The Fine Spirits Company are an online retailer dedicated to the sale of premium, small batch and craft spirits, including gin, rum, vodka, and whisky. Registered as a limited company in December 2014 they began trading in May 2015. Kim Wells devised the initial concept of the company alongside Matt Parsons, after spending some time deciding on whether it was going to be a worthwhile career path. After much consideration, entrepreneurship was clearly the way forward.
After earning his degree in business studies Kim drew on his previous experience in management, retail and website development to start the business with his business partner Matt Parsons. Both Kim and Matt always shared the goal of working for themselves and they are now able indulge their passion for the products they sell. With the rapid rise in the popularity and demand for premium spirits, The Fine Spirits Company chose to use the term ‘craft spirits’ as a unique point of difference for the business. No other retailer is linking this term with such a holistic approach to branding, content and advertising.
The Fine Spirits Company has acquired an ever expanding range of boutique spirits that are extremely hard to come by in the UK. Many spirits can currently only be purchased on their website, which further helps their niche brand positioning.
When starting his business, Kim knew right away that he didn’t want to apply for a business loan from a bank. This led him to explore alternative funding options where he soon discovered Business West. Business West provided Kim with advice throughout the entire loan application process and helped him to successfully be granted the loan of £1600 from SWIG Finance. Kim has also greatly benefited from Business West Chamber of Commerce membership, taking advantage of the networking and promotion opportunities that are available, and Kim believes that his chamber membership will continue to bring benefits for many years to come.
For both Kim and Matt, starting their business has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows – but still to this day, agree that the former always outweighs the latter. In the early stages of establishing the business, Kim went through a lengthy, expensive process of applying for alcohol licences from local authorities, but found it to be a rewarding learning curve.
“Only start a business if it is doing something that you have an interest in and care about. Your business is going to take up all of your waking time and throw a lot at you. If you don’t care about what you are doing or selling then you won’t be able to muster the drive and ability to see it through. If you’re ever unsure of something, always seek advice. Never shut yourself off from the opinions of anyone. Your ability to listen to the different perspectives of others will ultimately decide whether your venture succeeds or fails.”
Kim Wells, The Fine Spirits Company