Kauss had long been unhappy with carrying around unattractive metal water bottles, especially around the office. Although they were fine for the gym or hiking, clunky metal bottles were simply unbefitting for professional office life. Kauss attended her five-year business school reunion in 2009 and it was there that inspiration struck. An old professor highlighted the global water crisis during a reunion presentation and the impact plastic water bottles has on the planet. In that moment, the idea for S’well began to form.
As a solution to the ugly metal bottle problem, and still avoiding plastic water bottles, Kauss launched S’well. The company boasts a line of insulated reusable stainless steel bottles which come in 90 colors and three sizes. Since the inception, S’well has garnered a lot of attention. As reported on CNN Money, “The business is profitable and saw revenue surge 400% between 2012 and 2014.” Not just attractive, the stylish yet functional bottles keep drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours.
Also taking note are the likes of Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres, both of whom praised and featured the bottle. Tech giant Google gave out the bottle to interns in the summer of 2015 and Starbucks sold out of them in store.
As the company continues to thrive, Kauss hasn’t lost sight of her mission. As always, her hope is to ultimately get rid of plastic bottles.