Case Studies

Water bottle business drinks to success after launch of new offering

An e-commerce business which makes reusable water bottles from plants has grown by 300%, after the founders expanded their offering to include brand partnerships.

About the business                                           

S’wheat based in East-Lothian was founded by 22-year-old Amee Ritchie and 25-year-old Jake Elliot-Hook, who came up with the idea while studying at university. S’wheat produces water bottles made from 100% plant fibres. Sustainability is embedded throughout their operations, and they promote a ‘no plastic’ ethos from their products to their packaging.

We were confident in our business idea, but we had no idea how to go about bringing it into the market, which is where Business Gateway was vital. They opened our eyes to the variety of support that is available for start-ups in Scotland and ensured we were prepared for every stage of launching our business.

How Business Gateway has helped

Amee and Jake approached Business Gateway for help starting up their business after they graduated from university and college and received a variety of support which helped them launch in 2018. This included 1:1 support from an adviser, help with their business plan and advice about company regulations, HR, and marketing. They were given help about possible funding options, which attending webinars, and successfully accessed £10,000 from Scottish Edge which helped them create their prototype in 2019.

Amee Ritchie, Founder, S’wheat said, “We were confident in our business idea, but we had no idea how to go about bringing it into the market, which is where Business Gateway was vital. They opened our eyes to the variety of support that is available for start-ups in Scotland and ensured we were prepared for every stage of launching our business.”

In 2019, following a successful pre-sale Crowdfunding campaign which raised over £22,000, Amee and Jake launched their product in 2020, where it is sold online via their website, www.swheatbottle.com. They have continued to grow, and recently launched a new offering for companies to co-brand and feature their logo onto S’wheat bottles.

This offering has helped the business increase its turnover by 300% since its introduction in November 2021.

The team also received support from DigitalBoost, Scotland’s national digital upskilling programme, delivered by Business Gateway. Through this, they accessed help from a specialist consultant who was able to show the young duo how to design and code their website.

Amee said, “While we may only just be starting out, we’ve got big ideas which will help us on our mission to protect the environment from plastic pollution, while encouraging others to do the same.”

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