When Laura Bartlett left her friends’ house after a party in late 2012, carrying a half-empty bottle of wine covered with a rubber band, she never thought it would become a “million-dollar” business idea later!
After returning home, her 20-year-old son, Mitch Strahan, joked that her homemade wine stopper looked like a condom. “We just laughed about that joke”, Ms. Bartlett (51 years old) shared.
It was not until several months later that Strahan decided that he would create a product that would function as a condom for bottles of wine. Ms. Bartlett and her mother started calling for community capital on Kickstarter and this campaign raised $ 10,000 in 2014.
By 2018, Bartlett and Strahan’s Wine Condom has surpassed $ 1 million in total sales, sold in stores across the US and are being considered for sale at a large convenience store chain.
Wine Condom products.
Back to the beginning, Ms. Bartlett (who used to do marketing for a bank) and Strahan (the waitress) didn’t know where to start. They only know that they want to make condom products for bottles of wine.
Strahan said: “We cannot hire a condom factory to make products according to our requirements because their lines are not customized. Instead, we work with a manufacturer. gloves abroad to find the right mold for the size of the wine bottle The Wine Condom’s packaging is also designed to simulate the packaging of a traditional condom.
Due to rising production costs, the mother and daughter’s business suffered a loss in the first year, even if they raised more money from Kickstarter. However, thanks to free word of mouth advertising and still someone willing to support on Kickstarter, they decided to continue. Bartlett even has to use the savings to pay for a new shipment when some products are broken and need replacement. Talking about those hard times, Strahan said: “I persuaded myself a lot to continue with the promise of earning my money back.”.
A few months later, their efforts paid off when Wine Condom was introduced as a unique gift idea on The Today Show 2014. In 2016, the video of this product became viral on Facebook, attracted more than 30 million views.
Wine Condom appeared on The Today Show.
In 2017, Bartlett and her mother earned more than $ 500,000 in revenue from Wine Condoms, mainly through Amazon, and this number increased to more than $ 750,000 in 2018.
Now the business has expanded. From the warehouse storage at Strahan’s apartment, they moved to a 3,000-square-meter warehouse near Dallas. According to the information on their website, a box of 6 condoms for bottles of wine (reusable) is sold for $ 15.
Wine Condom makes wine storage easier.
4 years ago, if anyone said that Bartlett and Strahan’s company would grow as strong as it is today, they would probably laugh and say it would be hard to happen. But the reality has proved the opposite. The business process has made them realize that even without any entrepreneurial experience, you can still do that if you are hard at work and most importantly do not give up.
Bartlett shares: “Don’t sit around and wait for others to set up a business plan for you. We spent a lot of time, effort and money on Wine Condoms and the success today is because we didn’t give up.”.