Yuri Cataldo, heard of him? If you haven’t just leave… Nah, I’m just kidding. Yuri is the Founder and CEO of Indigo Water. His work can be found on his website and twitter. First of all explain a little about this company and how it all came about?
IndigoH2O started because of my own health problems and difficulty in finding good quality bottled water. I have a condition called thalassemia minor which effects my red blood cells. After searching for help from my doctors and finding nothing that worked I turned to natural medicine. My natural doctor helped me focus on the minerals I was missing and part of that was my hydration. I became obsessed with water after that part. Fast forward 10 years, I was working as a costume designer and assistant on broadway when the economy collapse and all of my design jobs in NYC dried up. Since I needed to make a change I decided to focus on my obsession and launch the bottled water company I would be proud to drink and tell others about. It took a year of research but in 2012 I launched the premium alkaline water IndigoH2O.
Secondly, how do you go about managing your own company? I have trouble staying afloat of the emails with Soapbox Press from time-to-time…
Years ago I stopped trying to do everything. Now I only focus on what I am good at and outsource the rest. I hire people who are good at what they do and I let them do their jobs. Emails are something I am not great at but I am not at the point where I let an assistant take care of them yet.
How does your brand stay in business both via print and social media. Do you tend to push at one aspect over the other?
I don’t use traditional print media and my social media isn’t that great either. I use online ads through Facebook and Google to target my customers who will pay for high quality bottled water. Anything I do above that is a bonus.
What are your three main tips to remaining the Founder and CEO of Indigo Water?
I remain the founder and CEO because I care the most about the company and product. No one I’ve ever hired even comes close. I also am the only full-time employee of the company. I outsource our use freelancers for everything else.
If you could pass on advice to a young creative who is thinking about starting a business on their own, what would they be and why?
As a creative, you are just as qualified as anyone who went to business school to start a company so don’t feel intimidated. Read as many books as you can, speak with other business owners, do your research, join a mastermind group, and keep your day job until your business is making money. Starting a company is exciting and can also be lonely, having others around you who you can bounce idea’s off of will help greatly. Feel free to reach out to me anytime if you need someone to bounce ideas off of.
One quote that you admire the most?
“Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” -Oscar Wilde
Describe what you do in a sentance…
I help artists and businesses take ideas and turn them into products that get a ton of press.
From ‘The Business of Creative Enterprises’ to ‘Indigo H20’ you have your fingers in many pies. Can you go through these three companies and explain your leading role within them and the aim of the company?
Everything I do these days in interconnected in one way or another. Art Tech Media Group is a marketing company I recently started that works with smaller companies and helps with PR and marketing. Since events make PR easier we teamed up with a gift bag company and work with clients to get their products into award shows then help them get press from it.
I am currently rebuilding IndigoH2O from the ground up. In 2015 I won the award for the best tasting water in the world and had the water featured in the Oscar gift bags. I was able to get so much press over those two weeks that the state of Indiana changed is laws and politiced me out of businesses. Since then I have been partnering with other companies which has taught me how to run a lean company.
The Business of Creative Enterprises isn’t a company but rather an undergrad bachelor’s program I created for Emerson College. I was there for one year and built up the program from scratch. The goal was to teach their art students how to start their own companies. My contract was only for a year and since I launched the successful program in the fall I am no longer with them. I then started the “advance your art” podcast to continue my goal of helping artists start companies.
It’s not on your list but I also work from time to time as a designer in theater, dance or opera. I am currently the resident costume designer for Harvard Dance so twice a year I design their shows.
Lastly, as a great reader myself I’d be interested in hearing what you’re reading at the moment?
I have a tendency of reading lots of non-fiction so lately, I have been breaking it up. Currently reading two books, The Inevitable by Keven Kelley and The Electric Michelangelo by Sarah Hall.