Tired of having to use the wife’s wine bottle opener to crack a cold one, Savannah, Georgia resident Jake Crawley decided to come up with something tougher, stronger, and manlier. A few hours (and drinks) later, the original Bottle Wrench was born. Soon after Jake made the first Wrench, people started asking about his new opener and wanted to know where they could get their own. Thus, the online Bottle Wrench shop opened in 2011 and has been growing ever since.
These days, Jake runs the day-to-day operations of the shop and maintains the company’s various social media.
Crazy, I never really know what I’m going to walk into each morning. Most days are filled with packing/shipping orders (we ship within 24 hours), hand forming Bottle Wrenches, pre-cutting 550-paracord and all of the other fun office work to boot!
What does your work environment look like?
It’s a mess, and I love it. In the shop almost everything is covered in a fine metallic dust that gets EVERYWHERE. It’s always too hot/cold and uncomfortable but there are few places in the world that I would rather be on most days. The main office is a little cleaner (with HVAC!), but not by much. I use a standing desk most of the time with some tunes in the background. Being able to be on my feet really seems to help to get the juices going. In addition to that, we have tables for finishing Bottle Wrenches and for packing/shipping. I love to try and keep things organized, but things just seem to find their own homes on the wall and tables.
The best part of the office is the couch. From a ten minute power nap to a team meeting, that old brown couch is the center of the office.
When it comes to music, what’s on your work playlist?
We’re addicted to Pandora around the shop and use the sweet shuffle option for a crazy mix of jams. Currently we’re shuffling between Jimmy Buffett, The Devil Makes Three, Johnny Cash, Florence & the Machine, Daft Punk, and an 80’s Cardio station!
What aspects of making the Bottle Wrench do you enjoy most?
I love being able to work with my hands. Growing up in the middle of nowhere Georgia (Lyons, GA), there were not a lot of kids to play with and toys to buy so we made our own. Then when I got older my family did a lot of work restoring classic cars/trucks and that type of work just stuck with me. I like being able to take a standard, no fun wrench and turn it into something that brings joy to others. The biggest win for me is when someone sees a Bottle Wrench for the first times and goes, “Man, that’s cool, where did you buy it?!”
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Done is better than perfect.” Since starting the company I’ve tried to live by this quote. It’s easy to get caught up in the perfection of a project, and that will do nothing but stop you. You’ve just got to say “screw it” and give it a try.
Also, I’ve found that it’s great to have a mentor. Not in some cheesy Business 1001 type way, but find someone that you can really talk with and share your troubles and problems with. I ran into mine through a friend and was amazed by this “real business person” who had solved the same problem that I was having now. It’s a huge confidence boost to know that someone else was in your shoes before they made it big.
What do you wish you’d learned at a much younger age than you actually did?
The first thing that comes to mind is how important the internet is to us today. I would have loved to have been on the ground floor for making things in that exciting time.
Other than that, I wish I would have paid more attention in Geometry class. It’s amazing how much I (try) to use that in projects.
How do you fill your time when you’re not working?
I’m one of those people who can’t stop. If I’m not working I’m billing something, brewing beer, or at Happy Hour!
If you could snap your fingers and be instantly transported anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Whoa, this is a hard one. If money and time off were not issues, I would love to go to Crawley, England, which is where my last name originates from. It’s a small town southeast of London I think.
You walk into a bar and, amazingly, they just happen to have your four favorite beers on tap. Which beers are they?
This must be a trick question because that bar is a real place in Savannah called the World of Beer! My tastes are all over the place depending on my mood, but it’s all about the local craft brews to me. There’s something about knowing who brewed that beer and where it came from that makes it taste so much sweeter.
Currently some favorites would be Southbound Brewing Iron Lion, Sweetwater IPA (we always stock this in the shop fridge), Coastal Empire Brewing Savannah Brown, Anchor Summer Beer, and any home-brew as long as the brewer is around to talk about it!
What’s next for you and your company?
Growing! We’re really trying to focus on new wholesale partners to help us reach more customers. We’re also looking forward to getting to more beer festivals this year because meeting our customers and drinking great brews is always a blast!