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From paper to water

Gobilab make customisable water bottles - using MiniCards! Of course, with such an enticing prospect, we had to have a chat with them to find out all about it. And as it turns out, they’ve got some excellent advice for startup newbies too.

First things first - tell us a bit about Gobilab

We design and produce Gobi, the first reusable bottle shaped to quench your thirst in your everyday urban life and at the office. Gobi is ecodesigned, made in France and totally customisable. It took us twenty-six months from the time we had the idea, around Easter 2009, to deliver the first Gobi to our clients.

How did you decide to dedicate yourselves fully to the Gobi bottle?

We’d been exchanging ideas since 2003 but none of them seemed good enough to turn into a business. The idea for Gobi was born when we looked at a plastic cup in our office during Easter 2009. We realised that plastic cups were anachronistic objects, and that a far better alternative could be designed. Our designer started working on it immediately, and only after a while, we thought of using MiniCards!

Who helped you while you were getting started?

Our friends and acquaintances at first, then Paris Pionnères, La Ruche and now Paris Région Lab

What have you learned from the whole process?

Sometimes, our customers see something in our product that we couldn’t see, and we learn so much from their comments. Also, nobody here has got a sales background so the whole thing has been a bit of a baptism by fire

You are now subcontracting the production. How did you find a manufacturer?

The manufacturer was recommended by one of our partners and our partners were all found by word-of-mouth. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask around, because there’s always someone who knows someone. 

So tell us about how you use MOO

We use the MOO Business Cards to hand out to clients, of course! Most importantly, we use MOO MiniCards to customise our Gobi’s. It came about by accident – we dropped a MiniCard into water, and our eureka moment was born.

Awesome! And finally, what are your plans for the future?

We are currently working on expanding our range of products (new Gobi sizes) while keeping in line with our defining characteristics: urban, ecodesigned, made in Europe, and customisable.

Look out for Gobi bottles on Gobilab.com

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