Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you started Drink in Style? How did you come across Vinstrip?
I’m Monica, founder of Drink in Style. I’m passionate about cooking, I love animals (especially dogs) and I love spending time surrounded by nature.
My professional background is in accounting. I worked for over 20 years in finance departments, specialising in payroll and tax return in Italy, and credit collection in Australia. I loved my job. However, during a three month sabbatical in Italy I discovered that the corporate world didn't suit me anymore and what I really wanted was a more balanced life and have time for the things I love.
During that trip to Italy I came across these beautiful Vinstrip products in my niece’s wine shop and immediately fell in love with the idea, versatility, and the smart concept of the brand. I thought Vinstrip could be a great product to introduce in Australia.
The following day I visited the factory in Verona. It was amazing to see how every single product was handcrafted with care, using high-quality vegan certified material.
But what really convinced me was Vinstrip's sustainability. Each product is designed to help reduce single-use, which completely aligns with my life philosophy.
Drink in Style became the exclusive importer of Vinstrip in Australia and New Zealand, and so my journey began.
Can you tell us a little more about the Italian designer of Vinstrip, Diego Cavaliere, and how he came to design the bottle carrier and the other Vinstrip designs?
Diego Cavaliere is not only the designer of Vinstrip; he is also an inventor and creator.
Diego lives in beautiful Tregnano, a famous wine region and popular tourist destination near Verona; the home of fine wines such as Valpolicella DOC, Amarone della Valpolicella and Recioto DOC.
Diego's father was a manufacturer of high-quality furniture and he greatly influenced his son's creative talent. He combined practicality with style and always managed to create new shapes and uses. Diego cultivated that same creative passion, specialising in decorative items for the home. He has numerous patents filed in his name.
How Vinstrip was born?
One day when Diego was having a coffee at the local cafe, he started chatting with the owner, who told him of his problem with transporting wine bottles. Being in a tourist area, the cafe was selling a lots of wine bottles but didn’t have any bags to give to their customers. He was looking for a practical, space-saving solution.
Diego instantly realised there was a real need for a new, practical, and reusable product - not just for wine bottles, but for any bottle!
Once he finished the design and tested the various prototypes, Diego introduced a light, compact and reusable bottle holder - the first ever reusable bottle holder for wine.
The idea for the backpack/cross body bag came later, when Diego walked home from a restaurant carrying a wine bottle with him. He didn't want to carry it by hand so he added a long strap to his bottle holder to carry it cross-body. A simple twist of the strap created the backpack!
We really love the fun design of the bottle carrier. Can you tell us a little bit more about the product: what is it made of and what is your favourite use for it? What makes it a sustainable product?
Our Drink Bottle Carriers have a unique pop-up design. The flat net turns into a bag in an instant, and when you don’t need it, you can simply fold it up and put it in your pocket.
All our products are produced with VeganOk Certified Italian raw material (non-toxic PU fabric coating and cotton). The fabric feels like leather; it is soft and lightweight, odour-free, washable, durable, and recyclable.
I’m a big fan of the Backpack/Cross Body Bag which I use every day. It is stylish, practical and trendy! Many people stop me on the street, simply to comment about the smart concept and how cool it is, which makes me happy and proud. I love selling a useful product.
Each Vinstrip product is designed to help reduce single-use. With our bottle bag, it'll be easier to make the switch to reusable drink bottles,thus reducing the impact of single-use plastic bottle consumption. And for those who have already a reusable drink bottle, we simply make life easier. I strongly believe that our drink bottle carriers are powerful tools. If used by millions of people; we can really change the world.
Drink in Style are proud members of 1% For The Planet, and also donate $1 from each online sale to the Seabin Foundation. What was it that attracted you to precisely these two organisations?
I've always been passionate about sustainability, protecting our planet and inspiring others. I thought it was time to do more and start making a real difference - with real action.
We want to give back and do whatever we can to have a positive impact, so we’ve joined the ranks of brands like Patagonia, Klean Kanteen, Sustainable Marketplace and others in a commitment to give back 1% of our income to environmental causes.
We also support the Seabin Foundation, a proudly Australian organisation that provides practical and tangible solutions to reduce plastics across the globe, without harming marine life. They use floating rubbish bins and so far have already removed over 2000 tonnes of trash from the oceans!!!
We now extend our donation to our online store, adding an additional $1 donation on top of our commitment, so everyone can support this honourable organisation simply by buying our products online.
Our $1 donation is also extended to our Eco Ambassador Program, a new revolutionary concept, where each referral gets a discount, the ambassador gets a commission, and Drink in Style will still donate $1 for each product sold.
What do you think has been Drink in Style’s biggest achievement so far?
For me every sale is a success and so is the positive feedback from our customers and stockists. On top of our Drink Bottle Carrier range, drink in style supply a wide range of other Vinstrip products, such as wine accessories and unique giftwares. Our products can be customized for wineries, corporate gifts and other marketing materials. One of our products, the wine glass sling with cover was nominated 'Best Marketing Product of the Year’ in Italy. Here in Australia we have worked with well-known wineries and wine events, like Penfolds, Paxton Wines and Cellar Door Fest.
Last but not least, what does the future hold for Drink in Style?
The future for Drink in Style is full of new product launches and improvements on our existing products. We are continuously improving our product and design and have just launched a new Backpack/Crossbody bag, with the extra feature of being adjustable for kids and customised with a favourite colour. Other new products are coming soon. Our focus is to get our products out there so they're accessible for everyone, and expand our wholesale distribution in Australia. I hope you'll soon find a Vinstrip Product in your nearest gift shop.