Kiwi-born 15yo entrepreneur sells drinkware business Bellaforte for $1 million

Sam Richards and his parents.
Sam Richards and his parents. Photo credit: Supplied

A 15-year-old Kiwi-born entrepreneur has sold his drinkware company for $1 million after returning record profits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sam Richards, who lives on Australia's Gold Coast, founded drinkware brand Bellaforte in 2019 as a 13-year-old.

"The idea for our revolutionary product came when I was taking drinks to my parents sitting by the pool, I tripped and smashed everything, I was in big trouble," his website says.

"Several days later I was browsing the internet for high quality beautiful plastic glasses that would be strong enough to withstand a fall, while still looking amazing, alas I found none until it hit me what a great idea for a business."

Bellaforte specialises in making glasses which are reusable, affordable, recyclable and unbreakable for celebratory events.

During the early COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Bellaforte turned over record profits and Richards decided to look to sell the business and capitalise on its success.

The company was bought in October by eCommerce aggregator Una Brands for NZ$1 million.

Richards said he plans to buy a new set of headphones, a new watch and a Tesla car with his earnings.

He hopes his story will inspire budding entrepreneurs.

"Do the simple things well," he said.

"Do your research and stick to it. Ninety percent of people are too scared to take the first step and launch. Don't let other people who don't believe in you drag you down."