60 second start-up: SWIG

60 second start-up: SWIG

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence

SWIG® makes and sells hip flasks starting from £24, and can count the Prime Minister, a FTSE CEO, an international youth sailing champion and my Mum as current SWIG® owners. 

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

I sell my range of SWIG hip flasks and accessories via my online store www.swigflasks.com, generally as gifts for a variety of recipients. Most often whiskey lovers, wedding parties, hunting fanatics, affective designers and 'just-turned-18' year olds!

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

The front page of a 'Hip Flask' Google search will throw up M&S, Amazon, Etsy and Notonthehighstreet. Although the only one headed up by a Northern Irish man, is SWIG®. So it's kind of hard to take them seriously.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

Every flask is engraved with a membership number for the exclusive SWIG® Society (http://swigflasks.com/society).

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

Incorporated and trademarked with the last of my salary (£300), developed the product with my overdraft (£2,000) bought stock and retail space with a startup loan (£10,000).

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

I neglected the salary, security and monotony of the Citigroup Grad Scheme to join the New Entrepreneurs Foundation Class of 2013. It matched me with a captain of industry who I got to shadow on placement for 6 months alongside a rigorous foundation training program on becoming an entrepreneur for life. I degree'd in computers.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

After receiving another round of 'Lynx Aftershave sets'  and novelty hats last Christmas, I noticed there wasn't a reliable, reputable or desirable Hip Flask brand on the market that I could have asked Santa for.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

A dangerous question… Probably trademarking the SWIG® brand early on.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

Not keeping my personal and business finances in two separate accounts from the start. I'm doing my accounts now and the ambiguity is horrendous.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

A Fox's Classic Bar… desirable, yet affordable. Should have a warning to consume responsibly.

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

Whichever idea led to Uber being marketed as a private driver service rather than a taxi. Their idea, execution and continued positioning appear to be flawless.

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

Sitting in my office drinking champagne and smoking Cigars (with the Selfridges head buyer) after a mutually bountiful Christmas. … or bankrupt, homeless somewhere reading Branson's autobiography (to make me feel better).

To find out more about SWIG®, click here, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Catch up with last week's 60 Second Start-Up here.

So what are you waiting for? Start a business now with funding from Smarta Start Up Loans.

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