We caught up with Christen Halter, Designer and Co-Founder of Wine Moments as he delves the link between wine and creativity.
It’s a perfectly still autumn day on the western end of Hong Kong Island. Birds chirp and rays of sunshine beam into the office at the Hive KTown. That’s where Christen Halter, Co-Founder of JOYVINO Wine Shop works. As a child, he grew up in Hong Kong but later moved to Germany and studied Industrial Design near his hometown in Frankfurt.
Fast forward a few years later, the young designer worked his way up the creative field. He was running his design agency for 6 years back in Germany from 2008 until 2014, which means he launched it right out of college. With an outsider’s eye for creativity, he returned to his native hometown in the 852 to work with wines and a number of design projects.
We caught up with Christen as he delves into personal stories of creating an electric vehicle, tales of working as a product designer and the link between wine and creativity.
Can you tell us more about your background?
I grew up in Hong Kong before moving to Germany. Later on, I studied Industrial Design and started as a Product Designer with my former Professor. We formed a design company for 6 years back in Germany from 2008 until 2014 but things got complicated. A company in London decided to buy our partners in Hong Kong instead of ours.
Is that when you decided to move to Hong Kong?
I decided to start my own design company in Hong Kong in 2014. My business partner, Laurentius Maximus and I launched Joyvino in 2014 as he wanted to deal with German wines.
How did you meet Laurentius?
It’s a funny story but we know each other from partying. He wanted to import wines and coincidentally, my parents have a warehouse space so we combined both ideas together. He offered to help with branding and I’ve always wanted to work in a startup. So besides designing, I also run a wine business.
What’s your most exciting project you’ve worked for?
We had a research project for an electric vehicle in 2010. It interesting but very challenging because of all the technology inside. However, it never took off because we had trouble with distribution.
What is Joyvino and how does it link with Wine Moments?
We’ve been running Joyvino for 3 years importing German wines. However, we decided to partner with a German company called Geilweine.de which translates into Wine Moments. We decided to bring this online platform to Hong Kong as it was interesting. However, it’s not running the way we want it.
What is your passion?
My passion is in design and creating technical things. However, with Wine Moments, we take and sell wine so I’m learning about the distribution side to it. Also, the marketing side like planning the market, understanding what the people want and branding.
What are you trying to tackle in the market?
The wine industry is overloaded no matter where you are in the world- it’s just overloaded. If you’re not knowledgeable, you have no idea. If you don’t taste it, you have no idea. When you shop online, you don’t have the chance to taste so how do you select wines? That’s why we have the name wine moments, it’s by the moment of drinking wine.
Are you happy with how things are coming along?
It’s been a few months since we started off. I’m not happy with our website yet because it’s not worked out how we wanted it to and we’re still fine-tuning some things.
How do you select the wines for Wine Moments?
We look for special vineyards and each vineyard has a story. We’re selling the whole story and concepts behind it. Names are made up directly from the winemakers and our German partners are very creative. They are so good in what they are doing and that’s the success behind it. It ‘s hard for competitors to copy because there’s a lot of detail to the brand even though it’s designed very simple.