EXstraw is finding solutions to make reusable straws a part of everyday life
In late 2018, the fight against single-use plastic straws was at an all-time high—high-powered companies like Starbucks vowed to rid their coffee shops of them by 2020, a handful of states began gearing up for official bans, and reusable straws started seeing substantial sales increases.
Setting a Precedent
EXstraw founder and Phoenix native Jamie Killin was one of the many well-meaning reusable straw warriors, until she actually tried using them in her everyday life. After using a Starbucks drive-thru, refusing the plastic straw and enjoying her beverage with her brand-new metal straw, she realized she had nowhere to store the now-sticky, wet metal.
Surprisingly in the seemingly endless world of merchandise made possible by stores like Amazon and Target, reusable straw case options were limited—many were either exclusive to a certain straw, made with unhygienic fabric materials, or priced at over $10.
So, she created her own and EXstraw was born.
“I wanted to make incorporating a reusable straw into my life do-able, despite my busy, on-the-go schedule,” says Killin. “Walking around with a gross, latte-covered straw wasn’t an option, and I was shocked by how few affordable, sanitary, and eco-friendly options existed. I saw friends carrying their reusable straws in plastic bags, which to me, kind of defeated the point.”
Long Term Sustainable Option
For her, the case was about finding a way to make sustainable living possible long-term and convenient, instead of just buying in to another trend.
Through trial and error, she created the simple, rubber case with the catchy name “EXstraw,” a play on the elimination of straws, emblazoned on the front.
“I don’t have a background in production, and I didn’t have much of a budget to get the business up and running, so I knew it had to be a simple concept I could initially make by hand,” she explains. “However, ensuring the case wouldn’t harm the environment further, and could be kept clean, was super important to me.”
The Rubber Case
That led to the creation of the rubber case, which is biodegradable, dishwasher-safe, and compact enough to keep in a purse, car or desk drawer.
“I never imagined myself as an entrepreneur, but I saw a need and felt like I should make an effort to address it. I was pleasantly surprised by the support I got from the Phoenix community, and even from all my customers across the country,” she says.
While she started out selling the cases on Etsy, they’re now available on her own site, EXstraw.co, as well as through Amazon, with aspirations to sell them in local Arizona stores in the future.
“The company has grown in ways I never expected,” Killin says. “For example, many of my customers are looking for bulk, custom orders to use as promotional items or event favors. I love putting together creative designs with my clients’ logos and colors to make them a really special case that they can use to share their message while conveying their love for the environment.”
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