Fight for trash free oceans through art + tech
By Frank Lee
Last month in early February, my Co-Founder Sean brought up the opportunity for Bevi to work with a Hawaiian post-pop visual artist. I will be the first to admit that I know nothing about art, and thus, pondered a bit about the next steps. However, as a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu enthusiast, I immediately thought of the UFC jiu jitsu fighter BJ Penn, whose birthplace was Hilo, Hawaii. After a quick Google research on the said post-pop artist, I found out that Aaron Kai was also from Hilo. As the Gods of Valhalla would have it, we were just two students from different disciplines of art, connected by the Aloha State.
Hawaii is a place of natural beauty. The warm sun and crashing waves make it a surfer’s paradise. Growing up riding the waves and following the surf culture, this was the scenery that inspired Aaron’s artistic endeavors. At the center of his creations is his iconic waves. These waves can be seen internationally with art exhibitions across San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris and six countries in Asia.
Aaron first crossed paths with Bevi, during a visit to Bevi customer Omni‘s San Francisco office. After customizing and dispensing sparkling Unsweetened Cucumber into a glass, Aaron immediately understood our company’s sustainability mission.
Our friends at Omni then facilitated an introduction. After jumping on a call to meet and learn more about Aaron, I came away inspired by this serendipitous encounter. My favorite part about his background was that, having grown up surfing in Hawaii, Aaron understood the need to preserve the oceans. This reminded me of our Co-Founder Eliza’s initial inspiration for Bevi in 2013, when she learned about the unfortunate causes that created the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It was a no-brainer for Bevi to work together with Aaron.
We decided that the Agenda Las Vegas street wear art show would be the place to showcase our first collabo. With the event coming up in late February, we had only 2.5 weeks to pull off the entire thing. In order to maintain the minimalist look, Aaron designed a limited edition art vinyl for the Bevi machine, using his iconic waves to convey the ocean. The idea is to use the Bevi machine to illustrate our common sustainability mission. Fortunately, things came together without a hitch, as our Marketing Ops Manager Tim did big things to bring all the logistics and machine setup to life.
At the Agenda show, with Aaron’s waves as the key theme for the booth, the Aaron Kai x Bevi machine became a natural cohabitant of the space. At the booth, Tim gave away Bevi glass reusable bottles, while demonstrating the machine to visitors. There’s an easy touchscreen interface, where you can mix Bevi flavors with either still or sparkling water, along with custom adjustments to the flavor strength. With no brewing-time, the beverage dispense starts immediately into a reusable container. Visitors could enjoy unsweetened, zero-cal, or organically sweetened flavors, including Blueberry Cucumber or Unsweetened Lime Mint. Most importantly, the crowd went wild for Aaron’s super tight booth, even Marshawn “Beastmode” Lynch dropped by!
At Bevi, we are always open to collaborations around design + sustainability. We are fortunate enough to have Aaron walked into our lives and shown us how he would customize a Bevi.
Keep an eye out for more big things happening with Bevi x artist collabos to bring the sustainability message to life. Perhaps next time, we could work with not only artists that appeal to the visual senses, but also musicians. Stay tuned, beautiful Bevi friends.