I built my career as Vice President of E-Commerce and Shopping at AOL, helping to turn its online shopping business into a billion-dollar entity in the 1990s. In 2001, I chose to part ways with AOL to pursue other ventures, and I haven’t looked back since.
One of these ventures involved helping my family live a healthier lifestyle. About nine years ago, I realized how many calories my family was consuming from juice, soda and other sugary beverages. I knew it was time to make a drastic change, so I banned all beverages in the house except plain water and milk. The rest of my family was aggravated, to say the least.
I had to find something more interesting than plain water without giving in to my family’s sugar craving. I scanned the labels of every beverage I could find, from flavored waters and sports drinks to diet sodas and fruit juices. But every drink I found either contained loads of calories, sugars and sodium or had ingredients that I could barely pronounce.
In sheer desperation, I started slicing fruit into our water to add a little bit of flavor. This simple solution turned out to be a big hit. One day, I received a call from a friend whose child had been over to our house several times. “You have to tell me where you got the raspberry water my daughter keeps talking about.” I laughed, explaining that it wasn’t actually a product you could buy.
That conversation was my “aha!” moment. I realized I wasn’t the only mother searching for a simple solution. And that is when HINT was born.
I didn’t have any experience in the beverage industry; the country was facing tough economic times; and I was up against corporate giants. But I followed my intuition that the product would sell. Six years later, my perseverance paid off. I brought HINT Water to the shelves of nationwide retailers.
Overall, I take great pride in what I’ve created because it wasn’t just about finding and solving a problem. HINT has become reason I get up every day. When all is said and done, knowing that I created a product that is going to better the lives of my children is truly the most gratifying feeling a mother could have.