We have already reported about Hydro Flask's new European headquarters in Basel, Switzerland (The Compass – Vol. 9 – N° 7+8 of Apr. 13). Last month, another American supplier of vacuum-insulated drinkware as well as reusable bottles, Mizu, announced the opening of a wholly owned European subsidiary, Mizu Europe.

Mizu Europe will have an office, warehouse and in-house custom printing operation just outside Amsterdam, a city which is said to be leading the way for reusable water bottles, but company officials told us that it plans to continue to service the specialty boardsports market and to continue to develop the outdoor specialty markets. It is currently stronger in the boardsports sector because that's where Mizu was born in California, as it was founded by a professional snowboarder, adventurer and environmentalist, Jussi Oksanen.

Mizu said that it will be able to directly serve clients all over Europe with better product selection, centralized shipping, improved marketing and a direct custom laser etching and printing operation.

The new European office will be run by Wouter van de Griend and Timo Breyer, the two major former distributors of the brand in Europe, who have become shareholders of Mizu in the process. Van de Griend, who runs a Dutch agency called Edge Trading, will act as European director, handling administration and other back-office operations for Mizu Europe. Breyer, who has been selling Mizu in the German-speaking countries for four years through a company called Cleanspot Distribution, will act as “European sales advisor” for the brand.

Edge Trading will continue to represent Mizu as general agent in the Benelux countries. Working through an agency called Teambreyer, Breyer will continue as the general agent for the brand in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Van der Griend, who comes from a sales background working with Burton Snowboards and Gravis footwear, has been representing brands such as Nixon, Elecgtric, K2, Ride and Hurley in the Benelux countries since 2002. Breyer has also been representing Nixon in Germany and Austria since 1999.