Lucy started a sommelier course in October 2020 and graduated last summer, which has allowed her to become a fully qualified wine connoisseur. She said that over lockdown she decided she wanted to invest her time into something she really enjoyed.
She said: ‘I’ve always liked wine but it has stemmed from travelling to different places and understanding the local produce from that area. When we were going through the whole lockdown situation it made me think that when I come out of this I need something that’s for me, and if I did a sommelier course it would teach me about something I’m interested in.’
Lucy started an Instagram page over lockdown where she shares her favourite wines and gives reviews with her new knowledge as a sommelier. She said that taking part in the course gave her more confidence to share her business venture online.
Lucy said ‘My posts are generally just a breakdown of what it tastes like, what you can smell and the aromas and why I like it too, so it’s a bit more personal. I’ve also been doing a Wednesday wine of the week which has been good and quite well received too.’
Last October Lucy took part in Abri’s ‘Create’ self employment training course, which is supported by Portsmouth Council and aims to help people set up their own businesses by giving them all the tools and information they need.
She also joined the Federation of Small Businesses which she said has been amazing for support and networking opportunities.
Through the course, Lucy was encouraged to set up a Crowdfunder and managed to raise £1,000 to start bringing her business idea to life.
Lucy plans to open a shop in Southsea with her brand Wines by the Sea in the coming months, and hopes to work with Wickham Vineyard, Hambledon Vineyard and other Hampshire businesses in the shop to support the Shop Local campaign.
To see Lucy’s posts, follow Wines by the Sea on Instagram.