Cypress was an idea born in 2018 from two individuals who were looking for a way to build a project that would give them a creative outlet while also making a positive impact on the environment. Jimmy and Hannah Clements grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida, where they each witnessed the personal impact that humans have on the environment (check out their blog post featuring the Horizon Oil Spill). Hannah’s environmentally focused background and Jimmy’s knowledge of numbers, laid the groundwork for a new adventure. Fostering the connection between their love for the environment and desire to build things from scratch is the heart of how Cypress was born.
The name “Cypress” wasn’t pulled out of a hat or thought up in a random name generator either. Cypress is a continuous reminder of home. Cypress trees (including bald and pond) thrive in very wet environments and can be found throughout the southeast. They can grow anywhere from 50 to 80 feet tall and their roots can grow above ground into unique shapes called “knees”. The ability of these trees to grow in a variety of environments and survive against all odds inspired the Cypress team to make it their namesake.
Speaking of the team, Cypress is made up of individuals with unique abilities, backgrounds and knowledge. Hannah has a heart for studying the environment in order to educate those around her. She’s a self-proclaimed environmentalist and hopes to use Cypress as a platform to advocate and raise awareness of environmental issues – such as the single-use plastic crisis. Jimmy brings the backbone to the Cypress team. His entrepreneurial spirit brings continuous ideas to the table, opening a door of opportunity everywhere he goes. Although they started out as a team of two, they have since welcomed Conrad as a creative force for the team, using his ability to solve complex problems to bring Cypress to new heights within their product development initiatives.
Some may ask why glass straws? There are a variety of reusable straws on the market, but there was no question when the Cypress Team chose glass. Glass straws are still fairly niche in the overall straw market, making it a perfect place to start. The team found that a glass product is much more straightforward in regards to cleaning and maintenance, which can be tricky with alternative materials such as metal or wood (see their blog post about material differences here). In their research, they also realized that many of the glass straws on that were on the market were not great quality and were often mass produced overseas. Keeping the manufacturing process local to the United States was an easy decision made by the Cypress team early on. Being transparent with their messaging and materials was crucial to the Team as they embarked on their search for United States glass manufacturers. Providing a product that is high quality was top of mind and supporting local industries and artisans allows Cypress the privilege of both making an impact within the environment and the economy. All Cypress products are proudly made in the USA.
The Cypress team doesn’t believe that glass straws are going to save the world. If that were the solution, than this narrative would have ended a lot quicker than it started. However, they believe that small-scale changes can lead to a large-scale impact. Glass straws represent a gateway to raising awareness and understanding more of the impact that we have on our environment.
Cypress goes beyond straws, and their roots are grounded in the belief that small habits build into lasting change. Their brand’s vision is packed with a punch: “We value high-quality, locally-sourced materials and the hands that produce them.”
To learn more about Cypress and what their company stands for, please visit their website: https://www.cypressstraws.com/
Stay tuned for part two of the Cypress Origin Story.