FOUNDER OF HINT WATER
LIKE MANY entrepreneurs, Kara’s business idea emerged while trying to solve a problem of her own. In her case, it was that no matter how much she exercised and how healthfully she was eating, she couldn’t seem to lose the weight she’d gained after the birth of her third child. While searching for her next role, Kara was also examining everything she was eating and drinking. Unsure of whether she had a hormone imbalance or was showing signs of being prediabetic, Kara decided to further moderate her diet before turning to medication. That’s when she noticed something she hadn’t been aware of before: she’d been drinking a lot of Diet Coke and had never fully understood the ingredients and the effects that artificial sweeteners have on the body. Once she took a closer look, she decided to completely stop drinking diet soda and started drinking plain water instead. “It’s really as simple as that.” The result of that single but important switch was huge. Over the course of the next two weeks, she lost over twenty pounds; in six months almost fifty pounds had melted away.
“We often take the word of people who have experience and assume they must be right”
- Kara on how she overcame obstacles and proved her skeptics wrong.
But after a year of drinking plain water, Kara craved a more interesting beverage—something like what she was making for herself at home—water with sliced fruit in it. “The key thing for me was figuring out how to drink more water, and I realized that drinking water for me, and for many people I talked to along the way, was really hard because it was so boring. So one day I went to Whole Foods and I said to the person that worked there, ‘I’d really like to find this product, which is water with just a little bit of fruit to give it some flavor. Can you help find it on the shelf?’ He told me about this ‘great product’ called Vitamin Water, which at that time probably had more sugar in it than a can of Coke. A few more conversations with him led me to the growing sense that most people weren’t aware of how much sugar and artificial sweeteners were in the beverages they were drinking and how much those ingredients were adversely affecting their health. Finally I said to the Whole Foods guy, ‘I should just go develop this product myself.’ And he kind of laughed at me and said, ‘Okay, lady, great. I’m sure you’re gonna go develop the product.’ So I said to him, ‘What do you need from me to actually develop the product?’ And he said, ‘Well, you know, you need a shelf life, you need a name of the product. And let me know when you develop that.’” He laughed her off . He thought it was funny and assumed it was unlikely, if not impossible.
Boy did she prove him wrong.