Spread out across Bree Redwine-Nourallah’s kitchen table is a small army of glass bottles, arranged two by two: two bottles of Budweiser, two bottles of Red Stripe Light, and two bottles of Diet Coke. Over the past year and a half, Nourallah and her husband, Faris Nourallah, have collected a variety of beer and Coke bottles and repurposed them as salt and pepper shakers, which they sell by the thousands on the websites Etsy and eBay. “They’re just so dang cute!” Bree says, her gaze sweeping over the arrangement. “Who would have thought a year and a half ago a little idea would have turned into this?” A year and a half ago, Bree, who’s creative by nature, saw miniature bottles of Corona (“Coronita”) at a local restaurant and thought, “Wouldn’t those make cute salt and pepper shakers?” When she arrived home, she saw mini bottles of Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper in her kitchen and told Faris about the idea. She suggested they create some shakers and sell them on Etsy. Faris suggested the name of the business, Salty Hand, after their daughter, who earned the nickname with her card-dealing skills. The shakers were a hit. Restaurants wanted them by the hundreds; people wanted them for themselves, their friends or family members. They became bridesmaid gifts and stocking stuffers. In November, a set of Red Stripe Light shakers were featured in Rachael Ray’s magazine on her list of favorite things. The Nourallahs sell 30 different kinds of shakers on their Etsy page. Many of the mini-sized bottles are difficult to find, so Bree will travel hours away to retrieve boxes of beer or soda when she locates some — which, of course, she buys in bulk. “I probably look like a crazy person,” she says, laughing. Most of the liquid gets dumped out, she says. “Although, sometimes we host shaker parties.” Bree figures they eventually will have to expand the business beyond their kitchen table, but right now she’s enjoying the honeymoon stage of the surprisingly successful trade. “I never would have imagined. It’s just hysterical,” she says.
Visit the Nourallah’s Etsy shop to see more of their mini-bottle shakers.
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