British Entrepreneur Amanda Thomson, CEO and Founder of Thomson & Scott is leading the global transparency in wine movement one beautiful organic, vegan sparkling wine bottle at a time.
How did it all begin?
Thomson recognised several years ago that people were becoming increasingly concerned about what was in their food, but no-one was asking what was in their wine. Raised on a sugar-free vegetarian diet by a single mother who thought sugar was the devil, Thomson, a big fan of Champagne, wanted to create sparkling wines that were beautifully crafted and didn’t require added sugar doses to mask impurities. Thomson originally launched Skinny Champagne and Skinny Prosecco into the UK market with bottles selling out in the first few weeks of trading and creating a major media buzz. She has since grown the portfolio of vegan, organic sparkling wine that is available in various countries including the U.S. (California and Texas), South Africa, New Zealand and Mexico.
What sets your business apart?
The company has created an entirely new sector in the drinks industry with other brands racing to keep up with Thomson & Scott’s strong connection to the changing attitudes of young-minded drinkers looking to know what’s in their glass, demanding purer wines that shun animal by-products and heaps of unnecessary sugar from the production process.
What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?
We want the wine industry to be transparent about what goes into its bottle for the sake of the consumer and for the sake of the future of the industry.
Where to next/What is your brand vision?
We are focused on the alcohol-free space – there is a global decline in alcohol consumption. We’ve already launched a revolutionary alcohol-free organic, vegan sparkling wine called Noughty that is made from 100% organic Chardonnay grapes and then dealcoholised using a specialist method to retain the wine’s aromatic flavours.
Thomson & Scott Ltd
What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?
The simple fact that wine is the only legal consumable in 2019 where you don’t know what you’re drinking and I have the opportunity to shift the entire global drinks industry. We are already making a difference which is hugely exciting.
Share an example of early life that has shaped you?
Growing up with a health foodie mother who thought that sugar and processed food were the devil back in the early 70s.
Highlights of your business journey so far?
Being voted one of the coolest people in Food & Drink by Business Insider alongside George Clooney and Prince Charles.
Key lessons you have learned along the way?
Tenacity is everything. And that not everyone will want you to succeed which is no indicator whatsoever of your chances of success.
Best piece of advice you have received?
It’s Champagne. Nobody dies (my personal mantra when things are tough).
Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?
Only do it if it’s a burning desire and you absolutely have to. Otherwise, tread carefully before a leap into the crazy unknown.
What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?
Angels – individuals who add real expertise and value.
Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?
In the entrepreneurial world, you face challenges of varying sizes on a daily basis. Train your mind (I read and love The Chimp Paradox) to realise they’re stepping stones to the next part of the journey.
Why is it important to support women-led business?
Because Madeleine Albright was right (“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women”). As an EY Winning Women I was lucky enough to hear her speak and meet her in the US.
My inspiration is...
Something bigger than all of us. Managers are plentiful. Leaders are less common. And I have a chance to make a real difference in the world.
My greatest fear is...
Dying without doing what I set out to do.
The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is...
Single-handedly creating a Champagne brand. No one does that!
Champagne for breakfast (only on holiday... been a while).
Mantra you live by?
Life is short, make it count.
Female role model?
So many to mention - recently Ruth Bader Ginsberg for her tireless fight for gender equality.
Women-led brand you love?
Anya Hindmarch/White Company (Chrissie Rucker). Been lucky enough to partner with them both.
Top productivity tool?
Thomson & Scott Ltd has created a SPECIAL OFFER exclusively for Women's Chapter Members