The Local Look: Green Sheep Water
Green Sheep Water wants you to know: They know their name is “odd,” “different.” But so is the company, founders Jess Page and Nicole Doucet say. They’re creating an eco-friendly bottled water, one that’s replaced the plastic bottle with aluminum and that donates five percent of all profits to water.org. We talked to Doucet about how they’re making a difference with water, right here in Chicago.
Why did you choose Chicago? Tell us about what it means to be a business in Chicago.
We chose Chicago for many reasons. First of all, it’s an amazing city and the people here genuinely seem to care about the impact of their purchases on the environment and on their communities. Our production facilities are located in the Midwest, so launching from Chicago made a lot of sense. Unlike other premium bottled water companies (you know who you are), we try to avoid shipping stuff around as much as possible. It still blows my mind to think that most of the water on the shelves was shipped thousands of miles to get there. Such a waste! I also got accepted to the MBA program at Chicago Booth before launching, so it all worked out nicely.
If you could go back in time before you became involved in running the business and share one piece of advice with yourself, what would you tell yourself?
This is a hard one. I would tell myself to remember to take a step back and try to look at things from an outsider’s perspective. I think sometimes as entrepreneurs we are so deeply involved with every aspect of our product that we get too close to it and forget that other people won’t see it the same way we do.
What are your next steps?
Right now we’re focusing on expanding our presence in Chicago. We also plan to start increasing our footprint in the Midwest in the next couple of months. I think Green Sheep Water is a great match for parks and universities who are trying to curb their plastic waste output, and we’d love to start working with some of these.
We are also in the process of redesigning our bottle graphics. It’s going to look amazing. In the longer term, we’d like to launch a sparkling option and maybe a couple of natural sparkling flavored products.
We want to be in the know! Name one person, place or thing that you think is one of Chicago’s best-kept secrets—a secret until now, of course.
I’m originally from Mexico, and the food is one of the things that I miss the most. It’s surprisingly hard to find good tortillas in the U.S., so I was beyond excited when I discovered El Milagro shortly after moving to Chicago. You can find their tortillas in a lot of stores, but if you go to their tortilleria in Pilsen, you can get them for a lot cheaper and they also sell other delicious things (like chicharron) that you cannot find in stores.
Q&As are edited for clarity and length.