It was spring 2010. The first idea for a “Bottle-light” and founding such a company started privately in the charming and big eating kitchen of the company owner and his wife. With every new guest we had a new bottle of good wine opened with bread and cheese. Previous bottles stood around on the window shelfs and evening sun was shining through them. The bottles emanated a nice atmosphere of dinners with friends, mutuality, quality and caducity. The bottles carried nice labels and even some of them were glass emblems, and one could feel that they were created with human passion. We felt that it would be a pity to throw them away. We thought of how we could reuse the bottles somehow – the first idea of a pendent lamp with unmodified bottles was born. The second idea for another battery-operated solution followed.
The owner of the company had and still has another patent business which had to have priority, but due to his dedication for inventive technology and devices and his experience in development and production, he began making first samples. The technical challenge was to get a design as simple, robust and good as possible. A focus was on reduction and robustness. The outcome were the models BOT01 for mains supply and BOT03 as battery-operable solution for standard rechargeable or alkaline batteries. Prototypes of the battery-operated bottlelight were designed with a miniaturized electronic board with most efficient LED and electronics with as reduced components as possible and with a slim mechanical construction. The mechanical design was challenging because of the constraints of the bottle neck being just slightly bigger than AA-batteries which should be used and because of water tightness. The result of the sturdy long lasting lamp giving light for up to 120 hours with 3 AA batteries was convincing and found good acceptance at customers who don’t look only onto a price but also on quality.
Another big challenge for the start-up team was to find the right packaging and to market the product, as simple as it sounds. However, we designed the packaging as well looking how that could be done nicely and quickly and for small quantities of up to 10000 units. The first 2000 units were sold for Christmas 2010, in 2011 we found business customers for another 5000 units.
Some Technical and design patents were applied and granted to get a protection for our products.
The series production started small with my wife and me partly, including assembly, testing, packaging and packing for shipping. The first 8000 units have been manufactured that way, with good response from the market what was encouraging. A challenging part was also how to find our customers and how to find out the right market segments and to make the appropriate marketing of our new products. The company grew slowly but steadily. After a short time we focused on the battery operated bottlelight model BOT03, as the pendent lamp was often said to be too costly and it takes a lot of the owners effort for production.