When we say we fought tooth and nail to get our business off the ground, that's a bit of a misnomer. What we mean is that we put ourselves through some pretty ridiculous situations to get our business up from underground, since that's where we started out. In a basement.
In 2003, Scott and Adam, who started the business (and are cousins, by the way) saw an opportunity to harness the power of the Internet to empower customers to order a versatile product on their terms and jumped at it. Everyone told them it was impossible to ship bottled water, because of the weight, but they had faith they could make the idea work.
Pooling all their resources, they commissioned a high-tech (for the time) website, bought a label printer and a labeling machine, and set up shop in Scott's grandmother's unheated basement. There was no phone line or cell phone reception down there, so to take orders they had to stand outside in the freezing rain using a notepad and a cell phone.
Scott's grandmother also kept a lemon tree down there, so they had to share space with it while running the business. At one point, Adam was huddled over his laptop wearing three sweatshirts and shivering when a lemon hit him on the head. He thought to himself, "I left my job for this ?!"
They had to get creative as the business expanded. The basement wasn't large enough for the pallets of water they ordered so they rented out a storage space in a nearby city and stored the pallets there. To process orders they had to print the labels in the basement, drive them up to the storage space, unplug the vending machine, plug the labeler in with a 100ft. extension cord, label the bottles, then drive the labeled bottles back to the basement for shipping. It was a laborious and frustrating process but they knew starting a business wouldn't be easy so they stuck with it.
Their approach was strategic, and through a combination of great quality, low prices, and excellent service the business started to speed up. They were eventually able to rent their first actual office and warehouse space, and that gave them the ability to handle even more business.
That first warehouse didn't have a bathroom when they moved in, so they had to build one. Where there were no shelves, they constructed them. Where there were no offices, they squeezed desks in and made the best of it. It was far from glamorous, but it was enough to give them the extra space they needed. They even hired their first employees!
The business continued to pick up steam and by 2007 Bottle Your Brand moved yet again to a large office with a warehouse twice the size of the first one. The company currently employs eight very happy employees who are all pleased as can be to be part of this amazing story. We celebrate every birthday with great fanfare, enthusiastically embrace new ideas/designs/technologies, and love our jobs.
As for what's next for Bottle Your Brand? The sky's the limit. We're working on rolling out new additions to our business every day and continue to look for new ways to improve. We'll keep premiering new products and designs and site features because that's what we do. We've been doing it for seven years and see no reason to stop now.