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MK Brings Good Life to Water

Jan 1, 2010
by Judi Perkins

The Good Life Gear product line from MK Distributors Inc. includes stainless steel water bottles with clever twists that make using them much more fun and functional than similar products. The line also includes other items both healthy for the body and the environment, including a stainless steel water bottle for dogs. Good Life Gear was created in 2006, in response to the awareness of the negative effects of drinking from plastic bottles. "Beyond the recycling problem, there is also the danger of the toxins that leech into the water in the bottle," said Jackie Hornsby, Sales and Marketing Director. "The owner of MK Distributors wanted to develop a reusable and refillable product that provides people with a healthy and more environmentally friendly way to drink water."

Stainless steel is important because metal drinking bottles can also be made from aluminum, which is porous, houses bacteria, and is very difficult to clean. As a result, said Hornsby, "The aluminum bottles have a plastic polymer coating on the inside which appears yellow." That coating is the same plastic that makes up water bottles. "Stainless steel is polished rather than porous, and is not coated inside with plastic," she said. What truly differentiates Good Life Gear stainless steel bottles from all the others, however, are three surprisingly meaningful factors. The first is the dual cap featuring two openings. "The entire cap unit unscrews from the bottle, leaving a wide opening which allows you to clean it thoroughly," said Hornsby. "It also means you can put ice in the bottle."

Hornsby explained that other stainless steel bottles have a narrow opening, often tapered, which makes it difficult to clean and impossible to insert ice in the bottle. "When you screw the main cap back on, there is a second cap that actually fits over the opening from which you drink. Both the spout and the cap are made from a BPA free, food-grade quality, FDA specified polypropylene." The second unique factor is that on most bottles, the cap does not cover the drinking spout. "It screws into the mouthpiece, which exposes it to the elements," explained Hornsby. "So if someone sneezes or it drops, that affects you. With ours, there is the sanitary benefit of knowing that your drinking spout is protected by a cap that screws over it, rather than into it." And for convenience, that same part of the cap that unscrews at the mouthpiece is connected to the main cap, allowing the user to leave it hanging without fear of losing or dropping it.

The third benefit is that the user is not drinking from metal. Said Hornsby, "People say water tastes different in a metal bottle, but saliva reacts to metal and can cause that." Good Life Gear also has an 18 oz line of bottles specifically for kids, which are shaped and molded differently from the adults' bottles. "They are designed to be a bit difficult to unscrew, to prevent a child from opening it and spilling on themselves. They can open the drinking spout cap, which is designed to be easier to drink from."

The company website illustrates their unique sanitary and easy-to-use ideas. If those are not reason enough to see Good Life Gear products as a significant profit source, factor in the line's fun colors and designs. From solids to plaids, from butterflies to pictures, there are numerous choices. "One of our tag lines is, 'Going green comes in many colors,' asserts Hornsby. "The reason six of our bottles have different cap colors is so that everyone in the family can have a different color cap."

Launching this month is a new design called "The Classic," which is entirely stainless steel. In order to seal properly, the cap is made the same way as the others, but is then coated with stainless steel. Like the other designs, The Classic holds 24 oz of liquid. Good Life Gear also carries a line of stainless steel thermos bottles which hold 16 oz, because of the two stainless steel walls separated with a vacuum seal. Assures Hornsby, "These bottles will not sweat when you put ice in them. They will also keep your drink ice cold for ten to 12 hours in a car in the heat, as long as the cap remains on, and we have tested and verified this claim."

The most unique product in the line is the one for which they have a patent pending: a stainless steel water bottle for dogs, because according to Hornsby, "Everything out there is plastic." The pet bottle looks the same as the 24 oz bottles for humans, with the exception of the three design options which are clearly dog related. The other difference, of course, is the way the water is dispensed. "It uses a gravity ball," explains Hornsby. "When the bottle is inverted, the weight of the water holds the stainless steel ball down. When the dog touches the ball, their tongue pushes it up and releases the flow of the water." Hornsby emphasizes that it is not like roll-on deodorant. "They control the flow of the water, depending on the strength of their tongue. We took delivery of these in June, and launched it at the main pet industry show in Vegas with 8,000 buyers. We have had raves on it." One woman in San Diego, Hornsby reveals, did an ordinary street fair recently and sold 40 bottles in two hours. "We have not had any returns. We are on our second container load already."

The company's website is clear and easy to use. The categories are at the top, and clicking on one gives you bright, clear pictures and descriptions on an uncluttered page. Their jute tote bags have an inside pocket for a water bottle, and are sturdy, light and support efforts to end deforestation. Additional items on the site are both gift and travel sets, and a new line of colored, stainless steel coffee mugs will debut this month. Another brilliantly designed product is the lunch kit, which comes with an insulated soup cup, stainless steel water bottle, BPA-free sandwich container, and netted pockets for silverware, snacks, or other lunch components. It is canvas with a shoulder strap and easy to carry.

Currently there are about 65 different products in the Good Life Gear line, with a wide variety of stores carrying the products. Including high end gift stores and grocery stores, hospital gift shops, many tourism sites, schools, golf courses, The Sierra Club and others. She said they are in the process of obtaining licenses for schools, so that their products can be carried in college bookstores. M.K. Distributors also provides customization services. "Our philosophy," Hornsby said, "is to encourage people to be aware of the health hazards of drinking from plastic, and to encourage the use of stainless steel for the health of the environment. We are doing our part to help people reduce their carbon footprint, while at the same time taking away the risks associated with drinking out of plastic."

Minimum order: Opening order is $100. Products are individually boxed and packaged in increments of twelve. Suggested MFRP for the children's water bottle is $12.95, and the 24 oz plain bottle $14.95; designs retail for $15.95. Custom imprinting minimum is 96 pieces. Telephone for the minimum reorder of 12, as the shopping cart requires a $100 minimum.

For more information:

M.K. Distributors, Inc.
600 Village Trace, Building 23
Marietta, GA 30067
Tel.: 770-916-0744
Toll Free: 877-915-0744
Fax: 770-955-0997

Topic: Company Profiles

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