GLEN ELLYN – As someone who likes to be outdoors when the weather turns warm, Glen Ellyn resident Linda Wachter was getting frustrated about having to always cup her hand over her glass of wine or lemonade to make sure that fruit flies and other insects didn't fly into it.
"I went online to see what type of covers there were, and I didn't like the look of them," Wachter said. "So I said to my husband, 'Why don't I just make my own?' And that's what I did."
Wachter is the founder and CEO of Coverware Essentials, which launched Drink Tops this summer to provide an array of silicone covers that protect beverages from bees, fruit flies, leaves and other outdoor debris.
She debuted her product in March at the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago. Needless to say, the silicone covers were a hit.
"After the show, the response was so great that I decided then to go ahead and manufacture them with full force," Wachter said.
Her products are being sold at several stores, including Papier Girl in Glen Ellyn, The Little Traveler in Geneva and Galena Cellars Vineyard and Winery in Geneva and Galena. She also has been selling her products at the Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn stores in Oak Brook, which has allowed her to meet her customers directly.
"The customer experience that Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma provide is amazing," Wachter said.
The mesh center on the silicone covers allow the wine to breathe, and they are designed to grip a wine glass. The covers also are dishwasher safe.
"The best part about silicone is that it also insulates your drink," Wachter said. "It can work both ways – cooler or warmer."
Wachter carries a Drink Top with her everywhere she goes.
"I carry it around in my purse," she said. "I go to restaurants with it when I travel for vacation. I really do not leave my glass uncovered."
The Drink Tops come in different varieties, including one made for kids. And next year, Coverware Essentials will start selling Drink Tops that glow in the dark.
Wachter herself has two children – Maggie, a seventh-grader at Hadley Junior High School, and Sean, a sophomore at Glenbard West High School.
In six months, Wachter has sold more than 6,500 Drink Tops, surpassing her expectations. She plans to build on that success by introducing more products.
"In 2017, we are expanding to bottle tops," Wachter said. "The ultimate goal is really for the company to go international... I would love to see everyone having a cover over their drink and enjoying their beverages and the outdoors."