to women in alcohol on the day, but then the other 364 days of the year, we didn’t see much around this at all. So, we started Sip’er to celebrate women in the industry all year round, through conversations and an e-commerce store.”
From a retail perspective, the philosophy behind Sip’er is to “provide a seamless flow from story to sip.” The site places great value on the stories behind the producers in order for consumers to have a more meaningful connection to each brand and each drink.
Tasting notes are also designed to be more relatable than technical. Alongside the emphasis on stories, this is designed to boost consumer confidence to try something new or different and really connect to it without feeling intimidated.
Ever since this idea for Sip’er originally formed, it’s proven to be successful on all fronts, from the building of the product range, all the way through to the site going live a few weeks ago.
From the product side for example, Nicholls and Cheng said there has been an outpouring of interest from women-led brands.
“We found there was a waterfall effect once we started chatting to people in the industry – where we’d speak to one producer, and they’d recommend us four or five other incredible women that they knew in the space,” they said.
“That’s one of the things we love most about being in this industry now, is how supportive everyone is of one another! So we’re constantly discovering new brands through word of mouth, and we’ll no doubt keep adding to the site.”
The overall response from Nicholls and Cheng’s friends, family, work colleagues and other industry connections has also been overwhelmingly positive. One of the biggest solidifying moments for the pair was how supportive so many different types of people have been.
“It’s all just been one massive highlight, having an idea that sparked from a conversation back in February, and seeing it enter the world as a tangible product in November. It’s been really rewarding seeing it all come to life,” they said.
The early successes around Sip’er show that the conversation around lifting women’s voices in the industry is an important one, and certainly not something that should be relegated to just one day each year. Nicholls and Cheng also said it’s important for this to happen not only within the industry, but outwardly to the public, so consumers can join in such celebrations.
“Something we’ve realised about entering the drinks industry as consumers, is that professionals in the industry are well aware of many amazing women (and they may even think it’s celebrated), however from a consumer’s perspective, this information is really tricky to find, and to be honest – not a lot of consumers know that women in the industry are doing some really cool things.
“So to sum that up – shout out about the her-led brands! Even if it’s a husband and wife duo (a lot brands which we stock are), don’t be afraid to hero the women!”