Student turns bourbon bottles into successful business

October 21, 2018 | 3:00 am

Updated October 22, 2018 | 7:57 am

Photo contributed by The Restillery

What began as a creative outlet for law student Davin Shaw has quickly grown into a thriving small business. Shaw says he has always been fascinated with bourbon and everything Kentucky and wanted to turn a Maker’s Mark 46 bottle into a lamp. His experiment turned out better than expected and eventually led to The Restillery.

An online based business, The Restillery specializes in bourbon bottle lamps, as well as lazy susans and charcuterie boards crafted out of old bourbon and whiskey barrel heads and other home décor products centered around fine bourbon and spirits.

“In a few short months, the company took off with a lot more support than we could have imagined or hoped for. In fact, our one-man business quickly tripled its staff over six months due to increased demand and deals,” Shaw said, which was mainly due to partnerships with the ABV Network, the largest provider of bourbon-themed content in the world as well as the 2019 New Orleans Bourbon Festival.

Photo contributed by The Restillery

“Eventually, we aim to have our products sold in local/state retail stores,” Shaw said.

Currently, The Restillery sells products online through Etsy and Amazon, with a lot of traffic on all major social media sites. Shaw says he receives a lot of clients from Instagram because the platform is more centered around pictures of interesting products, which he says fits The Restillery’s unique line.

“Searching, locating, and obtaining older bottles — often times called a ‘dusty’ in the bourbon and spirit world — takes time and a lot of effort,” Shaw said. “The Instagram community has helped us engage with more people with these. It does take some expertise and knowing exactly what the bottle looked like, how much damage has been done to the bottle, and what exactly we can do with them.”

Shaw says one reason The Restillery has seen success is their ability to take special orders, which he says differentiates his business from other companies making similar products. Owensboro natives, may have seen one of these requests at Niko’s Italian Cuisine.

“We worked with Christo Nousiadis to find a lamp that would work best in their bar space. After visiting the restaurant, we decided on a modified version of our Blanton’s Glorifier lamps,” said Shaw, who hears from Nousiadis regularly with compliments received on the lamp.

Owning his own business was never a dream of Shaw’s, but becoming a lawyer was. Upon graduation from Indiana University’s Mauer School of Law in December, Shaw will begin practicing law at Foreman Watson Holtrey, LLC. But he says he will continue to run The Restillery.

“Our long term goal includes being in local retail stores in Owensboro, Louisville and Lexington,” Shaw said. “A small company can dream.”

October 21, 2018 | 3:00 am

Share this Article

Other articles you may like