Bottles & Wood creates beauty, utility from discarded items


Turning trash into treasure, Zelda Waxenberg of Del Mar has upped the concept of recycling to “upcycling.”

She and business partner, Steve Cherry, created Bottles & Wood, a San Diego-based company that converts bottles, wood and other locally sourced waste into high-quality products.

“It’s taking recycling to a different level, truly upcycling by repurposing items that were destined for the landfill,” said Waxenberg, co-founder and president of the company. “We’re keeping things out of the landfill and creating beautiful products.”

Bottles & Wood stems from BottleHood, a San Diego-based business Cherry founded in 2009 that focused on repurposing wine, beer, liquor and soda bottles. In 2014, Cherry, who has more than 35 years of experience in tech startups, partnered with Waxenberg, a local entrepreneur and philanthropist, to relaunch his original concept as Bottles & Wood.

The company is focused on using reclaimed materials to design and build products for the gift, hospitality, home décor and beverage promotions industries.

Last July, the pair opened a 5,000-square-foot factory showroom and manufacturing facility in Clairemont Mesa, where Bottles & Wood creates handcrafted home décor, serving ware, light fixtures, jewelry and more.

“Everything comes locally,” said Waxenberg, who has lived in Del Mar for more than 30 years. “We have relationships with a lot of hotels, restaurants, breweries and wineries.”

A self-described “ambassador for sustainability,” Waxenberg said Bottles & Wood not only creates jobs and products, but also promotes environmental education.

Through the company, she enjoys supporting local nonprofits by donating gift baskets for special events. Bottles & Wood has supported a variety of local organizations, including the Del Mar Community Connections, the Del Mar Lifeguards and the Del Mar Village Association.

“I enjoy getting to be the ambassador — talking to a lot of people and making connections,” she said. “Our products truly amaze me.”

Through a partnership with Urban Corps, Bottles & Wood also shares the value of upcycling with local youth. The company offers internships to youth from Urban Corps, a nonprofit that provides a high school education and green job training to young adults ages 18-25.

In addition, the company also offers factory tours to local schools.

“It’s just all part of our being part of the community,” Waxenberg said. “That’s a very important premise — that we give back and participate in our community.”

Bottles & Wood is at 5039 Shawline St. in San Diego. The store is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Call 858-384-6114 or visit