Where’d You Get That Water Bottle?

At our quarterly, all-company gathering this fall (held at the amazing Westland Distillery – one of our favorite TI projects), we released an employee appreciation gift: custom Miir water bottles. While we knew we could easily add a logo to any bottle order, we challenged ourselves to do more, to create something meaningful and memorable. Enter Miir.


Partnering with MiiR

Miir purchases fund projects that bring basic resources to people, supporting water, health and education initiatives here in Washington and internationally. (MiiR currently has project partnerships in Zambia, Kolkata, Bangladesh, Nepal, Uganda, Liberia, and Honduras.) Every MiiR purchase, from on-tap beer and kombucha at their Fremont flagship store, to products like bikes, journals, water bottles and backpacks, support the cause. A tracking code on each item connects it to a specific project executed via nonprofit partnerships with organizations like Well Done Organization (WDO), Seattle-based SplashOne Day’s WagesThe Adventure Project, and World Bicycle Relief.

How did they know we love STEM?

We were especially excited to find that the majority of our Give Codes were linked to a STEM program here in Washington. IslandWood, a local nonprofit dedicated to environmental education and stewardship, is inspiring 200 King County third through eighth grade students with hands-on environmental learning experiences at Brightwater Center in Woodinville, King County’s state-of-the-art wastewater facility.

According to Miir’s summary, “while at Brightwater, students will engage in lesson plans that incorporate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning and will focus on different environmental factors impacting watersheds: stormwater, wastewater and urban freshwater ecosystems.” Can you imagine a better fit?

Seeing the big picture in the small stuff.

When talking about the water bottles, we always seem to come back to our core values. Which is appropriate! After all, they’re one of the first things new employees hear on their way in the door, they’re the foundation laid by Jim Coughlin, Steve Porter, and Terry Lundeen, and they guide all that we do. Shouldn’t they extend to even the smallest of things? Even something as simple as an employee gift?

Here’s how the water bottles measure up against our core values:

1.  Commitment to Quality (every drawing, every detail)
We wanted a quality product that didn’t cut any corners.

2.  Creativity (from project solutions to the way we define our roles)
The concept and design featured on the water bottles was created in-house . Early on, we opted for something unique and universal – a sketched Seattle skyline.

3.  A Client-First Mindset (cultivating long-term partnerships)
Top-of-mind during development: What would our team like? Use? Be surprised by? Bring with them everywhere? Should we make three different versions so that everyone is happy? (Answer: Yes!)

4.  An Empowered Team (continued learning and development)
The entire water bottle giveaway program was an employee appreciation effort. It’s a priority that every team member feels valued, recognized, and encouraged to grow.

5.  Collaboration and Respect (with our clients and within our own professional work environment)
We had a blast brainstorming concepts as an internal team, and have the utmost respect for our co-creators at Miir. We’re fans for life.

6.  Community (supporting the causes most important to our staff and city)
This core value was the cornerstone of our strategy. Not only is Miir a local, Seattle-based organization (so are we!), but they support organizations that are making a significant difference, here in Seattle and around the world.

We’re grateful to Miir for their partnership, and their commitment to the underserved and underprivileged. We’ve already spotted our bottles on conference tables during meetings, on the bus, clipped onto bikes, and along for the ride on weekend hikes. It’s great to see them out and about knowing that they represent our team’s hard work, the city we love, and a giving project that’s doing good.

To see more about our journey with Miir, read our full blog post.