Learn how reusable lifestyle brand memobottle experiences more human, transparent fulfilment with ShipBob while enjoying better technology.
Based in Melbourne, memobottle™ is the eco-friendly brand that brings you effortless, all-day hydration. Not only do their compact products save space with their unique flat design, they are also customisable, allowing you to choose the size and style you want, along with add-ons like lids, sleeves, and desk stands that come in many colours. Born in response to the devastating effect that single-use plastic water bottles have on our oceans and environment, their convenient (and beautiful) alternative makes it easier to make a difference. Additionally, each memobottle sold provides someone with 5 months’ access to safe water through their partnership with international nonprofit organisation, Water.org.
- 5 3PLs consolidated to 1 with ShipBob
- 600% growth since COVID
- 100+ countries shipped to each month
- 33.8 million days of safe water provided to people in need
- 200 million single-use water bottles eliminated
Designed to fit where round bottles can’t, memobottles slide effortlessly into handbags, backpacks, and pockets, allowing you to carry water more conveniently while traveling light. But they also serve a bigger purpose: contributing to the fight against single-use plastics.
As a member of the B Corp movement, memobottle is committed to creating a positive impact on the world. In partnership with Water.org, they’ve provided more than 33.8 million days of safe water for people in need, funding projects for communities across the world.
Made from the highest-quality BPA-free and BPS-free materials, memobottles are flat and can sit against laptops, books and everything else you carry, making the most of the room in your bag.
You can even personalise your bottle with a wide range of accessories, or create co-branded water bottles for your company or other large groups to which you belong.
We sat down with memobottle co-founders, Jesse Leeworthy and Jonathan Byrt, to hear how their beloved brand has evolved over the last decade and how having a partner like ShipBob helps them more seamlessly reach customers around the world.
Pivoting from Kickstarter success story to reusable lifestyle brand
As told to ShipBob by memobottle co-founders, Jonathan Byrt and Jesse Leeworthy.
As people who are passionate about protecting the environment, staying away from single-use water bottles is a no-brainer to us. But when we were in college, we’d try to fit our cylindrical reusable water bottles in our bags that were filled with many other objects.
Conventional water bottles would often create either a big bulge in the bag or not fit at all with all the other things we needed for class. We thought — our other items are flat (laptops, books, etc.) — so why not create a water bottle that complements that?
In 2014, we set out to bring our vision to life. We rustled up some cash for prototypes, put it on Kickstarter, and it went semi-viral. From the crowdfunding campaign, we sold 11k bottles, raised AUD $260k, and all of a sudden had customers in 70+ countries.
Very quickly, we had to figure out what a 3PL was and how to ship these bottles as efficiently as possible. Right away, we set up 4-5 3PLs in these key pockets across the world.
We initially thought we’d be primarily an ecommerce business, but post-crowdfunding campaign, we were getting a lot of interest from physical stores. B2B became a huge piece of our business, stocking shops throughout Europe, Asia, and even Urban Outfitters. B2B snowballed after that, making up the majority of our business until the pandemic hit. Stores closed down due to lockdowns and trade shows halted, flipping our order type breakdown overnight.
Right after COVID came into play, we scrambled quickly to become a social media-focused ecomm business, and those branding efforts have paid off. However, managing that growth from a logistics standpoint became increasingly complex with so many different partners, each with their own systems and processes.
Moving to ShipBob for more human, transparent fulfilment
Prior to ShipBob, we were working with several different 3PLs, each in a different country with a different WMS at each site.
It was so inefficient for our staff to change between different platforms, follow different labelling procedures, and remember different receiving techniques.
We began our partnership with ShipBob in 2022, first testing the waters with them in the US.
To get started, we had countless meetings including many technical onboarding calls that made the implementation process easy. We loved the results, and have been rolling out additional countries over time.
“Compared to other fulfilment companies, I’d describe working with ShipBob as a human experience. Other 3PLs give you a login to a platform, and you’re forced to work it out yourself while getting blanket responses from customer support.
With ShipBob, we not only have a dedicated rep, but we’ve gotten to know so many helpful people on the team. With all of the other 3PLs I’ve worked with, I’ve only actually met one person.”
– Jonathan Byrt, Director & Co-founder at memobottle
There have been obvious cost benefits in working with ShipBob — their cost structure is much more favourable than any 3PL we’ve worked with. With our multipick orders, we were getting slammed by pick fees all over the world.
Our 3PLs before ShipBob also were a total black box when it came to pricing — we’d just get one invoice with no line items, which made it impossible to work out what was what. With ShipBob, it’s very transparent billing and pricing, and now we know exactly what we’re being charged.
Centralising operations with tech-driven fulfilment
Prior to ShipBob, we had a 3PL in the US for B2B and separately a B2C warehouse that was also in the US. With ShipBob, it’s all under one roof, and not having to split them has been handy. We’re also glad to partner with ShipBob so we can use their facilities in the US, the EU, Australia, and beyond.
Some 3PLs we worked with also didn’t have any flexibility to offer things like custom label jobs for Amazon and other customisation capabilities such as kitting at scale, like kitting.
“The user experience of the ShipBob platform is a really big plus — it’s very easy for both our customer support agents and us to use. Rather than a 3PL that doubles in tech, ShipBob is a tech-based company that has improved the fulfilment experience.”
– Jesse Leeworthy, Director & Co-founder at memobottle
Having the ability to view pricing in the ShipBob dashboard is nice to quote to retailers if we need to ship to a particular location, especially when we have no direct courier accounts in the US like with DHL and others. Being able to put that on an invoice for a retailer is a quick and easy process.
We also often look at the analytics and finance tabs in the ShipBob dashboard to get a gauge on where spend is going each month and where we can optimise.
All the integrations in the ShipBob App Store is another big draw, talking directly to the tools we use like Shopify Plus, Klaviyo, and even Gorgias, which is a huge time-saver for our customer experience agents to get status updates, see tracking, quickly view and click through to previous orders without jumping out of Gorgias.
What’s next for memobottle?
Looking back, COVID was really the forcing mechanism for us to fully commit to spending way more time building a brand, where before we weren’t pushing memobottle as much as responding to the demand we had.
This brand-building approach — as opposed to just being focused on revenue — is what has led us to becoming the well-known brand we are today. We’ve grown 600% since COVID and continue to expand.
And really, everything today pretty much flows in as an indirect result of our DTC efforts, but we have 4 main channels that are fairly evenly split: our DTC website, B2B (wholesale and retail) stores we stock in, Amazon, and our corporate co-branded sales channel.
We also find new use cases for our product daily. Early on, our customers were primarily young professionals, students, creatives, and anyone ahead of the curve that wanted something more sustainable and creative than other water bottle alternatives. But this has evolved a lot over time, as our product range has evolved.
Today, we see a lot of active and outdoor-y customers with a memobottle. There’s also been a lot of demand for our corporate B2B business for co-branded items, where we do the laser etching and printing to include companies’ logos and custom needs.
We’re also setting our sights on other single-use products. Soon, we’ll be launching a premium lunch box for adults and kids, introducing a bag range, and creating more flat profile products that fit in our ecosystem of products. We’re happy to have partners like ShipBob by our side as we hit the next level of scale.
memobottle’s team at ShipBob
James is the Account Executive who worked with the memobottle team to get started with ShipBob.
Sergio is the Senior Implementation Specialist who onboarded memobottle to ShipBob.
Drew is the Merchant Success Manager at ShipBob who supports memobottle.
Get started with ShipBob
Looking into switching fulfilment partners or outsourcing fulfilment for the first time? Request a quote from ShipBob to get started.