In conversation with

Thom Bradley

Co-founder at New Theory



Meet Thom Bradley, co-founder of New Theory (formerly known as Nouveau). He and his brother, Charlie, left their established careers to dive into the world of craft wines and challenge the traditional wine industry with a fresh perspective. And their unique approach, blending art, design, fashion, music, and a strong sense of community, is reshaping the way we experience wine. We spoke with Thom to learn more about what it takes to be a challenger in the wine industry, the power of authenticity, and creating a community that resonates with wine enthusiasts.

Question and Answer

Can you tell us what inspired you and your brother to start New Theory and leave your established careers?

We had watched the craft beer and spirits revolutions rise and felt that it was time to build a proper brand in the craft wine space.

We both enjoyed drinking and learning about wine, and we realised there weren’t any brands in the space you could fall in love with, that had a sense of community, so we decided to build that.

With my background in graphic design and my brother’s in consultancy, our skills complement each other pretty well, which is helpful when starting a business with someone. I’m on the creative and sales side of things, and Charlie is on the liquid development and logistics.

You’re on a mission to ‘fill [people’s] glass with something new.’ From a brand perspective, what do you think you’re doing that’s new and setting you up to be a challenger in this space?

I think to be a challenger brand you need to be doing something genuinely different.

We believe that the wine industry can learn from the success of beer and spirits brands in connecting with different communities and cultures so when we launched New Theory, it was all about going the opposite way a normal wine brand would go. No wine tastings, no cheese pairings.

We wanted to create an engaging brand that connects with various aspects of popular culture, such as art, design, fashion, and music, which seems to really resonate with people who are interested in wine but don’t want to be overwhelmed with the technical stuff.

Sustainability and innovation are core to your brand. How do these values show up in your products and business practices?

We buy fruit at harvest from farms in South Africa that we know everything about. They all have fair labour and sustainable practices, and the grapes we use are indigenous to the region.

In the cellar, we use as little intervention as possible and use a very small amount of sulphites on bottling which sits way under what you can add to wine.

In the UK, we’re trying new ways to be sustainable like shipping and production. We’re in the process of becoming a B Corp too. We see this as the beginning of the journey and not the end and talk a lot internally about BCorp+.

“For us, it’s mainly capturing people offline with something real, something fun, and then moving the conversation online.”

How has New Theory built a community? Is it more events or social media led?

I don’t know if I’m the best to give advice on this, as it’s something that still keeps me up at night. But I think authenticity is key.

For us, it’s mainly capturing people offline with something real, something fun, and then moving the conversation online. We want the brand to be connected to popular culture, music, and art, and to give a space to underrepresented artists.

We get a lot of our followers from our wine raves and other pop-up events and parties that we host, from which we get an insane amount of organic content.

Also brand collaborations. We collaborate with like-minded brands as part of our growth strategy. For example, we’ve collaborated with GANNI and END Clothing. It helps build the hype, but most importantly, it feels organic and true to New Theory.

Is there any advice you’d give to people who are thinking about starting their own business?

My advice is: don’t spend six months building a business plan. Get a product into market as quickly as possible and build on top of it. Validate your business idea before jumping into it. Don’t aim for perfection, instead aim to get something to market quickly. Enjoy the ride!

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