In 2009, Sarah Kauss had a well-paying job in real estate development, but she was itching to do something more. On a hike in Tucson with her mom, she got an idea for a business while swigging warm water from a metal thermos: why not design a water bottle that kept cold things cold and hot things hot, but was also beautiful to look at? Just six years after launch, S'well reportedly made $100 million; but today, Sarah is especially focused on how the brand can help eliminate plastic waste around the world.
Live with Guy Online: Jeni Britton Bauer
Each week, Guy will be hosting brief online conversations with founders and members of the How I Built This community about how they're navigating these uncertain times. This past Friday, Guy spoke with Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. Jeni's company battled a Listeria outbreak in 2015 that almost broke her business, but she bounced back stronger than ever and is confident her company will survive this crisis, too.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company: Ken Grossman
Ken Grossman was experimenting with beer before he was old enough to buy it. As a high school student in the late 1960s, he bought his first home brewing kit and mixed the ingredients in a bucket, hiding his early batches from his mother. About ten years later, before most Americans knew what craft beer was, Ken decided to build a brewery in Chico, California. With $50,000, a few piles of scrap metal and some hand-me-down dairy tanks, Ken and his partner built Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, and crafted a beer with a distinctive, hoppy bitterness. Today, as the third largest craft brewer in the U.S., Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – like so many other businesses – faces unprecedented challenges due to the Coronavirus crisis.
Ben & Jerry's: Ben Cohen And Jerry Greenfield (2017)
In the mid-1970s two childhood friends, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield decided to open an ice cream shop in Burlington, Vermont. Their quirky little shop packaged and sold unusual flavors like Honey Coffee, Mocha Walnut, and Mint with Oreo Cookies. In 1981, the regional brand spread across the country after Time magazine called it the "best ice cream in America." Today, Ben & Jerry's is one of the top selling ice cream brands in the world. And, like the original founders, the company doesn't shy away from speaking out on social issues. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Clay McCabe of Zipper Rescue, a repair kit that helps people fix their broken zippers at home.
Birchbox: Katia Beauchamp
When Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna launched Birchbox from business school in 2010, they set out to disrupt the beauty industry by delivering monthly samples in a box. Even though people told them the idea would never work, Birchbox attracted hundreds of thousands of subscribers and enthusiastic buzz as a subscription pioneer. But the speedy success was overwhelming for Katia; over the years the company endured plenty of growing pains as it found its distinctive voice in the beauty industry. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," after noticing that many of her female friends hated buying cars, Athena Staton launched SheCar, a personalized online service for used car buyers.