CharCharms was conceptualized by Founder, Charlotte Trecartin. Since pursuing this venture, the young entrepreneur has developed deeply unique products, taking accessorizing water bottles to the next level.
An Idea Was Born
During the Fall of 2020, I was a full-time student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign pursuing my Bachelors degree virtually (due to Covid). But that’s not all! I was also a nanny, competitive bodybuilder, and cycle instructor at the local Lifetime. What can I say, I love being active.
One evening I was hanging out at home and the idea came spontaneously that I would love to be able to hang my hair tie from my water bottle instead of putting it on my wrist or stashing it in a pocket. This is when the idea of a hook on a bottle was born.
The next several months were consumed with sketching and photoshopping my own rendered images for a product. I researched materials and adhesives and created several rough prototypes. During this time, I also reached out to a lawyer to initiate the patenting process. I was motivated and on my way!
However, as the school year became busier, my budding idea was pushed to a lower priority as I focused on my studies. A few months later, the spring semester came to a close, I came back to my plans, and decided to pursue my idea full force!!
The Summer of Growth
Summer of 2021 was packed with change and growth! I picked up a sales job selling coupon books door-to-door. This provided me with more than enough capital to invest in a proper patent and materials to start making prototypes. I learned the ins and outs of sales methodology, landing closes, and handling rejection... lots of it. All of this prepared me for the world of entrepreneurship and the challenges I would face when starting a business.
What came next? I got busy networking! Finding a mentor was key, and I achieved that goal when I met Andrew Fogaty of 36Squared, a non-profit 501c3 business incubator here in Chicago. Satisfied with meetings and encouragement, Fogaty even arranged for a local Chicago SunTimes News reporter to interview the CharCharms founder (me!!) about the new company. Check out the article here!
From Development to Now
Not too long after going full force on the idea, more ideas began swirling and my vision of CharCharms water bottle accessories was moving into development. Utilizing outsourcing more than ever, I started using freelance graphic designers, videographers, prototypers and friends who had skills I was looking for. What began as an idea about a hair tie grew and became more and more real every day.
CharCharms launched its first product collection on Sept 24th, 2021 and has released many new collections over the last two years.
My functional idea has evolved into a full-fledged business garnering support from all over the country and has helped me learn the ins and outs of developing and running a small company. As a bonus I’ve learned a lot about myself!
What began with an idea about a hair tie has expanded to 300 products on our website, and I’m not finished expanding! I worked relentlessly to bring the idea of CharCharms to life and will keep going strong to see the continued expansion through to its full potential.
President & Founder of CharCharms