Kara Goldin, the founder and CEO of the uber-popular unsweetened flavored water brand hint, is this week’s Meet a Mom! In addition to creating and growing this ground-breaking brand, she hosts and produces the podcast Unstoppable, featuring other entrepreneurs. She’s also been named to every “Who’s Who” list, from Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs to Forbes’ 40 Women to Watch Over 40. We spoke to this successful mom of four about hint, her incredible career and being a working mom.
Where did the idea for Hint come from?
The idea for hint came shortly after I left a career in tech. I was having my children and realized that what I was putting into my body and their bodies mattered. I also had adult acne and my energy levels had sunk after baby #3. I had been drinking a ton of Diet Coke for years but decided to give it up for a few weeks and drink plain water. I was shocked, frankly, at not only losing 20 pounds in 2 ½ weeks, but that my acne went away and my energy levels went up. That was the epiphany to me. I lead with a purpose of health and helping people. I never said “I want to be a beverage executive”.
Why is entrepreneurship such an appealing path for moms?
So many people I meet, moms in particular, have said “Gosh, I wish this product or service was out there.” They’re presented with these problems and see holes in the market. We call it disruption now, but it’s really problem-solving. The second aspect is when you’re starting your own company, whether you do it on your own or with a partner, you set your own timeline. I still consider us a startup—we’re not Coca-Cola—and we grew in the right way. I believe people need time to discover cool products and services.
When did you realize “Wow, we really have something here”?
When customers started writing to me and telling me that they not only bought the product and loved the product but that Hint was helping them — to drink more water, to get healthy, to get through chemo, to control their Type 2 diabetes, to get their kids off of juice boxes. Developing a product that truly helps people was always my goal and very early consumers were telling me that it was doing just that.
What is your current focus with the brand?
We continue to help people find health and get healthy. First through giving them a product that makes people enjoy water again with Hint water. We then came out with different varieties, carbonated and caffeinated. Also in different packaging formats including Hint in small boxes to compete with the juice box market. We branched out a few years ago with Hint sunscreen when I saw a whole in the market there for a great smelling product using our essences that didn’t have parabens or oxybenzone. We are launching in January our newest product Hint deodorant which is aluminum free but also doesn’t contain any Class 1 allergens including coconut (which I am allergic too). The deodorant is amazing and we are already getting wonderful feedback from people who have tried it. The goal has always been health and we believe the brand can be the platform for healthy products for consumers who are looking to alternatives in certain categories from a trusted brand.
Do you have any working mom strategies you love?
Ask for help and don’t be afraid to own that you have it. Whatever its going to take to keep you productive and sane.
And any other advice to potential entrepreneurs?
Don’t be in a rush. If you truly believe that you have an idea that is unique and or disruptive, time is on your side. Put what time you have into the idea and don’t be too hard on yourself for it taking longer than you had anticipated.