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Step-by-Step: How an MBA Student Turned a Problem With Tumblers Into a New Business in Less Than a Year

Matrix Lids is making $2k to $3k a month.

5 Minute Read

Stainless steel blenders and tumblers are everywhere. People get them as free giveaways at conventions or as corporate gifts. But they’re not always easy to carry around, often having no lids or requiring a lid that won’t fit exactly right on another model of tumbler. 

Joe Losito wanted to make a lid that would fit on the most popular of them, including Yeti and RTIC. He got the idea in January and by the summer had started his company, Matrix Lids. It sells lids, as well as tumblers. Losito, who is also working on his MBA at Texas Christian University, says he’s been making about $2k to $3k in sales each month.

This is how he went from idea to product in just a few months: 

The idea phase 

Losito regularly ran out of tumblers for mixing workout drinks but realized he had plenty of stainless steel tumblers laying around his house. The problem was that they didn’t have quality lids. He was not able to successfully mix a drink in the tumblers or transport them to the gym without spilling. 

He decided he could create a lid that fit on the numerous stainless steel tumblers and market it toward people engaged in active lifestyles. 

  • Differentiation: Losito researched for similar products online and at retail stores. He found that Yeti’s popular Rambler Magslider lid still leaked when turned upside down. And he found that the Stop It lid only worked if paired with a Yeti lid. The Stop It lid did not fit popular Rtic tumblers. 
  • The biggest validation for his idea came from employees at the Midwest chain Supplement Superstores. They told Losito that clients came in all the time with Yeti tumblers and would like the product.

Making the product

Losito has an engineering background and came up with his own design. He tested various designs using a 3D printer for several weeks before getting the correct fit. Matrix Lids work on 10 oz., 20 oz., and 30 oz. tumblers.

Finding a manufacturer 

Losito had connections to manufacturers from earlier business attempts. He originally got acquainted with manufacturers by searching through Alibaba. He would reach out to potential matches with specific questions and see how well they could handle what he needed and if the language barrier wasn’t an issue. Once Losito decided on a few possible fits — all based in China — he had a friend based there conduct research on the ground.

The first spend 

Losito spent $20k to get his company started. The majority of the money went to the molds for designing the product and for purchasing the first batch. He also spent about $2k to $3k on marketing, largely on a coordinated email campaign, Facebook ads, and Snapchat ads. 

Next steps

  • Getting retail’s attention: The bulk of sales for Matrix Lids come through D2C. But Losito is trying to negotiate to get shelf space at well-known fitness stores. He leveraged connections with sales tech companies to get access to a database of contact information of executives at big box stores. He has been cold emailing, and many stores have asked him to follow up with samples.