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Entrepreneur’s glassware proves a winner

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Madison Brewer has always had an eye for enterprise.

Her first “successful” idea came at 19 when she created Wayfarer-style sunglasses in Cup Match colours.

She sold 1,500 pairs over two summers.

Last month, she started selling custom glassware under the name Soirée Bermuda. The wine and champagne glasses are hand-etched with Bermuda's silhouette. Ms Brewer sold out in two weeks.

“I have always been an entrepreneur at heart,” the 24-year-old said. “For as long as I can remember I have always been brainstorming unique business ideas.”

The business major was in Panama City, Florida, on spring break from Boston's Suffolk University, when she came up with the idea for her Cup Match shades.

“All of the suppliers and sponsors were handing out these sunglasses,” she said. “It seemed like a really trendy idea at the time. All of the sororities had them and I thought it would be a good idea to do them with your Cup Match teams on them, so people could represent their teams without worrying about losing their sunglasses at Non-Mariners or having them fall off at the game.

“My parents helped me front the money and I sold them for two years. I sold about 1,500 pairs in Phoenix, gas stations and through my Facebook [page].”

She next considered starting a bikini business but once she started a full-time job, found she didn't have the time “to chase manufactures and follow up on samples”.

“For now I have found the perfect balance with Soirée,” said Ms Brewer, who works in marketing and sales at Bermuda Container Line: Neptune Group Limited.

“I've never had plain wine glasses in my house. I wanted a fun, but chic name that summed up my product. Soirée, meaning an evening party or social gathering, was perfect fit.

“I love a good summer cocktail party.

“There's nothing better than going to a fun dock party or a themed party on a Friday night and having a glass of rosé — that's just me. The name Soirée screams fun.”

Ms Brewer initially experimented with hand-painted glasses before she tried etching. She loved the results.

“I took a picture of them and put them on my Instagram and Facebook as I was pretty chuffed with how they came out,” she said.

“People loved them and asked if I would start selling them. I went and sourced wine glasses and purchased about 60 glasses. I spent a full week making them each night, and sold out within two weeks. I made an Instagram page and a Facebook page and invited a bunch of friends to like it. It took off from there — the power of social media.”

She gained further exposure when her glassware debuted at Reid Street boutique Modblu's opening party as a raffle prize.

“I've never been an arts and crafts person, so this is quite new to me. Normally I'm out running or at an exercise class, but I kind of fell in love with it. It's soothing,” she said.

“I've invested in a printer to make the stencils, so I'll be getting into all sorts of other custom designs, monograms, wedding dates, anything that people want.

“As gifts, they're really taking off. For bridal showers and birthday parties, they're just good gifts.”

She said she's looking forward to the darker evenings because they will provide time to experiment.

“I have always had a love for bright colours, so I thought adding paint to the bottoms of the glasses would just make them pop and even more unique.

“After experimenting with a few different colours, I thought they could act as unique identifiers, like the wine charm concept, so when you are at a party you know which glass is yours.

“I hope to get more creative with what I etch onto the glasses, but eventually hope to expand into other fun, but classy Bermuda-themed home accessories and gifts.

“My mind is constantly thinking of things, but right now this is perfect. It's a good balance. I can still have my full-time job and make extra money on the side.”

•Place orders on soireebda@gmail.com, or direct message through facebook.com/soireebermuda or instagram.com/soireebermuda

Cute and chic: stemless wine glasses and champagne flutes can be yours for $18; wine glasses $22. The glasses are hand-etched with Bermuda's silhouette

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Published October 25, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated October 25, 2016 at 2:23 am)

Entrepreneur’s glassware proves a winner

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