We all know consuming water from bottles is bad for the environment – and possibly harmful to our bodies as well.
Yet as a busy mom, I also know how convenient it is to reach into the fridge for a fresh, cold bottle of water – particularly during these hot, humid summer months.
We have little time to get from one activity to the next; even less time to prepare things like a sports bottle filled with water as we travel. So wouldn’t it be nice if we could have the convenience of bottled water in a container that was not only easy to travel with but that was environmentally safe as well?
This was the thought Beth McKenzie and her three business partners had when they thought up the idea behind Balamar Springs water. Safe, convenient, and environmentally friendly – water in a paper bottle.
I interviewed McKenzie for this article, and when I asked how it was they came up with the idea behind paper bottles, she answered, “We all came from different backgrounds, and we all decided we wanted to do something that made a difference.” Being environmentally conscious, the women had a round table discussion and hammered out a variety of ideas – this is the one that stuck.
“We didn’t know that it would work,” she admits. “But we knew that we would buy it,” and, she adds, thought that if they would purchase the item, other women would do so as well.
When it came to developing the idea from its first conception to an actual product, McKenzie and partners put in a lot of hours, and a lot of hard work. “We did . . . tons of research. There was a lot to it. You have to buy the paper from one company, the water from another.”
In addition, the company used a focus group to help determine the best packaging. And when the focus group didn’t agree with the ladies on what design should be used, the ladies went with the focus group. “We figured they knew more.”
The group did not go the business route alone, either. They enlisted the help of the Small Business Association, which in turn enlisted the help of the University of Georgia who found the focus group. “We reached out for help with everyone who knew what they were doing, and we got it.”
At this time the water is glacial spring water bottled in Canada, but the bottler is in the works to open a plant in Marietta, Florida so the center will be closer.
And the price for a bottle of water? Fairly competitive with that you would pay for plastic. This was one thing that the ladies wanted to be sure of when opening the company.
“We wanted to keep what people are used to paying and be competitive of plastic retail. We want people to make a choice.” Bottles range from $1-$1.50. The goal, said McKenzie, is not to make a killing on each bottle, but, ” . . . to get the product out there in people’s hands.”
Balamar Water is now available in its hometown of Columbus, Georgia and the Panhandle of Florida as well as a few hotels, but McKenzie and her partners are hoping to get it out into the public in restaurants and grocery chains before long. The ladies are promoting their company through their website as well as by attending green events and conferences. If you are interested in getting Balamar Water in your local store, check out the website for more information.