N.C. Business Sells Custom Water Bottles

July 30, 2004

Sandra Burnett of Sisters' Garden & Catering Company, Kimberly Wordsworth of KBev Inc., and former Nortel manager Greg Murphy have joined forces to form Aquatise — a company that customizes the labels of bottled water for any business, event or cause.

Based in North Raleigh, N.C., at Burnett's catering business, the company's motto is: "Don't just advertise, Aquatise."

As Delawese Fulton of The News & Observer reports in today's edition, a small business or group can purchase 10 or more cases of bottled water with its logo printed on each bottle's label. Each case contains 24 plastic bottles of 16.9 fluid ounces of Canadian spring water.

Vice president of Aquatise Inc.'s corporate accounts, Burnett said she's been mulling over the idea ever since she began importing bottled wine from France with the Sisters' catering logo on the label in 1983. The idea finally took off when she met Wordsworth and Murphy.

Wordsworth has been in the bottled water business since 1999. Her KBev is a national distributor of private label and branded bottled water. She had long wanted to make private label bottled water available to caterers and restaurant owners who could not purchase or store the truckloads of water she sold to distributors and national chains.

Aquatise has been in operation for about two months. Burnett believes the company is "one of very few" in North Carolina to offer such personalized water labels.

For about 50 cents per bottle, a company's logo and wording is color-printed onto labels.

President of the newly formed venture, Murphy said the chambers of commerce in Raleigh, Cary, Louisburg and Morrisville have placed orders with Aquatise. He added that York Simpson Underwood realty company has signed on and is supplying agents with their own line of personalized water bottles. York's real estate agents can order bottles of water with their picture and contact information on the labels.

Janice Dunham, executive director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, purchased 25 cases of water with her organization's logo and the dates of this year's Tar River Festival coming up in September, and she plans to continue ordering for other events throughout the year.

Aquatise's management team, currently a staff of 11, plans to take the company national. In addition to local sales representatives, they have already hired salespeople in Virginia.

Source: The News & Observer