How To: Create a Low Overhead Business That Improves the Lives of Your Customers!

in life •  2 years ago

Hello everyone, I would like to detail the creation of BottlePlants.com in hopes that you follow the guide to create your own version locally.

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The idea for BottlePlants.com came to me during my weekly meditation session. In the days before the session I had been researching gut health and found that antibiotics remove all the bacteria from your intestinal tract. This is all fine and dandy aside from the fact that fungus begins to overgrow due to the lack of competition.

A great way to reduce fungal overgrowth and restore the natural balance is to consume fresh natural herbs like oregano, cilantro, basil, ect. I was stuck with the question, "how do I create a low cost easy way to grow and house these wonderful herbs?". During meditation the dots started connecting and I recalled seeing an advertisement for the Kinkajou Bottle Cutter. It then came to me, "what if I take the top of the cut bottle and reverse it to become a self watering planter?".

After getting home from the session I started doing some googling and saw some pinterest posts of the idea. I was not surprised as in this day in age anything you can think of has been done a dozen times over generally. The inspiration was there though and I made the purchase of the bottle cutter.

As a disclaimer there is some trial and error and a level of skill to be obtained with the bottle cutter. Even now my ratio is about four out of ten usable bottles from cutting with the Kinkajou. So with a bit of practice and watching tutorials you can get a decent turnout from your efforts.

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I had initially thought local bars would be a great resource for bottles. After reaching out to a few and getting some beer and liquor bottles cut I found that beer bottle glass was too thin and most liquor bottles are clear. The downside to clear glass is that UV light is able to get to the roots. Dark colored brown bottles are best for plants, this lead me to the use of wine bottles.

A suggestion from @aprilangel to reach out to a local wine bar she had performed at payed off huge! I made a visit with a bottle plant with the intention of explaining the idea in hopes they would let me use their discarded bottles. After entering without me saying a word they said "oh, are you here for the bottles? they are all out back".

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Heading back for the last box I ran into the owner that asked what I was up to with the bottles. I explained my plan to grow fresh herbs to improve gut health and she loved it. She had mentioned how me taking the discarded bottles was a huge help as they were taking them to recycling themselves which took up time they didn't have. How wonderful I thought, a major part of the process was now taken care of. I visit their local location once a week to collect the bottles, I now have and unlimited supply.

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My next break was getting some free dirt from my local city. My town collects all of the plant debris after storms and composts it to make mulch and dirt. They then distribute it to the local community for free from parks nearby. So far my major costs are covered and there is little to no overhead in the process.

In a rush to get a product to market I went to the local flower nursery to create some bottle plants to sell. I found six plants for two dollars of various flowers. Purchased what I thought looked nice and headed home to plant them.

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Ended up with about 20 bottle plants and took them to a local town that has lots of foot traffic. My plan was to just sit there and sell some to passers by but ended up in a collaborative art store. The owner loved the idea and offered to sell them for me at a 60/40 split. All of a sudden with minimal effort my bottle plants were in an actual store!

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As of now I am about two months in and waiting for my herbs to grow. A very slow process I must say but soon enough they will be ready for market. I plan to get a booth at some local festivals and sell from there, that way I can give the "gut health" speech. If you are impatient like me, this will be the hardest part of the process.

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In a rush I purchased some seed starter trays to get things going while I got the bottles ready, I would suggest not doing this. I now have to delicately transfer each of these seedlings into bottles without damaging them and I have to do about six plants per bottle. It takes up a lot of time and is a chore to say the least. The best option is to plant directly in the bottles and just be patient about it.

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As of now they are selling in the store for $25 and from me $20. I am in talks with a glass expert to fuse the two bottles back together making one solid piece, these will be selling for much more if it can be done. My next goal is to find a nice wet saw and grinder to make splitting and finishing the edges much easier. As of now I am sanding the edges by hand which takes a lot of time and makes my shoulder hurt after a couple bottles.

I will continue to post progress updates and will answer any questions you may have. There are plans to do a step by step tutorial on prepping and cutting the bottles. A lot of trial and error so far and still not a perfect process. Thank you for reading, as always your votes and comments are appreciated!


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that's a potentially clever idea, except for the fact you could face a huge lawsuit if someone slashes themselves by accident on those rough glass edges.

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The edges are sanded down by hand so they are not sharp, I do not see any more liability than someone selling any glass product.

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@codydeeds sounds like a million dollar idea - a more minimalist container gardening :)
but .. there's just a downside .. what if they break?

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GlassBottleSandingPads.jpg

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if you're sure you can't cut yourself then you should be okay. from the images you posted, the edges seemed a bit sharp and raggedy, hence the comment. I've used a dremel drill for stuff like that in the past with pretty good results.

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Raggedy yes, sharp no. I have a two year old so safety was a concern of mine from the beginning. If they get dropped and busted that is a different story, not much I can do there. I have gone as far as to flex seal the edges to make things easier but the goal is to get into a glass/tile shop with the right tools I can use as mentioned in the post.

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that look's kind of cool too lol - but yeah, kids was one of my first thoughts too, so I'm glad you've covered all your angles

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CYA is a top priority. I try to stay positive and not let potential negative outcomes effect my decision making that much. Very much a work in progress though.

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perhaps I'm a bit too far on the opposite end of that lol

And remember, while you can't control what happens on any given trade after you "pull the trigger", the one thing you can always control is your risk and position size. It's not about how much you can make, but HOW MUCH you are risking that counts. Focus on managing your risk on a well planned strategy, and the rewards will come in their own due course.

Link: Seizing Trading Opportunities through Market Panics and Capitulation

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'MURRICA!

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because of the lawsuit part?

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Yeah, suing seems to be one of their top activities. :P

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Right?! Loved that the first comment brought that up. Nay sayers are going to nay...

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well, we do live in the land where cops shut down lemonade stands, so...

10 cent lemonade stand shutdown by 10 cops:

Not to mention I've come across too many stories where a "simple thing" was overlooked and literally wiped people out...

Link: How I made $60k then promptly lost it all and ended up owing taxes I couldn't pay

Regardless, sounds like Cody has his bases covered, so good job, I hope he sells a million of 'em (in SBD, even better)!

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Thank you for the info, paranoia is kicking in now lol

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didn't mean to scare you, but it does make the point. if you've covered your bases early on, you're much less likely to be smacked upside the head and taken for a spin later when you least expect it. and it's hard to get much more positive than that! 👍 😎

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"omg I was dumb enough to get hurt, SOMEONE HAS TO PAY FOR THIS"

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so true!

Love the idea, thanks for sharing this!

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Thank you for reading and commenting!

Great looking containers. I've seen people make container gardens using plastic two liter bottles, but yours look so nice. Doesn't keeping the bottle in two pieces allow you to add water to the bottom portion easily? Would you still be able to do that if you fused the pieces back together?

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Yes, these do have the ability to add water to the bottom and after fusing I plan to add a small hole.

Thanks!

Good job following through on all of these great ideas!

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Thanks, could not have done it without you! 😉