From “a million ideas” this one clicked: A sustainable drinkware start-up built to reduce single use plastic


April 11, 2023 | By Rupkatha B

From “a million ideas” this one clicked: A sustainable drinkware start-up built to reduce single use plastic

Over the past one year the ‘Dubai Can’ initiative launched to reduce single-use plastic water bottle waste has reduced the consumption of over seven million, 500ml single-use plastic water bottles. That’s the power of collective action by public and private entities and individuals. And several businesses of varying sizes are enabling the community to make a positive impact through their action. One such sustainable, insulated drinkware start-up was founded by UAE-based entrepreneur Jodie Fowler during the pandemic to help the UAE stay hydrated and cool while reducing single-use plastic.

A self-proclaimed ideas person, during a conversation with IMAGES RetailME Fowler shared how Sip started and where it aims to go.

What inspired you to start a business?

I’ve always been the type of person with a million business ideas. I even have a notepad with random ventures that excite me. The pandemic offered a bit of downtime and reflection that really helped me ultimately launch my business. During the pandemic, we became more aware of cross-contamination and hygiene. Even now, employees prefer to use their own mugs and glasses in office rather than sharing. At the same time there has also been a huge increase in environmental awareness and genuine effort to reduce unnecessary waste. All these aspects inspired me to start Sip.

Entrepreneurial journeys are always full of highs and lows. How do you stay motivated on difficult days?

Staying motivated with any long-term project is difficult, especially when you are a lone ranger. I often get stuck in my head and lose belief. When this happens, I find it useful to look back at the business plan, see how far I’ve come and look forward with my to-do list. Sometimes it’s hard to remember to celebrate the little things, but these are the things that keep you going. I’m also very grateful for the small business community in the UAE and their support when times get difficult.

Please share three things that you’d like to achieve for your business by 2025.

My main priority at the moment is scaling the business, working with more retailers and online platforms to sell Sip products. Expanding the product range is also high on the list, I’ve found that customers like to have multiple products for different uses. And, importantly, achieve more work-life balance. Having a successful business is the ultimate goal but this takes hard work, time and sacrifice. I hope in the next few years I’m able to outsource certain functions so the business can continue to grow.

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