What do you do if you’ve just launched a start up turning bruised or misshapen watermelons into cold pressed juice, and you hear Beyonce singing, “I’ve been drinking watermelon?” Well, if you’re Jody Levy, that’s such a no brainer. You MAKE IT HAPPEN! Thanks to Jody’s creative brain and relentless, confident drive, Beyonce’s now an investor and WTRMLN WTR is taking the world by storm. Who better to welcome to our Fit List? It’s our honor to introduce you to Jody and to WTRMLN WTR:
When was WTRMLN WTR founded?
What were you doing before WTRMLN WTR?
I am an artist, a maker, a director, producer, strategist and a storyteller. I design brands, products and immersive experiences. The philosophy behind my work is about connecting people, appealing to the senses, and telling stories in ways that engage, inspire and empower people.
Why WTRMLN WTR? How is WTRMLN advancing the goal of sustainability?
WTRMLN WTR is here to educate people about why clean healthy eating and drinking is so important for the health and sustainability of our bodies and communities. We are also pioneers of the ugly fruit and vegetable movement, purchasing “seconds” from farmers across America to put ‘ugly or ‘waste’ melons to use and create secondary revenue streams for our grower partners.
Is it ever intimidating breaking into the beverage industry with so many big players? Where do you get your confidence from?
“I woke up like this.” Seriously, I’ve always been a human on a mission, once I put my mind to something, there’s nothing that can stop me. I have a deep belief that nothing is impossible and I thrive on doing and creating things that are new and different that create opportunities for those around me.
I don’t really get intimated. Sure it’s hard work for anyone to break into a new industry, especially when creating a new category and a product that has never existed before. But work is the greatest party I can find and I keep myself inspired by doing things that have never been before. In order to do so, I learn all angles and perspectives of a challenge in order to make the very best choices while surrounding myself with brightest, most passionate and talented humans. I firmly believe in our mission to educate people about clean healthy living and that is my source confidence that keeps me in it and enjoying every second of the journey!
Why should we drink WTRMLN WTR? What are the health benefits?
WTRMLN WTR is a hot pink juicy drink packed with electrolytes, vitamins, Lycopene, anti-oxidants, magnesium, iron, L-Cittruline and more. WTRMLN WTR consists of nothing but raw watermelon and a drop of organic lemon juice. No added water, and no added sugar. WTRMLN WTR is cold-pressed and never heated with no additives, no preservatives, absolutely nothing artificial.
What’s it like having Beyonce as an investor? Did it change things?
We are thrilled and super grateful for our partnership with Beyonce (and all of our investors). Beyonce is aligned with our mission to empower and inspire people. The announcement of Beyonce’s partnership has helped raise awareness about WTRMLN WTR around the world and has been a catalyst to help spread our collective word about clean healthy living.
What inspired your beautiful product design?
In addition to an entrepreneur and CEO, I am an artist, designer and creative director. I set out with the intent to develop a brand that is super accessible, poppy spiked with a lot of sex appeal. This was at the core of the WTRMLN WTR brand and product design. We want to communicate that our product is from the source – only fresh watermelon and lemon – but also fun and playful and edgy. It’s about telling stories. From the look of the bottle to the taste in your mouth, to the people that represent our team… We have an ethos. To be playful and human and educating people while connecting to our source.
What is your advice to young women dreaming of starting their own businesses?
Follow your heart and be smart. Ask questions, dig deeper, understand your goals and be wise… when you don’t know something, find people who do, trust them, and build a strong team.
I offer women the same advice as I do men. It takes stamina, intensity and a relentless drive to never give up. You have to love the flow, shift as the wind changes, be nimble, stay inspired and have as much fun as possible. Most importantly, get into the process; because the moment is all that is real, and building and sustaining a business takes a lot of forward planning, always considering the future. In order to maintain sanity, you must love the process and find ways to be in the present.
Favorite quote or other inspiration?
I use this mantra often: “Only this moment is life.” It reminds me to enjoy the moment I am in no matter how difficult, frustrating, and intense it may be. Business should be fun and thrilling. The more you can get into that space, the better you will be and the more it will feed all aspects of your life and inspire all those around you.
Most exciting thing that has happened since you started the company?
There are so many exciting moments. Daily really. Seeing our product on the shelves of our first store, which happened to be Whole Foods in Brooklyn, NY to each and every day I pass a bottle on the street in a small town or while I’m moving through an airport. Closing my first round of financing. Hugging every investor, collaborator, partner to close a discussion or deal. Every moment is a thrill and for me it’s about celebrating the moments. Celebrating the announcement of Beyonce’s investment in our company has been a highlight for all of us.
When you aren’t working, what’s your favorite thing to be doing?
I dance. I paint. I hike. I travel. I dream up new businesses and endeavors. I work hard and I play hard.
What does She’s Fit to Lead mean to you? How does someone become Fit to Lead?
I grew up outside of Detroit, in a family where hard work and determined focus was encouraged. I am an artist and a creative problem solver and was pushed to pursue my dreams from a very young age. This combination gave me the confidence and the tools to go out into the world with a sense that I could do anything.
I learned that kindness and honesty was the way of the world, in life, in business and in all interactions. I try to carry that influence of hard work, feeling creatively free, and personal integrity into all things I do, and I aim to inspire others to do the same.
To me that’s what being fit to lead – for anyone is about.