What started as a day of landscaping and an unexpected treasure hunt turned into a family-owned and operated business – Bottle Me a Message.
It all started on a summer southern California morning in 1998. Saturday morning, two brothers, shovels in hand, started cleaning out a planter in the front of the house. Like a magician with an endless amount of secrets in a hat, we discovered long-buried items.
Hidden for years was an old baseball, a racquetball, plastic toy soldiers, a few cowboys, and plastic Indians. The family who owned the house before us must’ve had adventurous children who grew up watching movies and TV shows about pirates and buried treasure.
More digging led to an unusual hard ping, so we went in for a closer look. Imagine the wonder and surprise when we pulled out a glass bottle covered in dirt and dry mud.
We rinsed the bottle to reveal the familiar words “Coca Cola.” There was something else. With a little more cleaning, we saw what we thought was a paper rolled up inside.
We popped the cleverly reattached cap and carefully retrieved the paper. My brother and I both glanced at each other. Then, with a sense of wonder, we unrolled the paper. To our surprise, it looked like a treasure map, drawn in crayon. It featured the house and yard with detailed instructions to follow. Now we both were in the spirit. Nothing would stop us from pursuing this to the end.
Much like Sherlock Holmes in the Musgrave Ritual, we read and followed the directions. “Ten paces away from the driveway. Three paces towards the house. Twenty paces towards the old stump. The cryptic and often physically challenging instructions led us both all over the front and back yards.
Finally, the last clue led us to a hedge. We tossed a coin to see who would go in to dig. Getting down on all fours, I soon found myself digging and digging. Finally, after an hour and several holes later, we discovered the long-lost treasure.
Crawling out from under the hedge, I showed a Mason jar with a corroded lid to my brother.
Worth more than gold, we carefully cleaned and opened up the jar to reveal the contents. In it were four quarters, five dimes, four nickels, and ten pennies. Several marbles, a small T-Rex figure, and one plastic toy soldier holding a bazooka rounded out the items. The Army man must have been there to guard the treasure.
We agreed that my brother would keep the treasure jar while I keep the Coke bottle with the map.
Months later, I wanted to make a special announcement to some close friends. I wasn’t sure how best to do it until I caught sight of that coke bottle perched on my shelf.
Four empty and clean bottles were soon on my table. I wrote individual messages, tied them with string, placed them in the bottle, and finally popped a cork onto them.
One by one, each got boxed and mailed out to its recipient.
Within a day, the recipients each phoned me to exclaim how much they loved the message in a bottle, so I launched “Bottle Me A Message” the next day.
Over the past 20 years, we continue to hand-make the original “Message in a Bottle” for people worldwide.
Marriage proposals, wedding invitations, baby announcements, themed parties, and corporate events are only some of the clever ways people use these wonderful heirloom gifts.
Share the wonder. Send someone special this unique and memorable gift today.
Bottle Me A Message