FORBES: The Fastest-Growing Women-Owned Businesses

In 2009, Harvard Business School grad Sarah Kauss was on a hike in Arizona with her mother when she realized she didn’t much feel like drinking the water that had been baking in the sun in her metal bottle. She suddenly had a vision for the container she wished she’d had, a bottle that was more like a thermos, with a sleek design in a pretty color. Back in New York, while working her day job in commercial real estate development, she found a designer who created a curvy prototype she then had manufactured in China in a pretty ocean blue. Though there were already plenty of re-usable water bottles on the market, Kauss’s, which she dubbed S’well, stood out because of its distinctive design and its capacity to keep liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. Her big break came in 2011 when O, the Oprah Magazine, wanted to include S’well on its O List of great products. But the editors wanted a colorful photo so Kauss, who was still working solo, scrambled to produce six more colors, including seashell pink and rowboat red.

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*Article written by Susan Adams, staff writer for Forbes.

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