Founder and CEO
Following working with ecommerce for AOL and having three children, Kara gained weight and found herself with unhealthy habits including an addition to diet soda. She launched the first fruit-flavored unsweetened water after realizing the health impact of adding fruit juice to water in her personal life.
When her first sale to Whole Foods led to reorders the very next day, she knew she was on to something big. Through connections she sold to Google, Starbucks (but lost the contract) and then Amazon. It is now the largest independent beverage company in the US with no relationship with Coke, Pepis or Dr. Pepper-Snapple
She drove growth through office environments where employers realized the benefit of healthier employees. However, she felt that she needed a direct relationship with end-users. Despite concerns regarding the wholesale business model now responsible for millions of dollars of sales, Kara launched a website and began email marketing through Klaviyo. These same tactics worked to launch Hint Sunscreen, made in a similar way and for the same reasons as the beverage.
From this experience, Kara completely rejects the idea that wholesale product companies can be removed from the consumer and can depend on third parties to host their platform (like Amazon). She regularly receives warm customer feedback expressing well wishes for her health and even asking for company growth advice, even though the conventional wisdom to grow a wholesale brand was to pay for expensive product placements in grocery chains which she avoided entirely.
Tom McClintock is the owner and founder of Relationship Martech.