Believe. Believe. Believe.
Before incorporating botl inc. and creating the botlfilter™, Emily Wilkinson had an active role in the arts as an event planner, resource developer and producer. She worked professionally in the film, television, music, and media industries. Emily’s work experience covers a broad range – from producing commercials, short films, and concepts for reality based TV for the Internet to a 5 series concert season as the Executive Director of a new music orchestra. Emily has lent her voice to radio advertising and has played minor roles in film and television.
Born in England, Emily has traveled extensively. Her interest in the environment, art, cultures, community, women and children is reflected in the diversity of her work. Emily attended the University of Toronto as an undergraduate and completed the first year of a two-year certificate program in Fundraising Management at Ryerson.
As a writer, Emily has published her poetry in Hart House Review and other small press publications. Her first script was optioned to C.B.C.’s Anthology Series “Inside Stories”. She has also written a short film script entitled “MADWOMAN”. Emily has volunteered in the non-profit sector, and is committed to contributing her skills and experience to helping her community.
Emily Wilkinson shifted her principal focus from the arts to the environment in 2006 and began working independently as an entrepreneur. In 2008 she approached her father, Adrian Wilkinson, a retired research psychologist, with an idea to create a portable water filter. They developed a prototype and sought advice from, Mike Boland, as the savvy business mentor. The prototype was improved and the botlfilter™ was born. It is the first product of botl inc., a Canadian company with a mission to create environmentally responsible products. Our focus is developing products that reduce plastic waste.
What are you working on right now?
We officially launched the botlfilter™ in June of this year. Currently, I am working to grow our customer base!
Where did the idea for your product come from?
I became convinced that plastic waste is a real environmental danger, and decided the best way to contribute to a solution was to develop consumer products giving alternative access to the products generating the waste. Our first challenge was to put fresh tasting water in the hands of busy people on the go.
What does your typical day look like?
Best not seen . . . I spend a lot of time in front of a computer, and on the phone. My focus is primarily on marketing and sales.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Believe. Believe. Believe.
Three trends that excite you?
Opening the mind to the wisdom of cultures other than one’s own.
Artisanal foods and wines.
Growing corporate recognition that green is smart.
What is the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I was a bartender for a week. I was a terrible bartender! One client used to come behind the bar and make his own martinis, a testament to my poor skills. I learned that I am an idea person. I am better at serving my spirit than serving spirits.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Cliché, but true, I wouldn’t do anything differently. Bringing an idea to life is the most rewarding and empowering experience. And the fumbling along the way makes where I stand today that much more solid.
What is the one thing you did/do as an entrepreneur that you would do over and over again and recommend everybody else do?
When I don’t have a solution to any given problem, I find someone who does! Asking for advice from those who have relevant experience is mutually rewarding.
Tell us a secret.
One day I would like to write a book. I have an outline prepared. I just have to find the time to fill in the details.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I believe that there is big business in high quality green consumer products, by that I mean products that we need and use daily.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
I grew up in a fairly liberal home. A book that was discussed in our house often, and had an influence in my life, was Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, published in 1962. Her ideas on pesticides and how they affect the ecosystem were ahead of her time. It has been suggested that her ideas helped to launch the environmental movement as we know it.
If you weren’t working on the botlfilter™ what would you be doing?
I’d be a sustainable farmer.
When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I laugh out loud daily . . . usually at myself!
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Chris Jordan – Artist – www.chrisjordan.com
How would you like to see your company grow?
I like to use the term “drink responsibly” or “think before you drink”, by that I mean that if you prefer drinking filtered water, then do so responsibly without all the plastic bottles that use carbon footprints to ship them in and out once used. Canadians dispose of approx. 6 million water bottles a year! Think about the USA? That’s a lot of plastic, and not all being recycled, in fact most is shipped out and thrown in landfills.
The botlfilter was designed to reduce plastic waste and we are developing the line as we grow. I would like to see this product in University/Campus stores in North America. Kids are very eco-conscious and bring water containers to school. I think certain countries in Europe would be good markets for the botlfilter. Less plastic water bottles in the blue bins would make me very happy!!