In honour of International Women’s Day in March, we’re celebrating the incredible achievements of women around the world, including in Hong Kong. We chatted with half a dozen talented and dynamic female entrepreneurs of different ages and backgrounds about the unique businesses, initiatives and projects they’re involved in here – across fashion, books, homeware, wine, composting and plant -based food! In this instalment, we shine the spotlight on LEIGH-ANN LUCKETT, co-founder of Crushed Wines online wine retailer and wine shop.
Could you introduce yourself for our readers?
I grew up in a small city in South Africa called Bloemfontein, and spent a few years in Cape Town (where I fell in love with wine) before moving to Hong Kong five years ago.
When did the idea for Crushed Wines come about?
In 2021, four like-minded women from different sides of the world but with the same love for wines with personality, joined together (over Zoom) with an idea, and we officially opened our doors (online and in real life) in May the same year.
We’re deeply passionate about wines – especially wine with so much character that there’s no need for jargon or fancy words, as they speak for themselves. And, man, have they got stories to tell!
How did you get involved in this line of work?
I fell in love with small-batch wines and the people behind them by going to wine tastings at a bar in Cape Town. At some point, I figured it was time for me to get wine at staff prices. What’s really lovely is that at Crushed we now work with some of those same people who sparked my love for wine!
What’s your role? Give us an insight into a typical working day for you.
At Crushed, I work with my co-founder Camille Glass to curate the wine selection and narrate the stories behind the bottles. I’m based at the shop day-to-day, keeping the shelves stocked, managing deliveries for online orders, curating customised wine cases and chatting with customers.
What are you excited about from a work perspective for 2022 and beyond?
We haven’t been open for long, but we’re already seeing people fall in love with our wines. Some days, if a new client walks in and a regular client is in the shop, I don’t even have to make recommendations – our regulars do it for me, because they have bottles they love so much! I really look forward to seeing that growing.
How has the pandemic affected your business?
In a sense, Crushed was born out of COVID-19. With the initial round of dine-in restrictions in place, Camille recognised the demand for wines that people had come to know and love through Brut! We’re lucky that, as a retail premises, we can keep operating mostly as normal, and people seem to need good wine more than ever right now!
Outside of work, what are your hobbies in Hong Kong?
Thanks to a combination of life during a pandemic and changes to retail hours, most of my spare time these days is taken up with yoga, Netflix and knitting (though scarves are about as advanced as I get!).
Where do you currently live and what do you like about it?
I’m based in Sheung Wan – just three minutes from the Crushed Wines shop. The convenience definitely played a role in the appeal of my current apartment, but I’ve always loved this neighbourhood. When I first visited HK, I had a sense I’d live here!
My place is amongst the traditional dried fish shops but I’m also a few minutes away from sweet independent cafés and specialist retailers. I love the balance between old Hong Kong and a new wave of youthful energy that exists around Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun.
Like this? See more in our International Women’s Day series in our Living in Hong Kong section.
This article first appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.