Welcome to the Alcohol & chats, where we ask questions to interesting people in the alcohol world.
This week’s spotlight is on Puffin Drinkwear, which wants to turn your drink into your buddy (a fashionable buddy). Puffin creates unique drink wear (koozies) by featuring fun designs and styles. We chat with Rick Lee, Director of Digital for Puffin Drinkwear, to see how it all came to be.
1) How did Puffin Drinkwear start?
In 2018, Tyrone Hazen founded Puffin in Bend, Oregon. His idea for The OG beverage sleeping bag materialized one night around the campfire with friends, as most great inventions do. With every sip of his lukewarm beer coddled sadly in his shivering hands, Tyrone longed for more in life… and that’s when it happened.
A buddy across the fire was picking up on Tyrone’s warm beer vibes and handed him a piece of an old sleeping bag to wrap around his cold drink. Huzzah! Not only did his bottle look very fetching, but every swig was as icy as the last.
With a joyful laugh heard through the hills of Deschutes County, Oregon, Tyrone thought to himself, “Wouldn’t it be fun if my beer bottle had its own sleeping bag?!”
And that, fellow lovers of cold beverages, is how Puffin drinkwear was born.
2) How difficult is it to create the Puffin Drinkwear? The designs look so realistic.
It takes a pretty high level of attention to detail and whimsical fun. As you’ve noted the function is pretty straightforward – keep your drink cold – but the design is where Puffin gets to shine.
3) How do you all come up with new ideas and styles?
Usually a big table or campfire is involved. We start off in one of those “no idea is a bad idea” moods and usually we all start to gravitate towards a few fresh design ideas. Our wizard product designer then takes those ideas and mocks up what they would look like in reality.
Those designs get put to the crew and feedback is gathered. This process continues until we’re all so excited to bring another Puffin into the world that we can hardly stand it.
4) What’s the best part of your job and being part of Puffin Drinkwear?
Without a doubt the team. We all live by our motto Fun Together. Whether that means participating in our ongoing Staff Puffin Game events or sharing something we got up to over the weekend, the people are what makes Puffin Drinkwear so much fun to work for. Plus, the products are just the cutest, that doesn’t hurt.
5) Where can folks find Puffin Drinkwear?
Puffin’s drinkwear items retail for $12.95 and up and are sold online at https://puffindrinkwear.com/ and in more 2,000 retail locations in the US including every R.E.I store.