The Giddy Story

November 20, 2013 31 Comments

The Giddy Story:

Right before the summer of my junior year at Stetson University in 2009, I started selling liquor bottle lamps out of my dorm room. I named the new venture Giddy aka Giddy Glassware because “giddy” is the feeling between being drunk and sober, plus, fittingly I was only doing it for beer money. However, the story goes back further than that; years before, I watched Fight Club and was fascinated by its anti-consumerism and anti-corporate undertones. What’s more, they make soap in the movie – so I wanted to make soap too. I learned quickly that Tyler Durden doesn’t properly know how to treat lye burns but even that didn’t slow me down or curve my enthusiasm. I was hooked. Soon, I was making lip balms, body butters, face scrubs, and any skin care product that spawned my curiosity. I struggled with acne since high school and after exhausting traditional remedies from dermatologists, I decided to make my own face scrub using homeopathic and functional natural ingredients – I kept that face scrub in my bathroom enclosed in a Play-Doh container (that I found God knows where).

All the while, my liquor bottle venture took a turn for the worst. After my school confiscated my collection of empty liquor bottles, I was left with a twenty-pound box of useless labels. Pissed off, I moved off campus and, again, I had no beer money. I started collecting cash and throwing parties and, one night, while a few friends were at my house for a party… a group of ladies came across the jar. Intrigued, they returned from the bathroom to ask, “What the hell is in that Play-Doh jar?” I affably explained my story, and, soon after, found myself delivering gallon containers of the “stuff” to sororities around Stetson. As demand for the scrub continued to grow, I dusted off the Giddy labels from my closet, bought a few hundred small containers, and the new Giddy was born. The scrub found its way across campus and onto other campuses. Much to my surprise, Giddy found its way from a curious substance inspired by Fight Club and enclosed in a Play-Doh jar to an emerging company.

I began screen printing my logo on eco-friendly threads like hemp and bamboo to build the brand but people started to think Giddy was a cool clothing brand unknowing of the attached skin care segment. After graduation, I met my first partner, Alex Elkins, who handled the photography and made Giddy look like a real company albeit it was still a humble hatchling of my dorm room invention. Alex talked me into moving up to North Carolina where Giddy would surely continue to thrive in the college culture of the Triangle. From there, I brought on Mike Viscusi who saw a bigger vision for Giddy – making functional skin care products for young outdoorsmen and women. He brought on a buddy, Preston Lavinder, and per the request of my new team member – I developed a healing hand salve for rock climbers and various outdoor and fitness enthusiasts. Demand grew further while friends and rock climbing enthusiasts across the country started “Getting Giddy.” We knocked on doors, knocked down doors, put our products in the hands of everyone from mom and pop shops to major retailers, and slowly started a grassroots movement. We wanted to start a company with a conscience that treats its employees and customers like rock stars while making everyone feel Giddy all the time. The rest of the story is currently being written.

-Tyler Ward




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