Made by Mom Gift Guide: LipLidz prevents spills, flies in Chardonnay
Posted December 6, 2015 8:55 p.m. EST
It happened one fall night while Suzanne Gavis was hanging out with some girlfriends. An elbow met a wine glass. Before they knew it, red wine was all over the place.
Gavis, a Fuquay-Varina mom of one, has spent her nearly 30-year career in insurance. But she also has an entrepreneurial streak. She's had ideas for various products in the past, but had no idea what to do with them. This one was different.
"I've got to come up with something that has a little bit of class, but you can't spill," she remembers thinking that night. She also wanted something that wouldn't break and could be safely used poolside, on a boat or at a tailgate. After some trial and error and focus groups, Gavis figured it out.
Four years after that red wine incident, in 2013, LipLidz was born. The line of wine, margarita, martini, beer and cocktail glasses are made from BPA-free, shatterproof plastic. They come with drink-through lids, which attach to the side of the glass when you're refilling, storing or washing them.
They prevent spills and, as Gavis likes to point out, "flies in your Chardonnay."
The last couple of years have been busy for Gavis, along with husband Joe (the "schleper"), son Hunter and a group of close friends, who all help out or have connected her with others who can. She works out of her garage and also has a warehouse in Fuquay-Varina and Asheboro, where LipLidz are made. (Gavis is particularly proud that the cup is made in North Carolina).
Gavis has built her business through word-of-mouth and trade shows. LipLidz now are found at shops and boutiques around the country and beyond, including a Virgin Islands resort, Texas marinas, a Wisconsin winery and at Biltmore Estates. They also are available online and found in several stores locally, including Debby's Hallmark in Raleigh, David Anthony's in Fuquay-Varina and Lynn's Hallmark in Cary.
Gavis got a big boost last summer when LipLidz was featured on "The Big Pitch" at The International Home & Housewares Show in Chicago. There, Kevin Harrington, an entrepreneur who has appeared on Shark Tank, and others featured the product on a show that aired in August to 80 million homes in the United States. LipLidz was one of 11 products featured and chosen from more than 150 applicants.
Gavis sees growth in selling the cups with logos, like those found at Biltmore and other locations. She also offers custom services on LipLidz's website, which are popular gifts for wedding guests and other groups. And she recently added to her line the BrewTail, which is big enough for a beer or a cocktail. The cups sell for $19.99 for two martini, wine or margarita glasses. They are $21.99 for a BrewTail two pack.
The LipLidz adventure, Gavis tells me, has been a blast. She hopes it remains something fun to do when, at some point, she retires from her full-time job.
"I think about it or do something about it every single day," she said.
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