The Beginning.

Why are These Ugly Shampoo Bottles Ruining my Shower Experience?

October 11, 2017

by: Laura Pallotta

Hi! I’m so excited to welcome you to Bottiful Home’s website and my very first blog post. In this first post, I’m going to talk to you about the story of our start, who we are and where we’re headed with this blog .

If you’ve read our About Us page, you know I experienced a struggle looking for just the right container to beautify shampoo and conditioner containers, and after much research, time and investment, finally ended up creating a decorative and highly functional container that would enhance the look and feel of the shower experience and replace the eyesores we’re all used to looking at.

I would have preferred to just buy something already available. In fact, I never envisioned creating this company even when I was searching for the perfect solution.

Every Google search for shampoo bottles, bottles with pumps, and pretty shampoo containers led back to DIY projects on Pinterest and empty containers that could be purchased in bulk.

But who needs 200 empty, non-labeled containers? And who wants to spend time finding the perfect waterproof label, lining it up perfectly so the shampoo and conditioner look uniform next to one another, or gluing something to the bottle that will eventually fall off because water will eventually wear it down?  Not me.

I just needed one set for me, one for my guest bath, and maybe some hand soap containers to coordinate with them in all the baths and kitchen.  But they didn’t exist, at least not that I could find.

So, with no company out there selling an attractive solution, I decided to make one for myself.

Yes, it was DIY. But even DIY wasn’t simple, as I soon learned. If you put a label on a shampoo bottle, you have to consider that it’s going to get very wet.

And what would that do to the label over time? It ends up even worse than staring at pictures of sliced fruit and 300 ingredients on the shampoo bottles I was trying to replace.

What’s up with those ingredients lists? What’s in our hair and skin care products anyway? That’s a discussion for another day.

Back to the story…

I spent time researching and testing bottles, pumps, and label designs until I had created a product that would:

  • Withstand the very wet environment of a shower without degrading, peeling, looking awful over time
  • Hide the color of the products inside the bottle (because if you want pretty shampoo bottles, you don’t want to stare at yellow shampoo and blue conditioner)
  • Dispense properly every single time (without clogging, dripping, or causing rust)
  • Be lightweight and shatter-resistant so it wouldn’t cause damage when wet hands encounter soapy bottles
  • And most importantly, not require ANY DIY efforts. (By the time I found the complete solution, I was so over DIY on these containers)

Once those requirements were met, I had found the product that was right for me. But still, Bottiful Home was not even a distant thought in my mind. It wasn’t until I mentioned it to my sister, Sonya, that I thought I might be on to something.

A Tale of Two Sisters

Prior to founding Bottiful Home in July 2017, I spent more than 20 years in finance, accounting, and financial reporting, most recently leading a team of financial reporting individuals for a nearly $2 billion publicly held company. As a long time veteran of finance and a licensed CPA, I was intimately familiar with numbers. Profit and loss, balance sheets, cash flows…those were the things that made my world go ‘round prior to starting Bottiful Home. Then, one day, I mentioned to Sonya that I had come up with an idea to replace those ugly shampoo bottles in the shower and that I had tried all the alternatives available off the shelf and found none that would solve all the issues.

To my surprise, Sonya thought that was a great idea and she would like to have something like that too. Now, you have to understand that a statement like that coming from anyone else may not have meant much to me. Lots of people are willing to say something is a good idea…until it comes time to part with their hard-earned cash to purchase it. But I knew that was not the case with Sonya. She has an eye that is just as critical as mine, probably even more so.  She won’t point out that my toilets weren’t as clean as they should be when she visited, but you can bet she noticed…and likely even cleaned them herself. Who am I kidding? She has actually noticed, cleaned them herself, then only mentioned it when I admitted they didn’t get attention before she showed up.  So, yeah, I could be better at keeping the toilets clean, but I hired someone to do that so I never have to be embarrassed by dirty toilets when visitors arrive again. Problem solved.

Sonya and I both notice details in life, but in very different ways. She notices dusty table tops and dirty toilets, and I notice when the canned goods don’t all face the same direction in the pantry so you can see what’s in them. We both expect products to function well, look beautiful and provide the right amount of ambience. In fact, prior to my hand soap bottles becoming available, Sonya only purchased a very specific hand soap strictly because of the bottle it came in, its function, its design, and the scent of the soap the whole family could live with. I never knew that was the reason she was buying her hand soap. But I had noticed it was always the same kind.  She wouldn’t have said she liked my idea of creating a set of shampoo and conditioner bottles that were more functional and attractive if she didn’t truly believe in it enough to actually buy it. And knowing this, I started to think maybe there are other people out there who would like a solution too. If both of us wanted a solution that was prettier to look at and still functioned properly (even better than most other pumps and bottles out there) then maybe there were other people like us looking for a solution too.

In fact, I knew there were others like us because Pinterest has several posts of how to solve this problem yourself, though none of them were the right solution in my opinion. None were permanent, beautiful, appropriate for wet environments. One blogger posted about typing out the word shampoo on one of those at-home labeling machines that punches the letters into the label tape. Then she proceeded to explain how you must use super glue to get it to stick to your bottles! And if I remember correctly, she was using GLASS bottles in the shower. I actually tried the glass bottles thinking it would be fine. Wrong! The first time I used those suckers with soapy hands, that bottle slipped right to the floor, barely missing my toes. And thank goodness it didn’t crack my tiles or shatter. But that incident helped me realize that I was going about this all wrong. Glass, no matter how beautiful, is just not practical for shower use.

NOT DIY, but DFY (Done For You)

As a consumer, I like a good value like anyone else, but the older I get (and I like to think, wiser too) that value I seek has become less focused on price and more focused on functionality or overall value for the price.  The longer I live, the more I realize my time is worth so much more than the few bucks extra I might spend to get a truly quality product. What good would it do to solve a problem with a product that I throw away in six months because it no longer works, or the solution was temporary, or it just didn’t look as professional as I wanted it to? No good. I can tell you from experience. The first time you have to throw something away because it wasn’t exactly the right solution or it broke too easily, you’re slightly frustrated but you stay in good spirits assuming you will find the right thing the next time.  By the time you’re on your fourth or fifth rendition, you’re totally over it. You just want something that works well and looks nice. You would pay a LOT more money to just solve the problem and move on to something more important in your life.

I tried everything from DIY versions to off the shelf versions with a slight DIY twist. Nothing was perfect because I was always sacrificing something, either functionality, design, or even safety in the shower. I’m all for a DIY solution to something if you can get professional results when you do it yourself, or even if you just enjoy the time spent doing something yourself. But, in the case of the shower bottles, neither of these was true for me.

The way I see it, DIY projects are good for things that help you use your creative energy while also resulting in something you can be proud of, while not costing you a lot of extra time and money that you don’t want to spend. That was not the case with waterproof precision labeling of shampoo and conditioner bottles. It needed to be done professionally to solve all the problems. So, instead of DIY, I like to think of my products as DFY, Done For You. If you really want to do something yourself, maybe you can find a new passion of making your own liquid soap or shampoo, or any number of hobbies much more fun than labeling bottles for your bathroom.

I do enjoy learning how to do things myself. What better way is there to know exactly why it makes much more sense to pay someone to do it for you? I learned this lesson many years ago when I bought my very first investment property. I bought a duplex thinking, “Hey, I can swing a hammer. I watch HGTV. I’m sure I can do the little work this place needs and save a lot of money.” Most of the projects did require minimal expertise, but the one project that helped me learn the lesson of just paying someone to do the work was laying laminate flooring. This is a typical DIY project. Buy the materials, measure, cut, tap into place, repeat until done. No problem, right? Wrong.

Here’s what the DIY shows on TV don’t show you:

  1. Just the safety equipment and supplies alone that you need for DIY home projects are actually pretty pricey. Once you buy safety glasses, crowbars, mallets, underlayment, and likely a miter or chop saw, you’re out several hundred dollars without even buying materials yet.
  2. These projects are messy! I’m sure contractors are used to this, but I felt like I was the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz for several days. I had sawdust coming out of my ears, my fingernails, and my nose for days. Eww! So gross. It was during this renovation that I finally learned what my dad was referring to all those years when he said he was picking “warehouse dust” out of his nose. I was pretty sure that was just boogers when I was a kid. Come to find out, there really is such a thing! Who knew?! (Dad did, of course).
  3. There’s actually a reason why people exist who know what they’re doing with certain trades. The first time I ran up against a problem with the laminate flooring was when I hit the first door threshold. The duplex was over 100 years old, and there was no possible way to cut the door casing to lay the flooring under it (which is how you get a smooth professional appearance). The wood casings in that house were like fossils, hard as rocks and there was no cutting them. So I had to figure out how to make very precise cuts to make sure the flooring touched the casings and didn’t look like there were gaps. Needless to say, that was neither fast nor fun. By the time I got to this point, I would have paid a contractor twice the going market rate just to finish the job for me. They’re experts for a reason. After that experience, I promised myself never to lay floors of any kind every again. Just pay someone to do it. It’s easier, faster, and much more professional looking when it’s done. And now, I have full appreciation for those doing it every day.

I’m not trying to talk you out of trying something yourself or getting interested in DIY ventures. By all means, go out and find a new project to see if you can do it yourself. Just keep in mind, there is always a cost. And the cost is either time, money, sanity, or some combination of those. By starting Bottiful Home, I’m sparing you the need to go through the effort to fix the shampoo bottle dilemma yourself. Buy our bottles and free up your time to do something much more enjoyable, or maybe use those freed-up brain cells to start your own business. Now, that’s a novel idea!

So Where are We Going Together With This Blog?

I expect that this blog will evolve over time. And the more engaged you are, the more I’ll know about what you want to know, read and discuss. So don’t be shy! Post comments. Agree with me. Tell me I’m wrong. Give suggestions. I read all responses, but I can’t read your mind. For now this blog will focus on:

  • Providing helpful information and recommendations on certain consumer goods, primarily related to bathroom and kitchen products and accessories (I will recommend items that I’ve used and loved over the years. I’ll tell you what I like about them and what some of the drawbacks might be so you can decide for yourself if they would help solve problems for you too.)
  • Making you laugh. If you didn’t laugh at least once while reading this post, then I’ll try harder next time. I’m no comedian, but life is hilarious! And I hope this blog can be a bright spot in your day.
  • Feedback and recommendations by you. I want to hear what you like or don’t like about our products and other products that we may discuss in the blog. I may even ask you to vote on new product ideas, provide feedback on existing ones, or tell me about your favorite products or services you use in your own home.
  • Sneaking in some financial discussions now and again. After all, I am certifiable…er, um, I mean certified and highly experienced in such matters.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Your time is the most valuable thing you have to give. If you want to receive these posts in your mailbox regularly, don’t forget to fill out the contact form so we have your email address. Don’t worry, you won’t be barraged with emails. I hate that too!

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