The TV show Cougar Town has been life-changing for many, but in Jennifer Sullivan and Randy Rothfus’s case, the description is spot-on.
The sitcom featuring Courteney Cox as a newly divorced 40-something navigating life, dating and day-drinking, changed two people’s lives forever. It all happened while Sullivan was watching a rerun, catching an episode where Cox and friends were drinking wine out of a glass attached to the wine bottle. They called it the “Guzzle Buddy.” It was a lightbulb moment — a judgment-free way to drink straight out of the bottle.
She called Rothfus, her brother-in-law, excited that a product like that might exist on the market. After searching and searching to no avail, they decided to make it a reality. The duo launched a website, GuzzleBuddy.com, and started selling it on Amazon. By mid-October, the gadget had “gone viral,” Sullivan told us, selling out of their entire inventory in three days.
“We think it was related to a tweet of ours that said, ‘Get a Guzzle Buddy for the last debate, you’re gonna need it!'” she said. “People needed something fun to get their mind off the election process.”
At that point, Sullivan and Rothfus decided to focus on the brand full-time. She was a stay-at-home mom, raising twins, and Rothfus was a children’s book author and retired dentist. “It’s been a juggling act of balancing family and business ever since,” Sullivan explained.
In the weeks that followed, that early momentum snowballed into a media frenzy. Videos started popping up about the wine glass attachment, and websites, TV shows and newspapers all over — from Live with Kelly to the United Kingdom’s 8 Out of 10 Cats — started featuring it. United Airlines included it in the company’s 2016 gift guide. Before long, Rothfus and Sullivan had shipped a Guzzle Buddy to every continent except Antarctica, with most of their orders coming from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and Germany.