This week we are taking a look at a local seller from Royal Oak Michigan, Kevin Boldizar – the man behind the Clean Crown Bottle openers! These are gorgeous, natural and damage-free necessities!
Clean Crown Bottle Openers boast a unique, comfortable and cozy design when it comes to opening glass or plastic bottles in any shape or size. These bottle openers fit in your hand, your pocket and in your kitchen – perfect for any Great Lakes barbecue or backyard bash!
“Enjoy the natural beauty and comfortable functionality of these pieces, and ask how else we can customize for you,” Clean Crown Great Lakes Made.
What Began it All?
“Clean Crown started with the making of a rocking chair,” says Kevin, the maker and founder of Clean Crown bottle openers. “I started making things for my daughters, for parties – then these bottle openers.”
Kevin has really honed his craft after spending from five to six years using a CNC machine, a computer-controlled cutting machine used for cutting various materials, such as wood. “I’m a builder, I really enjoy fixing and making things, and since I’ve built machines – I’ve built complete machines from start to finish, every aspect of the machine,” he says. “What I found out was, the more I started using it [the CNC machine], and learning what can be done, it becomes an extension of your hand. It becomes ‘what’ and ‘how’ you do with it.”
It is through this honed craft that he has been able to design, improve and perfect upon his own creations, the Clean Crown bottle opener and Peanut plastic bottle opener! What started out as a creative hobby and chance to try new things in his spare time has now evolved into an amazing and blossoming business that will reshape the way that we see bottle openers.
How long does it take to make one bottle opener?
“I handle one single piece of wood about fifteen times, six different processes on the machine that I work with and then there’s sanding and the artistic part of it,” Kevin says. “It could take me around a half hour to an hour to make one bottle opener.”
Clean Crown’s handmade bottle openers get a great amount of care and attention to detail put into them. What starts as a blank piece of wood becomes a unique and natural tool for anyone who loves a cool, refreshing drink. Even though each one is hand-crafted, there is always the possibility that a bulk order can come in.
“I have come across, and I’ve taken many steps to see if other people can make more at a time.” he says. “I have come across people I can count on to make 500 at a time… if somebody wanted them faster, I’ve come across people, craftsmen, that can help me do that.”
Do you primarily sell online or do you have local vendors?
“I’ve tried to sell online, I’ve had a website for three years,” he says. “I’ve sold bottle openers on Amazon without any advertising or without ever telling anybody, and people have found my openers and bought them there. I don’t sell there anymore though.”
Clean Crown has gone through much trial and error when it comes to finding its niche selling market. Now settled in a Maker’s Market over in Royal Oak Michigan, Kevin feels the Clean Crown brand is finally making a buzz.
“I just came across a marketplace by me – a maker’s market, and that’s kind of fun because i’m actually working with some of the other makers. They are actually using my opener as a product.”
Even though he is excited about this new partnership, he’s also very excited for his bottle opener to be used as a base for something more creative. “I think mine is a product that someone else can put their laser engraving on or do their artwork on,” he says.
For now, though, he’s excited to see where this current location goes. “So this maker’s market… May will be the first full month that I’ll be there. I’m hoping that will go good,” he says. “And Great Lakes Made Market, I’m hoping, is the place where everything happens.”
Kevin is very excited to start selling on Great Lakes Made, and hopes that this will be the next step for Clean Crown’s jumpstart!
What do you like about the Creative Process?
“I like – what I’ve found out using different woods – is that I like the hardwoods.” “There are different woods, different veneers that I can do.” “Putting a petoskey stone in there, for instance, you can’t just put it in there. You have to have that shape, and figure out how to put it in there.”
Kevin mentioned often in our interview that he loves the idea of other vendors and artists being able to use his bottle opener as a canvas for their own brands and works. “I set it up for the vendor so that their job is easy, and they are all set to go, so that they can put a design on there. I think what I have lends itself to other artists to… put their own spin on it.”
He’s absolutely right on that, too – the unique and simple design of smooth, beautiful wood will allow plenty of room for customization. Kevin also described how he is so excited to get more customization orders, and that he hopes people will challenge him to try new things!
People have called him up before in regards to something customizable or trying new things to reshape or repurpose designs that Clean Crown has been working on for a few years, and Kevin says he loves that part of the job. “People will call me up and ask, ‘Hey, can you do this?’ Yes we can,” he says.
Would you say the creative part of this is really important to you?
“I think that’s everything,” he says. “The creative part of this, making your own decisions – when somebody says, ‘can you do this?’ I can grab the reins and I can just do it.”
Even with a full-time job, creating Clean Crown bottle openers has become something so special that Kevin “is always making things,”. “That is the best part of it,” he says. “Especially the last three years, the things that I’ve been able to create and to make, I’ve made more things than I can even imagine.”
“It’s mind boggling how many things I’ve made over the years,” he says. “It’s really fun and creative to see what I can start, and someone else finishes, to make a beautiful art piece.”
What’s next for Clean Crown?
“I’m actually hoping to get a video uploaded on a “How-To”. I’ve got it all done, I’ve actually got it in the store [Maker’s Market] in a video running.”
At the time of writing this article, Kevin’s video has been posted to GreatLakesMade.com and you can watch it on his main page HERE!
“I also make wall mounts, things that to underneath your counter that use the same design. I’ll slowly bring that stuff in,” he says. I know that we at Great Lakes Made are very excited for these new products to join our marketplace in the near future!
“I’ve also got a guitar piece [design] which no one else really does,” says Kevin. “I will be doing customized stuff like that.”
From one piece of wood to many different ideas and designs, Clean Crown is sure to reshape the way we think about “handmade”, and it’s exciting to see where it will go from here!