'Spirited Servers' give recycled bottles new life

By Julianne Peixoto

July 18, 2014 Updated Jul 18, 2014 at 11:22 PM EDT

Brackney, PA (WBNG Binghamton) A local trio started a business making serving trays, clocks and bottle openers out of recycled bottles.

It all started in a gift shop in Puerto Rico.

"I went to Puerto Rico on vacation and I went into a little gift shop," said Spirited Servers co-founder Betsy Sodon. "And there was a plain, slumped bottle with a butter knife on top, and I looked at it and I’m like 'Oh, where’d you get this?'"

Something about that bottle captivated Betsy.

"It really haunted me, and when I came back home, I kept thinking about that bottle and thinking about that bottle and how could they do that," she said.

Nearly five years later, she got her answer, when a coworker brought in a slumped (melted down) bottle to work.

Betsy found out it was made by using a kiln, and she was instantly sold.

"That's all I had to hear," she said. "Because my sister and I and our mother, we taught ceramics and porcelain dolls for years, of course I knew how to fire a kiln."

From that moment, Spirited Servers was born.

"I am the official dumpster diver," said Betsy's husband Bud. "Every Tuesday morning at about 5 o'clock I get up and I beat the dumpsters. I start in Endicott, then I go to Binghamton. It's a three-hour trip."

Betsy and her sister Sandy take the bottles Bud collects and turn them into serving trays, bottle openers and clocks.

"It's giving back to the earth and that's basically what we're doing here," said Bud. "Rather than these bottles going into the dumpsters, going into the landfills, they're being used for something."

The family has had to overcome many hardships, including Betsy's two open heart surgeries, Bud's broken back and Sandy's Parkinson's disease, but they work together and support each other through it all.

"We’ve always been close, very close," said Sandy.

The trio travels to area festivals and craft fairs selling their creations.

If you'd like to check out some of their work online, click HERE

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.