More than just a water bottle; drinkware on a mission

Swag In the Wild
2 min read
Clayton Chambers
Clayton Chambers
Swag Team Member

Published: October 21, 2022

We hope you enjoy our conversation with Seth Inyang, co-founder of Elemental Bottles, a drinkware company located in California. We are proud to sell their products here at SwagUp!

Elemental makes reusable drinkware focused on creating a healthier, more sustainable future for everyone, one bottle at a time.

Please, introduce yourselves!

Vinh and I have a diverse background being Vietnamese and African American with a parent from Nigeria.  Vinh moved to California from Vietnam and I moved here from Iowa.  We are both Engineers by trade and met working at a company here in Orange County.  We have both always been entrepreneurial minded and decided to start a company together soon after we met.  We are of like and different minds which allows us to work well together, Vinh heavier on the analytics and me being heavier on design and aesthetic.  

Vinh and Seth, founders of Elemental Bottles

The promotional drinkware space is huge. Lots of products, and many of them are poor quality. How do you differentiate your products?

We design for retail first and then take that product and run it through a promo filter.  So the product is already of the highest quality and meets our criteria of style x function, meaning every piece we have put into each product is as stylish as it is functional.  We then also see what we can do to make the product as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible.  Then we say, okay, now what works best for promo in regards to colors, sizes, imprint area and capability.  This is the final point and by the time we have arrived here we already know even without a clients logo on the product they would buy it in a store.

How do you think about building a mission-based business in a world where everything seems to be about transactions and turning a profit? 

The Pop Fidget Bottles

For us this is as simple as putting ourselves in others shoes.  We know we are fortunate and were put in a position to make the most of our efforts.  We have seen this in the places that we come from and even in our own families.  We see this as helping others is helping ourselves and in that manner we know that even small acts of kindness will come back as they have helped us. 

This is why we have our giveback program and look to give more as we grow.

As a minority and female led business, how have you both thought about building a diverse workplace that empowers your people and enables them to bring their best selves to work?

The first thing we do is try and make sure that everyone has a voice.  The funny thing however is this has worked to our benefit so it comes natural.  We do this by holding meetings and making sure that everyone has input.  Then we more or less take a vote.  We do this when it comes to new products, patterns/designs, and processes.  We do have leads who present during these meetings but after the item is presented everyone has a say. 

The Artisan Tumbler

This is where some of the best ideas have come from. 

Outside of this, we have a pretty laid back work space and also have company outings and events.  We do not take ourselves too serious, even though we are very driven, and I think this gives our employees room to have a laugh even in the most stressful situations.
Lastly, we allow everyone to be themselves regardless of culture or background.  To us nothing is weird as long as its not disruptive or can harm some in the space. 

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