The Quakes and Wells Fargo are humbled and inspired by the amazing work of our frontline communities and neighbors in this time of crisis. Each week, we’ll be featuring and highlighting the work of one fantastic neighborhood hero, showcasing the great work they are doing and the organizations our community can rally around.
Additionally, a donation will be made to an organization or community project on behalf of each week’s hero. This week we will be donating to the Kendall Centers Therapeutic Pathways.
In 2015, Jorge Carrasco had a vision for a product that changed his life. At the time, Jorge had recently left his job in the hotel management business to take care of his father who had a stroke at the end of 2014. As Jorge stepped away from his career to take care of his father, he prayed for guidance on what to do next. “I felt the need to do something greater with my life,” says Jorge.
It was during this time that the idea for ICan Buckets came to him. Jorge is the mind behind Bethinketh LLC, and the creator of the ICan customizable fabric-covered 5-gallon bucket. Jorge obtained a patent for his idea in 2017.
These FDA-approved buckets serve a variety of purposes, such as indoor and outdoor storage, tailgating, carrying sports equipment, tools, picnic supplies, beach items, camping equipment and more. Jorge was drawn to this idea for buckets because of their practicality and usefulness.
What distinguishes these buckets is their customizable hand-stitched fabrics crafted in San Jose. The buckets have a variety of colors, patterns, and sports team logos. Each bucket comes with side pockets, making it convenient for storing extra items like phones, portable speakers, snacks and more. A padded lid makes the bucket ideal for impromptu seating.
Jorge was inspired by his grandfather who taught him how rewarding it is to give instead of take. “I’ve always watched my parents give of themselves,” says Jorge.
The concept of pouring into others, rather than taking from others, inspired this bucket idea. Jorge took a leap of faith and fully invested in pursuing this idea. He saved his money to go to trade shows to get the word out about his product and get investors interested.
When the pandemic came, Jorge was able to pivot in an effective way. With an ample amount of licensed fabrics, he began to partner with major companies and sports teams to produce licensed masks.
As of now, the production team consists of Jorge, his brother, and a part-time seamstress. Jorge has been able to employ his brother full time after he lost his job due to the pandemic. He has also been supported by two friends who believed in Jorge’s vision since the beginning. One helps as a ghost writer and assists with behind-the-scenes work, and the other has helped Jorge with web design and marketing since 2015.
“It didn’t happen to me, it happened for me,” Jorge says about the pandemic. “I quickly pivoted to making masks, because I had lots of fabric.”
The company name “Bethinketh” and the product name “ICan” were both inspired by Biblical passages. Jorge found these names to be a reflection of the hard work and perseverance that pushed him through the waves of uncertainty.
Jorge had over 30 years of business experience, but was unfamiliar with the world of manufacturing. After learning basic steps and witnessing the creative process, Jorge decided that he wanted others to teach others about it too.
Learning the manufacturing process taught Jorge how to take finite ideas and create tangible, useful products with simple items he can find anywhere. Jorge began his first prototypes for the bucket in his kitchen. He heated an exacto knife over a flame on his stove and cut circles of foam using a kitchen plate as a guide.
Now having sold around 10,000 buckets to date and hundreds of masks, Jorge looks back on the journey with gratitude for how far he has come. The leap of faith he took to pursue an idea in a challenging time has reaffirmed Jorge to be patient and trust the process.
“There were days that I didn’t eat because it was a struggle,” says Jorge. “I never gave up my vision, even in the struggle.”
Recently, a friend of Jorge’s requested that he make a custom bucket for her autistic grandson named Bradley. After giving Bradley a custom ICan bucket and a matching mask, Bradley has been attached to it ever since. Jorge saw how much joy his product brought to Bradley, and it inspired another layer to his multifaceted mission to pour into the lives of others. Jorge hopes to soon partner with organizations like the Autism Society, Breast Cancer organizations, the Humane Society, foster homes and more.
Jorge’s long-term goal is to teach and inspire Hispanic/Latino boys in the trade of manufacturing. He envisions being able to mentor boys and young men on how to develop their ideas into reality through learning the skills and ways of manufacturing.
Right now, Jorge is in the process of starting a 501 (c)(3) foundation for young Latino boys ages 10-21, teaching them life skills and mentorship in the world of manufacturing, innovation, entrepreneurship and business. “It would be amazing for anyone to walk in and say, “I have this idea,” and begin to manufacture it,” says Jorge.
In the next few years, Jorge hopes to establish a multi-faceted program and a resource center for these young men. Through these programs, Jorge hopes to encourage their leadership qualities and build up young entrepreneurial individuals personally and professionally.
For more information on Bethinketh and the ICan Bucket, visit the website.