Amber Carman started The Water Bar in the rural community of Weaverville (pop. 3,600) in mid-2019. Her unique and compelling idea was to sell ionized drinking water (which is linked to many health benefits) and oxidized acidic water for a variety of other household purposes (cleaning, disinfecting, etc.)
She invested in machinery, signage, tenant improvements and enhancements to the exterior patio where patrons can relax with their water drinks.
What Amber did not expect, however, was all the ancillary issues surrounding managing a business (bookkeeping, financial and cash flow planning, sales tax, assessing pricing structures and projected profits, marketing, etc.) She approached the SBDC and met with advisor Lani Lott.
Between May 2019 and January 2020, Amber and Lani discussed her pricing model, outreach and expansion plans. Lani helped Amber with a number of marketing initiatives (e.g., social media outreach, participation in Farmer’s Markets, POS, etc.) They went through pricing models, bookkeeping methods, expansion ideas and many other issues.
As a result, Amber’s sales began to increase and her business began to grow. She expanded her product line to include natural soda, tea and shaved ice (all using her water) and a couple small food offerings. The Water Bar is becoming a fixture in the rural Trinity County community. And, Amber has unexpectedly gained a trusted advisor and mentor available to help her along the way. “I just love Lani!” Amber said.