The Untold Truth Of BuzzBallz

How do you produce fancy-looking yet convenient cocktails that are ready to drink and won't make drinkers feel icky? The founder of Buzzballz spent years trying to solve this puzzle. Started by a high school teacher named Merrilee Kick, Buzzballz hoped to break into a competitive industry by introducing customers to cocktails in colorful round containers (via Forbes). In case you're wondering how Kick got the idea in the first place, in 2010 when she was grading papers, she was looking at a crystal snowball that she owned and felt inspiration kick in. She said, "I thought it would be so cool to have a cocktail ball with a lid on it that would look stylish and pretty. It should have a strong drink inside that gives you a little bit of a buzz but doesn't make you feel fat and bloated the way a beer would."

Kick didn't have it easy in the least. After repeated rejections from lenders, she had to raise the funds by using a home equity loan and money she inherited to launch Buzzballz. Distribution was a huge problem but the entrepreneur managed to overcome the initial hurdles to sell Buzzballz cocktails in 40 states and is also making its presence felt in other countries such as China, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. The company claims to use 100 percent juice and only premium ingredients in its cocktails. 

Kick had to put a lot of thought into her drinks

When it came to getting her project off the ground, Kick adopted a very hands-on approach. According to a piece by the Dallas Business Journal, the entrepreneur had to teach herself the basics and even bought a forklift for herself. She said, "How do you know what a forklift is and what kind of forklift you need if you've never done manufacturing in your life?" before adding that she relied on consultants and Google to get her through the process.

Kick describes her company's style as "unconventional." For example, liquor bottles from Buzzballz are vibrant and bright, standing out from other companies on account of their edginess. In fact, her team is unconventional. Kick explained, "I don't have any white-stuffed-shirt guys. A lot of young people work for us, and they bring a lot of creativity and fun to the brand. Being a teacher has also kept me young" (via D Magazine).

These days, Kick runs Buzzballz with her two sons, Alex and Andrew. Their mission remains simple: to come up with innovative, exciting cocktails for customers in different parts of the globe. At 15 percent ABV and with 15 different flavors already on offer, the company may be onto something.