Santee glass retailer etches its way to success

0
147

While still on active duty for the U.S. Navy, Integrity Bottles Owner Zach Lewis and his wife Jamie began a small business in Santee by sand carving quality wine and liquor bottles as mili­tary retirement gifts, Change of Command presentations and other special occasions.

Beginning in 2016, Zach Lewis was still heading out for deployments and training op­erations as the company quickly began to grow. It was Jamie’s idea to turn to online sales, and the success of the business started growing rapidly from there. On Amazon, San Diego ranks number seven in hand­made in America items. The move to a hybrid style of retail business took this small busi­ness to new levels.

Lewis said Integrity Bottles is operating as a retailer/manu­facturer. With the creative di­rection of Jamie, “the real rock star” said Lewis, it has done all of its engraving and sandblast­ing in its small facility in San­tee. Lewis, now a Navy veteran, and his wife Jamie is a former sheriff’s deputy.

With 15 employees, Lewis said that the most important aspect of its success is the peo­ple that work for them and the partners that they have created over the years. And today is not different for this company as it has partnered with local busi­nesses and created products to give back to the local com­munity during the COVID-19 epidemic.

“I really want to recognize the team effort. Our people that are working for us, we didn’t stay home during all of this,” said Lewis. “We were busy. Our entire staff was able to come into work ev­ery day. They es­sentially put them self at a higher risk bracket in do­ing that. They sac­rificed a little bit of that to help out the community in what we are do­ing.”

“Our team does all of the pack­ing, cleaning, and patented blasting masking for our glasses,” said Lew­is. “It is an in-depth process. We do wholesale order, but that is a small portion of our company. The largest portion of our com­pany is definitely Amazon sales and online market-based sales directly to the consumer.”

Lewis said it created a part­nership with Liberty Call Dis­tilling Co. when the FDA ap­proved local distilleries and lo­cal companies to produce hand sanitizers according to their guidelines.

“They were getting such mas­sive orders from large cities like New York City and Los Ange­les,” said Lewis. “They also had a lot of smaller orders. They really couldn’t manage it, but we are set up for that. Integrity Bottles is excellent at packing bottles and shipping them out and managing those smaller or­ders. We took that off their plate and we sourced the hand sani­tizer from Liberty Call. Now, what we are able to do is that we are able to donate the pro­ceeds to a non-profit in support of COVID efforts and we are able to give away free bottles of sanitizers to first responders and local medical staff.”

Lewis said they created the COVID-19 themed glasses to bring light to a hard time and to try to put a smile on people’s faces.

“When we created the kind of happy coronavirus glasses theme we had to make sure that we are giving the proceeds away, making sure that we are supporting the actions too,” said Lewis. “So we have a little up­lifting product as well as the give back.”

Integrity Bottles is donat­ing 100% of proceeds from all COVID-19 products to ZTAc­tive Hero Project, a non-profit in support of first responders, medical personnel, military vet­eran and their families affected by coronavirus during this na­tional emergency.

Over the years, Integrity Bottles has created a wide va­riety of hand etched glassware for any type of occasion and added many other products to its selection such as mugs, tum­blers, water bottles, personal­ized liquor bottles and custom products. To learn more about Integrity Bottles, visit www.in­tegritybottles.com.