Movers and Makers: Great glasses for great beer

Movers and Makers: North Drinkware

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Have you ever had a big idea that you were sure would be a hit, if only you could figure out how to make it?

That’s what happened to a couple of Portland buddies and co-workers.

“Nic and I both work in product design and development,” explained Matt Capozzi.

So when Capozzi and Nic Ramirez were sharing a beer, they decided that great beer deserved a great glass. They designed a sparkling handblown lead-free glass with a 3-D imprint of Mount Hood on the bottom. It was supposed to be a small side project.

“It went much bigger than we had ever imagined,” said Capozzi.

After creating paper 3-D models, coming up with plaster and making a prototype for the Oregon Pint, the pair decided it was time to find modest funding on Kickstarter.

“We asked for $15,000 when we started the Kickstarter campaign, thinking we’d make a few hundred glasses,” Ramirez said.

But it turned out to be much more.

“At the end of 30 days, we had raised nearly $550,000,” Capozzi said.

So two friends who had only blown glass one time at a company retreat were now responsible for delivering 13,000 glasses instead of a couple hundred. They enlisted the experts at Elements Glass in Northwest Portland for help. But there were other issues, specifically how to pack and ship their fragile product.

“Originally we had talked about shipping the glasses out of our basement,” said Capozzi.

It wasn’t easy. Still, North Drinkware not only met its original commitment but the glasses are now being sold up and down the West Coast with replicas of Mount Hood, Mount Rainer and Half Dome. And with so many mountains left, the possibilities for this big idea seem crystal clear.

To see North Drinkware's glasses and other products, click here.


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