Utility is one’s friend in the wild, whether hiking in a nearby park or just camping with friends. The Veital Lid, the first product from Veital Designs, can fit on any wide mouth water bottle and incorporates some vital (pun!) functions which can aid both in survival and leisure.
The following Q&A is with Adam Taylor, co-founder of Veital Designs and a Zeta Beta Tau member (and founding father) initiated at Purdue University.
Q: What led you to joining Zeta Beta Tau?
A: I was a bit overwhelmed with school as a freshman and engineering student. A group of roommates had joined a new fraternity (Zeta Beta Tau) on campus and the thought of subjecting myself to a long and arduous pledgeship was unappealing at the time.
ZBT appealed to me for several reasons when I rushed in the fall of my sophomore year. First were the men that were already in the fraternity – a motley crew of down to Earth guys, many of which I connect with in my first year at Purdue.
Second was the opportunity to help mold a young organization; I saw it as a project that we all certainly took a lot of pride in. Finally was the lack of “pledgeship;” I felt a genuine bond with my brothers immediately after being quickly initiated into ZBT.
Q: What are some of the highlights of your fraternity experience?
A: one of my favorite things that we did were what we termed “Work Weekends.” These were designated weekends over the summer to execute house improvement projects.
Typically the house improvement took a back seat and the weekends were used as time to reconnect with the brothers I hadn’t seen all summer. We also invited our parents to help with the weekend, so we were also able to build relationships with the families of our brothers.
Another highlight was when I studied abroad in Shanghai with three other ZBTs. That semester we knocked out some tough coursework, saw a lot of China, and started on the Shanghai Jao Tong American Football Team.
Q: How did you and Matthew (Matty K) come together to make Veital Designs?
A: Matt and I were both placed in the same development program in Southeast Wisconsin, directly out of school. We were sort of “pot-luck” roommates, both being new to the area and being connected through work.
We became unenthused with the monotony of cubicle life pretty soon after starting our jobs. We created a brand to bridge the gap between work and the outdoor activities we were passionate about and would rather be doing.
“There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm.”
Q: What inspired the Veital Lid?
A: The Veital Lid was the byproduct of one too many dull meetings. Inspired by the trend in the bicycle industry to incorporate more traditional materials, such as steel and titanium, we wanted to bring a craftsman’s touch to the thing we always carried with us: our water bottles.
Q: What makes a Veital Lid unique?
A: The Veital Lid provides a different look to the standard wide mouth water bottle with a stainless steel finish topped with a brass cap. The metal lid retains less bacteria than a standard plastic lid and is dishwasher safe or easily cleaned by hand (if that’s your M.O.).
The braided paracord lanyard will catch the eye of an outdoor enthusiast. Aside from the appealing aesthetic the braided lanyard contains over 7′ of United States-sourced, 550-pound capacity paracord for use in survival situations.
The brass top cap can be removed from the lid, revealing a 5mm port to mount an action camera (such as a GoPro). On the inside of the lid is a 10mm access point which can be used to open bottles or for other attachments currently in development.
Q: Has your fraternity experience played into your work with Veital?
A: My experience with ZBT has directly related to starting and running a small business. One of the things that drew me to ZBT as a new fraternity at Purdue was the ability to help steer the ship as it was established. That same desire to lead has carried over into Veital Designs.
Q: What do you think makes fraternity membership valuable?
A: I think that young men are able to accelerate their personal growth, by becoming involved philanthropically, finding new hobbies or passions, or simply expanding one’s network of lasting friendships.
Professionally members are, or should be, pushed to excel in their chosen fields of study, gain leadership experience and can expand their network of professional contacts through fraternity membership.
Check out Veital’s website for more information on the Veital Lid or to get in touch with Adam and Matthew.