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NICOLA THOMPSON-HANCOCK

We put a call-out to the women in Australian distilling to give us an insight into who they are, and why they chose this industry, here’s some of their responses!


NICOLA THOMPSON-HANCOCK

Co-Founder & Business Development Director at Mother of Pearl Vodka, NSW


HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY?


1-3 years


WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN THE INDUSTRY?


"Nic – my husband, and Covid!


We launched MoP to the market early 2022, however my real involvement came into play during covid as travel restrictions cut short my work travel. Even though still working from home with some incredible fashion wholesale software platforms I found myself working more and more in the branding and identity development of Mother of Pearl.


My side of the business evolved organically, as a combination of the Business Development and Branding. Imparting the feminine standpoint in the brand and creating the desire and aspiration to our customer thru the branding and visual communications.


We felt early in the launch of Mother of Pearl that having a female overseeing the overall story of the brand was preferable than Nic a middle-aged male.


My career with Australian Fashion Designers has always been selling in global market and not so much Australia, so my brain always thinks internationally first. Often the local market gains traction after international recognition. I got excited about the production business model of ‘one product’ the commercial benefits coupled with the resources and environmental implications were all key winning indicators to me."


YOUR MOST PROUD MOMENTS IN THE INDUSTRY?


"Crossing over my skill set to a new industry, and realizing essentially the same principles apply in business development and brand identity. Scoping out and wining business, learning to navigate the big players locked into contracts and finding creative ways to gain more brand presence.

The reaction to Mother of Pearl Vodka as a Brand and its strong identity has been so rewarding, the imagery, the story, the profile is resonating to the customer we want to capture.

Mother of Pearl is Australia's award-winning Vodka, redefining the international spirit market, by producing a premium grape-based Vodka that complements our distinctly antipodean lifestyle with a youthful feminine appeal. We aim to capitalise on the providence of a grape-based naturally gluten free vodka with zero sugar with less heat on the palate for the ever-growing discerning audience.

Oh and silver medals at the IWSC 2022 and 2023 awards in London."


WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN THE INDUSTRY?


"The costs to run, alcohol excise costs, alcohol licensing costs, it’s incredibly expensive to break into markets as an independent distillery."


WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE THAT KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT AUSSIE CRAFT SPIRITS?


"Find your niche in the market."


WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD WANT TO TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?


"Let go of the self-doubt and the constant comparison of yourself to others and their achievements, instead believe in yourself, your abilities and what you have to offer."


WHAT IS YOUR PARTY TRICK?


"Special Talent - My ability to visualise and find a carpark where I need it. (Thanks mum)

Party Trick – My Karaoke version of Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a place on earth”."


WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU THE MOST IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?


"My mums’ entrepreneurial independence. I grew up in NZ on a dairy farm the youngest of four children, with a mother who ran her own business and generated income independent of her husband. She was creative, entrepreneurial and could sell a product because her clients trusted her."


WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT US TO KNOW?


"In my fashion career to date my philosophy is that that polite and respectful persistence gets you a long way. In the business world we need to be firm but kind and respectful to all sides of business engagement. I hope that with the personal profile that I’ve built within the industries that I have worked within, that when I reach out for any reason someone takes the time to respond. For me as a woman that’s power."

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