Wouldn’t it be awesome if…?
This is where our journey started.
We had just become mega fans of HydroFlask because our local grocery store ran a huge sale, so we were able to get a bunch of tumblers at a good price.
Their kid selection was non-existent at the time.
After combing Amazon for a good kids cup, we just couldn’t find anything that looked reliable and cute.
The idea of making our own cups kept coming up over the next few weeks.
We didn’t create these cups because we wanted to be an eco-friendly brand, we just wanted better looking and more functional cups for our own kids.
Everyone seems to be using enamel paint...interesting
We started by looking for US manufacturers who could make stainless steel cups, but came up short after a month of searching.
After expanding our search overseas, we found 9 different manufacturers. The one we ended up partnering with was fast with their replies and asked us a lot of questions that we frankly didn’t have the answers to.
They focused on educating us more than trying to make a quick sale.
Our product research was simple.
We made a list of every kids cups on Amazon and read every single review.
So we decided that our cups needed to be powder coated, have unique colors and CPSC-compliant (we obtained a Children’s Product Certificate from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission).
This was a hefty expense and took a significant amount of time, but our kids (and yours) are going to be using these cups so this was an absolute MUST.
Testing, Chipping, Fading...AHHHHHHHH!!!
There’s a reason why so many kids cups on the market have the enamel paint coating.
Enamel paint is dirt cheap and so much easier to produce.
The problem is the fact that paint chips very easily because the bonds are weak. Powder coating is the reason why companies like HydroFlask and Yeti charge so much for their products.
Powder coating is expensive, takes more labor and requires more testing.
The initial prototyping took a little over a year because we ended up rejecting over a dozen samples made by different manufacturers.
Even after we received good samples and took the cups to the market, we took every complaint seriously and implemented an improvement strategy every single time.
A lot of customers were also complaining that the lids weren’t leak-proof. So we went back to the drawing board and designed a completely custom lid that reduces leaks significantly.
To infinity and beyond
Here’s where the story gets a little crazy.
I reached out to my friend Kyle (who was actually the designer of the Google Chromecast) to ask him about some design-related stuff.
He mentioned he was working with the founder of HydroFlask on another project and asked if I’d like an introduction.
There was SO much to be learned about stainless steel cups. We made a BUNCH of new tweaks to our design and manufacturing procedures based on all of the advice we received.
So far, we’ve invested in our powder coating process, produced a new lid design, created a larger size and are constantly configuring new color combos.
Nope, we’re not stopping here. Our plan is to keep innovating.
We hope you love your new cups as much as we love ours.