Tal Winter & Kate Cutler
You know those chic glass water bottles you see in the hands of major celebs from Gisele to Jessica (Alba and Biel, mind you), on sites like Goop and in stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Selfridges? Well, you have Tal Winter and Kate Cutler to thank for that. The former-lawyers, based in San Fransisco, founded bkr 6 years ago and a million and a half bottles later, aren’t slowing down.
Beyond being eco-friendly, bkr has women thinking about beauty in a new way. After all, being hydrated is the first step to beautiful skin. The brand just launched their Big Spiked collection at Sephora and has some big plans for fall (including a sparkly collaboration that will definitely be your go-to holiday gift!).
As for Tal and Kate, they’ve managed to launch a business AND stay besties, a big feat in and of itself. We caught up with the bkr founders and got the inside scoop on the road to success, the spots they visit in NYC (always Barneys…a longstanding Winter-Cutler tradition) and the “why” behind the bkr bottle.
Have you had any memorable mentors? What advice have they shared that’s stuck with you?
We’ve had so many amazing people help us along the way and it’s been invaluable. We’ve met most of our mentors and advisors by constantly being interested in meeting new people and making friends and connections. You have to put yourself out there. If you ask for advice, most people are happy to give it. One of the best pieces of advice we’ve gotten is to never make a decision with a gun to your head. “If you need an answer now, the answer is no.” Rushed decisions that aren’t properly thought out never end up being the best decisions.
You left your careers as lawyers to start bkr. What lessons would you impart on your “just left the job” selves?
We’d honestly tell ourselves the exact same thing we told ourselves when we quit: it’s going to be hard and there’s a lot of risk in jumping into the unknown, but it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be life-changing and it’s going to be worth it.
What was the genesis of the idea for bkr? Was it an “a-ha moment” for one or both of you?
We always knew that the prescription for gorgeous skin is sleep and water but we found ourselves drinking from tons of plastic disposable water bottles. We were cultured, intelligent, fashionable women drinking out of trash. And, it’s especially bad for women to drink out of plastic because of the effects of leaching chemicals and estrogenic activity. It didn’t make sense. We couldn’t find a reusable bottle we loved so we decided to make exactly the bottle we wanted — something beautiful, effortless and chic. We knew if we wanted it, other people would too.
What can we expect to see from bkr this Fall season?
Just think sparkly, shiny and blingy. We wanted to make sure there was a perfect gift out there for the bkr girl who has everything. We think we’ve accomplished that x 100. We’re pop culture, beauty, fashion and magazine junkies; we go to museums, we travel, we surround ourselves with people who are curious, creative, interested and interesting. The bkr collections are inspired by all those things and everything we love.
What are your NYC musts?
Blueribbon Sushi, Il buco Alimentari and all the ABC restaurants are our favorites in New York. And we love checking out every floor of ABC Home while we’re waiting for our reservation. Ground Support Cafe in Soho for bagels and coffee/tea in the morning. For nails we like Jin Soon in Tribeca. We love visiting the MoMA, walking through Central Park, shopping the Nolita boutiques and walking miles and miles every day.