Gettin' Down with Bottles Up
Many who have school spirit wish to wear their colors in anyway possible. Syracuse University senior, Rachel, knows her love for Syracuse shines within, but she wanted to let students from other universities have that same feeling.
And so she created Bottles Up, a company that creates custom glitter bottles and accessories. The perfect addition to a get together with friends to watch sports or celebrate holidays.
Rachel grew up in a small suburb of Westchester, New York. Chappaqua is roughly forty-five minutes from New York City and "a close-knit town with many mom and pop stores."
(And, coincidentally, my hometown as well.)
As a creative and organized child, Rachel's hobbies were all over the place, ranging from art classes, to dancing, and even playing a few sports. When she enrolled in Syracuse University, she decided to focus on Television, Radio, and Film and a psychology minor, keeping the creative part of her brain stimulated.
Bottles Up started in college, but this wasn't her first rodeo. "When I was 12, I started a montage making company called 'outRACHous productions.' I made montages for local families whose kids were having Bat or Bar Mitzvahs. My first endeavor into the entrepreneurial world."
Rachel loved the idea of creating products for other people that she ended up helping a local jewelry maker, assistant in product creation.
When it was time to go to college, Rachel's first year was focused more on her education that her side hustling. Yet something was always missing. By second semester of freshman year, Rachel was back on the grind.
Bottles Up popped into the forefront of Rachel's mind around her sister's twenty-first birthday.
"For my sister's birthday, I decided to get her 21 gifts. As I was running out of ideas I thought, I'll just give her a champagne bottle." Rachel loves shiny, the "glitz and glam" and knew that giving her sister "just a bottle" would be too mundane.
"I went to a craft store to see what I could add and ended up in the glitter aisle. I thought it would be fun to decorate the bottle."
The gift was a hit and a month later, Rachel took part in a Secret Santa and created a similar bottle. "My friends were in awe. Instantly, an Instagram account was created for the bottles and one week later, I had five orders."
The designs range from college logos, to cute emoji's, to many symbols like stars and paw prints.
She even turned a profit within the first two weeks. After a few gifts and some "model bottles" for the Instagram account, Rachel was able to break even. Rachel broke out from just bottles and added on shot glasses and mason jars and hasn't slowed down.
Rachel's first sale was when she was eighteen. "It's exhilarating knowing that something you love to do and had fun doing can actually make you money."
Three years later and Rachel is still creating the glittery bottles.
Instagram is where Rachel found she could brand the best way. Because her target buyers are on the younger (but of course "of age") side, Instagram is where most of her orders originate from. Friends have tried to push her to create Facebook and Etsy pages, but as a one (wo)man team, Rachel wouldn't be able to fill all the orders brought in.
While Rachel loves creating the custom bottles, she knows that this isn't something she wants to do full time. "I've always wanted to live in New York City and work in a big office, so that is something I am going to try out first. Realistically, sitting on the floor of my parents' kitchen in raggedy clothes and covered in glitter is not my number one career path choice."
Check out Rachel's work while she is still at it!