As we've written about previously here, Water Gallery is NOT bottled water. To that end, we have decided to start shipping our beautiful glass water bottles without water. Yes, up until now we have been shipping our bottles filled with pristine and pure spring and sparkling water from Palomar Mountain Spring, which is located right outside of San Diego. And there's no question that it's wonderful water. But our reasons for starting to ship without water have both logistical and philosophical benefits and we'd like to take a moment to explain all of our reasons why.
Firstly, one thing that has rung in our ears on and off since our inception is the exclamation, "$30 for water??! Wow." Thankfully most people who see our bottles are immediately captivated by the bottle itself and don't comment on the water. But occasionally we get reactions like that, with people confused about why we are charging so much for "water."
The bottom line is, we are not selling water. We are selling these unique, eye-catching, magical glass water bottles which feature iconic art. YOU ARE BUYING THE BOTTLE. Yes, the water is an important aspect of our bottles that can't be overlooked-- when our bottles are filled with water, the art comes to life in the most captivating way.
Our bottles are intended to be filled with water and refilled over and over again as a reusable water bottle. But the great thing about water is it's available to everyone-- our customers can fill the bottles themselves! Especially with the California drought, it is beneficial for our state for our out-of-state customers (of which there are many) to fill their bottles themselves with their locally-sourced water and not take from California's precious and dwindling supply.
Secondly, sourcing water is not what Water Gallery is about. Palomar Spring is a fantastic, family-owned spring, but it's just not the focus of our product. The focus of our bottles is not on the source of the water, but rather the reusability and the artistic style of these beautiful glass swing-top bottles. The content of the bottles is secondary.
Thirdly, and of great importance, has been the shipping issues we've stumbled upon. With the great freeze of the winter of 2014-15, when we first started our company, many of the bottles we shipped to the Midwest and Northeast ended up breaking during shipment due to the water in the bottles freezing and the glass shattering.
Without water in the bottles, this issue would have been eliminated. In addition, leakage can occur during shipment because swing-top bottles are not meant to sit in a horizontal position. While swing-top seals are a tried-and-true way of keeping liquid fresh in a standing position, they are by no means a perfect seal when a bottle is lying down. When a customer opens a package and finds water-soaked bottles, it does not make for a happy customer. Excellent customer service and customer satisfaction are of the utmost importance to us, so risking leakage, breakage, or freezing during shipment must be eliminated.
Next, it's so crucial that we reiterate that we do not want to be lumped into the bottled water category. We are just simply not bottled water. Not only do we stand against single-use plastic water bottles, but we also don't want to be associated with a category that is environmentally damaging and wasteful. We are the antithesis of wasteful; we are an infinitely reusable glass bottle.
Another aspect of deciding to ship without water is the reduction in carbon footprint that this will bring. For one, there is a transportation piece of having our bottles filled with Palomar Mountain Spring water. The bottles are created at one place and then have to be driven over in a truck to Palomar for sanitizing, filling, and sealing.
Deciding to ship without water will eliminate that whole extra piece to the manufacturing process. Additionally, not needing to seal the swing-top with the extra piece of plastic that goes onto each bottle after being filled with water officially eliminates the last piece of plastic that Water Gallery utilizes for shipping, which is very important environmentally.
For those customers who are choosing to simply display the bottles as art pieces without opening them, we have warned folks that the natural spring water from Palomar will eventually turn green over time-- it's simply science. Conversely, one's own tap water will not, so for those displaying bottles as art, tap water is the best way to go.
Finally, to reiterate, Water Gallery's focus is not on the water, but on the art. Yes, the water enhances the art, but the art is what matters and the beautiful glass vessel that showcases the art. Our bottles are meant to be filled and refilled with water, but they're not meant to be purchased or shipped with water. It's taken us a year to figure it out, but knowledge comes with growth. And little by little, Water Gallery continues to grow.
Please note: With the exception of some freezing locales, we will continue shipping First and Second Edition Wyland bottles with water until those bottles are sold out. Since we are selling the bottle, not the water, leakage (which is not the same as a cracked or damaged bottle) will not be grounds for a refund. You buy it for the bottle, not the water!