The Trend Boutique got together with the wonderful team over at bkr to learn more about the brand from the creators themselves: Tal Soltz & Kate Cutler! We’d like to thank the two for their time and the wonderful bkr Collection now @ TTB. (P.S. See below to win a Heartbkr Bottle in time for Valentine’s Day!)
First things first, What does bkr stand for?
Bkr is pronounced “beaker.” It’s a throwback to high school science class and the glass beakers we all used.
How did this idea for a water bottle emerge?
We were two cute smarties drinking from a ton of disposable plastic water bottles. Which, as it turns out, is not cute or smart. Plastic is 100% chemical, disposable things usually become trash, and clean water comes out of the tap for free. But we couldn’t find a water bottle we LOVED. We wanted something clean, clear and pretty – that wasn’t made of plastic, didn’t have an enormous mouth, and didn’t feel like camping equipment. AND [something] that we could become more addicted to than little plastic water bottles. Voila. The idea for our luxe little bkr was born.
Who do you design for?
We design for the girl who, when asked what she wants in life, answers “everything.” She’s effortless, but ever the lover of a quirky manicure. Her hair is messy, just so. She laughs an un-self-conscious laugh. She mixes vintage items, like high-waist denim shorts with Chanel booties. She’s an old soul, a little bit goofy and completely unpretentious. She’s tomboy-meets-Lolita. You see her at every art opening but she’s genuine and coy about her coolness. She sparkles.
If you could describe your collection in just one word, what would it be?
Our customers love the affordability of the bkr bottles! What distinguishes bkr bottles from the Kanteens and Nalgenes out there?
Bkr is like the perfect t-shirt. It’s super-luxe and soft. It feels right and fits right, you can’t have just one. It’s effortless, versatile and it’s a staple. You just can’t help but fall in love with it.
In general, who do you think is more of a force in selling your product: celebrities carrying the bottles or average joes praising the product?
A sincere connection to bkr is what resonates with people. Love resonates, no matter who it comes from. And ultimately that’s the rocket fuel for our success.
Which makes you more tingly inside: seeing your bottles carried by celebrities or seeing your bottles carried on the streets?
They’re both honestly amazing. We’ve been known to stop strangers with bkrs when we see them. They’re usually as genuinely excited as we are when we ask about their bkr. It’s very cool to feel you’ve started a real movement, that you’ve created something and that people are really obsessed.
Have you met any of the celebs that have been noted to carry a bkr Bottle?
Once! We ran into a celebrity (a rock star) at a press conference and he randomly had a Fog bkr in front of him. He was so cute when we shyly asked him how he got his bkr. He said he and his girlfriend got them in LA and they were his favorite water bottles ever. 100% true story – do you die?!
What is the hardest part about launching a new business?
Probably the hardest thing to achieve is momentum. You can have a great idea, you can work until you’re falling over — you can build the best team with the most fabulous people. But it takes some real magic to gain momentum.
What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
First, before anything, research your idea from every angle. Have a clear vision, believe absolutely in what you’re doing, and commit to it — but be willing to adjust quickly and without drama when you need to. Surround yourself with smart people who can do things you can’t. Don’t give up when someone tells you your idea is dumb. And don’t get cocky when someone tells you your idea is brilliant. Just focus and stay grounded. Your dumb idea may very well be the next big thing.
Describe the organizations/charities that the bkr bottles support.
It’s important to us that bkr gives back. What happens to one of us affects all. Bkr invests a portion of all proceeds in initiatives that combat the global water crisis, help in the fight against cancer and create change we believe in. We’ve partnered with two amazing organizations; Obakki Foundation and Canary Foundation. Obakki Foundation uses fashion and creative arts to raise money to bring water and education to people in Africa. They’ve drilled over 100 clean water wells in South Sudan. Canary Foundation is dedicated to the funding, discovery, and development of tests for early cancer detection.
And finally, who came up with those witty sayings on the special Valentine bkrs? (We love em!)
Tal did, with inspiration from some giggly late night calls with our hilarious, adorable creative team. Tal leads Creative at bkr and has both a good sense of fashion and a quick sense of humor. She’s never afraid to tell it like it is or take a risk.