Founder Jairus Morris started SUPLMNT company after discovering the product category and realizing no one in his circle owned any insulated water bottles, despite the existence of many major brands in the space.
“Growing up in the inner city no one taught me, or my peers, the importance of drinking water and staying hydrated,” Morris said. “In most of our households, high-sugar drinks such as Kool-Aid and soda were our only source of hydration. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized the health issues plaguing my family and friends had major roots in poor diet and hydration.”
SUPLMNT is more than just a water bottle, said Morris. Additionally, brands Snipes and Adidas have partnered with SUPLMNT to join their recent Juneteenth community initiative, bridging the community within its Brooklyn and Baltimore stores.
The business is also committed to investing 10% of net sales into bottles and resources for its give-back program, administered through our established 501c3 non-profit.
Morris also said the program will provide free single-wall water bottles and educational materials about the importance of hydration to youth groups and sports programs in Black communities.
Morris spoke to the Atlanta Voice about SUPLMNT and what people can expect from this new Black-owned brand.
For more information, visit https://suplmnt.com/.
The Atlanta Voice: Why did you decide to create SUPLMNT?
Jarius Morris: I created SUPLMNT because I saw that none of the major brands geared their product toward urban culture. There was no brand that was intentional about reaching or resonating with my culture. There were so many people within my circle and demographic that had never even heard of any insulated water bottle brand or the science behind the vacuum-insulated tech. So, I decided to be the 1st premium Black-owned insulated water bottle brand that created a community and experience around our water bottles that the culture would want to be a part of and resonate with.
AV: How did you produce the name?
JM: Water is the body’s most important supplement, and SUPLMNT main mission is to spread awareness on the importance of drinking water in our urban communities, so I wanted our name to completely embody that mission.
AV: Was there a moment that inspired you to start the business?
JM: Realizing there are incredible products out there that aren’t targeting Black people. The vacuum-insulated water bottle industry focused on outdoor activities and sustainability. While we love both things, we noticed that the same technology in a bottle for everyday use with a brand focused on hydration can have a greater impact.
AV: Is there a mentor/person in your life that inspires/inspired you as a business owner? Who?
JM: I would say originally my mom inspired me. Single Black woman of 5 kids and she ALWAYS had the ambitious spirit and hustle just to make ends meet for me and my siblings. So, understanding struggle and constantly figuring out ways to overcome it gave me that grit that I use today.
AV: What are your business goals for the remainder of the year?
JM: Maximize the impact of our business while aggressively expanding our product line.
AV: Where do you see SUPLMNT in five years?
JM: Today it is easy to compare us to other vacuum-insulated water bottle brands. In the future, it will be difficult to compare us to them. We will be focused on bringing great products to an underserved audience, maintaining premium quality while remaining affordable.
AV: What is something you have learned about yourself as a business owner since starting SUPLMNT?
JM: I have learned that to succeed in this business or anything in life you must believe in yourself more than anyone. I would say the next important thing would be staying consistent, success doesn’t happen overnight, everything takes time.
AV: What advice do you have for future business owners taking the plunge?
JM: I always say your job is your first investor, do not just quit and use your salary to fuel your business. I would say make sure you are mentally ready to do everything it takes to make your business work, which being logistics, customer service, product development, marketing, social media management, and the list goes on. Having some type of savings account would also help a ton so you can focus more on your business and make sound decisions not based on trying to make money quickly.