It happens to all of us, sooner or later. You’re enjoying a cool beverage, you place it down, and before you know it, it’s lost in a sea of bottles and you’ve lost track of which is yours. Not wanting to risk downing someone else’s backwash, you’re forced to open yet another fresh bottle.
If only there was a way to keep track of which was yours to begin with… Well, thanks to 21-year Stewart Manor resident Karen Stellato-Sa, there is.
The inventor of Drink Duets Bottle Tags, a flexible, waterproof ID tag that snugly fits around the neck of any standard water bottle, Stellato-Sa said that the idea for such a handy thing just popped into her head one day.
“It just came from my life experience being tortured with wasting water bottles,” said the married mother of two. “We would buy a case, go to the soccer field, they would grab one, put it down, run onto the field, come back, and they wouldn’t know which one was theirs. And my son is a germaphobe, so he would just grab a new bottle instead. I end up with piles of bottles by the end of the day.”
Realizing that this was a recurring problem, Stellato-Sa, by her own admission a crafty and creative person, said she just started playing with some materials lying around her house, and soon came up with the idea for Bottle Tags. She knew she was on to something. But, unlike many people who get great ideas, she actually took steps to make it happen.
A cousin introduced her to New Process Fibre, a manufacturing company in Delaware. Stellato-Sa manufactured a prototype, and made a deal at the first meeting. New Process Fibre produces the Bottle Tags in rolls and ships them to Stellato-Sa, who punches them out and packages them.
“I can do that cheaper than they can do that,” she said. “We have a little packaging industry here at the house,…the whole family chips in and helps to package them.”
Once she was ready to sell to the public, Stellato-Sa beat the pavement, enlisting more than 15 independent local businesses to carry her innovative bottle markers. She also sells through her website, www.DrinkDuets.com.
Drink Duets bottle tags, Stellato-Sa said, are a fun and colorful way to keep the dreaded malady known as “lost water bottle syndrome” under control at parties, sporting events, and any situation where drinking may occur.
“You get 12 different colors in each package,” she said. “And if you always want to be yellow and your friend is always blue, you can do that, because they’re re-usable, so you can just take them off and use them again. Plus, you can write on them with a marker, or put stickers on them, and make them pretty and cute.”
So far, response to Drink Duets has been overwhelmingly positive (a version for wine glasses is also available), according to Stellato-Sa; that response already has her thinking about other products.
“People love, love Drink Duets,” she said. “Moms have been saying that they’re a really great idea, and my goal is to get them into a big chain store like Bed Bath and Beyond…I’ve got confidence in my product, and I’ve just got to work myself up to that level.”
Drink Duets are available at local retailers including Raindew and Associated Supermarket in Floral Park and The Pear Tree Shop in Garden City.