If you’re in the market for an insulated bottle or tumbler, you’ll find a lot to choose from. There are bottles targeted to sport-enthusiasts, outdoorsy types, and extreme adventurists, but as Tracee Mathes saw it, there weren’t any for the average woman – the busy mom, girl on the go, or boss lady – who wanted an uber-insulated and ultra-cute drinkware option. That gave the lifelong entrepreneur an idea.
“I noticed there was no premium hydration company offering the variety of cup shapes women want, and certainly not in colors that appeal to a female demographic. I felt there was an unmet need in the marketplace to combine those elements into one brand,” says Mathes.
Mathes set out to meet that need in 2017 when she launched SWIG, offering premium drinkware with women in mind. The company’s cups, tumblers and bottles rely on the same insulation technology that keeps other stainless steel hydration vessels cold or hot – including vacuum insulation, stainless steel double-walls and copper-coated linings. But SWIG differs from its competitors with its creative and appealing designs. SWIG offers more shapes, sizes and color choices (20!) than anyone else on the market, but what really sets them apart is their insulated stainless steel stemless wine cup – a SWIG original creation that took the marketplace by surprise!
“Wine and wine accessories are very on trend right now and there was no stainless steel insulated stemless wine cup on the market – so we created one – and the response was unbelievable!” says Mathes. “We focused on a shape that was comfy to hold and made them in irresistible colors and finishes. Before we could blink, we were at $10 million in sales and have developed quite the following.”
SWIG’s stemless wine cup is an inventive, portable way to enjoy wine at the perfect temperature – indoors or outdoors. While other companies have jumped on the bandwagon, Mathes says SWIG is the brand customers always ask for when they’re searching for this style.
The company makes colored cups, tumblers and bottles in an array of eye-catching colors from pearl and rose gold to coral and hydrangea and their branding is on-target for the female demographic they serve. The designs make SWIG a far cry from ordinary hydration vessels. Mathes says as a designer it’s rewarding to see consumers value something she created.
“Let’s be honest, it the grand scheme of life it’s just a cup…BUT…they are pretty to look at and work great. They also make a great gift and it just makes your heart smile to use one,” says Mathes.
While SWIG’s claim to fame is its 12-ounce stemless wine cup, all of SWIG’s products are geared towards busy but stylish women and moms. It’s 17-ounce bottles appeal to exercise buffs who want to throw it in their bag and go, its 20 and 30-ounce tumblers are popular for morning motivation like coffee and tea, while the company’s 50-ounce travel bottles make a splash with outdoor enthusiasts and hold two full bottles of wine. And they just rolled-out their 6-ounce stemless champagne flute which is another hit with ladies.
SWIG has quickly grown to employ 15 amazing women. Even before its launch, it was clear Mathes would be an entrepreneur to be reckoned with.
“I have always “hustled.” At age 8, I sold puppies from a wagon in our neighborhood, at 12, I sold greeting cards for door-to-door, in college, I started a custom gift-basket business, at age 30, I opened two retail stores and now, at 45, I am still full of new ideas! I have a masters degree in sociology with a focus on consumer research,” she says. “I was an executive in sales and marketing for several media companies before stepping out to open my stores and to follow my passion. I am a risk taker and I will work endlessly to make an idea work!”
As for the future of SWIG, Mathes says she plans to grow the brand to include all types of hydration and insulation products including cups, barware, coolers and coozies with a goal of adding products to the line every six months.
Mathes attributes SWIG’s loyal customer base in part to the company always putting customers first. It offers a complete refund within 30 days to buyers who aren’t completely wowed by the product – for any reason – as well as a one-year warranty on every item.
While men enjoy SWIG’s products too, the line remains at its core a female-oriented brand. Mathes says she plans to continue building a brandfocused on the average woman who wants a stylish, well-made product for her on-the-go lifestyle.