SARAH KAUSS

SARAH KAUSS

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WHO
IS
SARAH
KAUSS?

Sarah Kauss is an award-winning, Harvard-educated entrepreneur who’s proving that passion, brains and some brawn can get you to the top of the retail game.
Sarah Kauss
Arizona

In 2009, Sarah had a life-changing moment while hiking in Arizona that inspired her to take hold of a personal passion for conservation and turn it into a new career.

Now, as the CEO & Founder of S’well, Sarah takes a fashion-forward approach to being environmentally friendly, while regularly sharing lessons learned in retail, manufacturing, business building and conservation. As a testament to Sarah’s holistic business acumen, The Women Presidents’ Organization recently named S’well the fastest-growing woman-owned business in the U.S.

QUICK FACTS

1

Sarah owns 100 percent of S’well and is passionate about ridding the world of plastic bottles.

2

She has been a CPA, a global real estate developer and a fashion retail store owner.

3

Sarah was born and raised in Florida, lived in Colorado and New York and loves traveling the world.

4

Sarah’s parents are her #1 mentors and have helped her understand the value of treating teams like family.

5

Sarah believes in the power of mentorship and professional awareness to defining your path to success.

6

Sarah has been recognized as a Fortune “40 Under 40,” an EY Entrepreneurial Winning Woman and a LinkedIn Top Voice.

Some of the Places She’s Recently Spoken

Sarah doesn’t just write about her learnings. She regularly shares her insights on everything from key strategies to launch a business (or expand it) to tips for rolling out new products, building successful partnerships and corporate social responsibility.
WomanCon
GWWIB
University of Maryland

QUESTIONS ANSWERED

WHEN DID THE IDEA FOR S’WELL COME TO YOU?

In 2009 I was hiking in Arizona with my mom. I took a drink from my water bottle, and it was warm. I thought that there has to be a better way to not waste plastic bottles and keep water cold.

HOW DID THAT MOMENT OF INSPIRATION TRANSLATE INTO S’WELL?

That same day, my mom and I were talking about work, and she said, “What would you do if you didn’t have a job and you were finally going to start a company?” I knew the answer right away. I started writing the business plan for S’well during that vacation.

WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY WHEN STARTING S’WELL?

I wouldn’t have been embarrassed to talk about it and I wouldn’t have waited for everything to be perfect before I brought it out in the world. There are so many people who helped me along the way, but they could have helped me sooner if I had just asked.

WHY ARE MENTORS IMPORTANT?

They give us the support we need to make fewer mistakes, faster.

HOW HAS MENTORSHIP
MADE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL LIFE?

Being a part of organizations like Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Woman has provided me with the resources to cultivate a network of mentors that help me navigate some of the unknowns of a business startup.
It’s been a wonderful experience and reaffirmed my commitment to mentoring others. I’m always trying to help others overcome challenges and strive for success by participating in different groups, such as the U.S. Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR WOMEN
WHO WANT TO BE ENTREPRENEURS?

Your idea doesn’t have to be perfect.
It’s about being confident in it. If you think it’s good, there are probably many people out there who will also value it. Also, be patient with yourself – the idea might not come right away. Just make sure to pick up skills, ideas, maturity, confidence at every stage of the discovery process and it will guide you to the answers.

PASSION PROJECTS

Mentoring

Three Places I’m Dreaming of Traveling

Conservation

Unicef Tap Project

U.S. Fund for UNICEF:

S’well® is a proud supporter of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, donating $200,000 since 2015 to help provide clean water to the world’s most vulnerable children. UNICEF works in more than 100 countries around the world to improve access to safe water and sanitation facilities in schools and communities and to promote safe hygiene practices. For example, with just $1, UNICEF can provide one child with access to safe, clean water for a month. To learn more visit www.unicefusa.org.

American Forests

American Forests:

Did you know that the majority of our drinking water comes from forests? S’well is proud to support American Forests’ restoration efforts, in the U.S. and around the world. Together we’ve planted more than half a million trees since 2013.

Drink Up

Drink Up:

S’well is proud to have partnered with Drink Up where for every bottle sold, 10% of the proceeds will go back towards the foundation. Drink Up was formed between the Partnership for a Healthier America – which works with the private sector and PHA Honorary Chair First Lady Michelle Obama to make the healthy, easy choice for busy parents, families and stakeholders across the public and private sectors who are dedicated to encouraging Americans to drink more water more often.