At only 20 years old, Augustine Amoakohene and Daniel Green are single-handedly running the high-quality, eco-friendly alkaline water company Augi Water based in Alexandria. Though these entrepreneurs may be young, they are ready to take the world by storm and change the way we all drink water. District Fray spoke with Amoakohene and Green, who answered questions together about their work, life, style and favorite drinks, rapid-fire style.
District Fray: What inspired you to create Augi Water?
Augustine Amoakohene and Daniel Green: Growing up, I was always into the higher quality waters. I always drank waters like Fiji Water, Evian and Voss because of my mom. She started off as a nurse, so she found it important to drink better quality water or consume better quality anything, because she always says that the most important thing in life is your health. I was inspired to make my own water basically because I wanted to provide something even better than Fiji [or] Evian.
Why was it important to you to make your company environmentally conscious?
Bigger brands like Fiji and Evian don’t really focus on the environmental impact of their work. They just care about their water quality, which is okay. But in our society and the time we live in right now, it’s important to take the environment into consideration because of global warming.
Have local retailers started carrying the brand?
At the moment, no. But we do wish [for] local retailers [to] carry the brand in the future. We have been speaking to several retailers in the area, along with distributors that have the ability to put us in more mainstream retailers such as Whole Foods, Streets Market and stores of that nature. I’ve also spoken to the president and a co-founder of Union Kitchen when I applied to the product accelerator program, so I would want to follow up with them in the future and try to get into local stores. Right now we are talking to a lot of stores in California, and those are the ones that are the most open to carrying our product at the moment. [Note: After this interview was conducted, Augi Water became available for purchase at Glen’s Garden Market.]
In light of current events and as a Black-owned business, how does Augi Water hope to promote diversity and inclusion?
We wouldn’t want to exclude our product and promote it only to any one race. We promote all races to be a part of the Augi Water lifestyle. We are making sure to promote Black Lives Matter across all of our social media. It’s really simple, we wouldn’t ever exclude anyone from any race, that’s just not in our nature. How [Augi Water] was built and how we started was always on [the mission to] accept all.
As a local brand, how do you give back to the community?
We are a smaller brand still, so we’re not yet at the point where we can give a lot of money to organizations that are in support of individuals in need and the Black community. Daniel was at the protests, giving out free water bottles to anyone who needed water after getting tear gassed or to drink. We do the little things that we can do at the moment. As we grow, we are going to give as much back as possible because that is probably one of our main goals as a company.
What are your hopes for the future of your business?
To grow and expand, but also to improve our product in any way possible. We are ready to take in any feedback from customers who enjoy Augi Water. One of our main goals is to create bottles that are 100 percent compostable, which is the next step from our biodegradable bottles. Our number one goal is to benefit the environment, not only to focus on producing high quality water. We hope to make life easier for the customer when it comes to helping the environment.
What does style mean to you? It’s just natural, something that just comes to you. To me, style is just something that makes me feel good, makes me happy. How do you incorporate style into the Augi Water brand? We do photoshoots with designer furniture or architecture. Our style for the brand and our campaigns is based on our surroundings. Which brands do you hope to collaborate with? We’re planning to collaborate with some street brands, and an upcoming brand we’re working with is Seventh Heaven, owned by John Ross. What would you describe as your personal style? High fashion streetwear. What’s your favorite place to hang out? Daniel’s house. That’s where we come up with the most ideas for the brand. What gives you confidence? My style, what I wear on a daily basis. My swagger. Self-love. What trend are you into right now? I’ve recently been into architecture and following architects on social media. What trend do you dislike? TikTok. Who is your style icon? Osiris and Dior [New York-based stylists and brothers featured in Yeezy and Off-White campaigns]. What’s your go-to work from home outfit? A white tee, Needles sweatpants and Yeezy slides. Still or sparkling water? Still. Sparkling at restaurants. Favorite non-water drink? Sweet tea or cream soda, specifically &pizza’s Cereal Milk Cream Soda. What’s your favorite aspect of your work? Having my name on a bottle and owning an alkaline water company since not many people can say that. Especially being 20 years old and African Americans, owning a business that is on its way to being successful is a huge accomplishment for us both. What’s one thing you can’t live without? Augi Water. If I couldn’t say Augi Water, I would say my brothers and friends. What do you love about the DMV? I just like the fact that everything is so close, everything is accessible. The restaurants, especially in D.C., are better than anywhere else. I just like the energy of the people. People from D.C. are one of a kind. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Staying humble, listening before speaking, putting God first, your health second and everything else third. And, though it’s cliché, never let anyone put you in a box. You can actually do anything you put your mind to. What’s your goal for 2020? I want to be in a significant amount of stores locally so that my peers and family members are able to go into the store and buy Augi Water. It just feels good.
Learn more about Augi Water at www.augiwater.com. Follow them on Instagram @augi.water or on Twitter and Facebook @augiwater.
Find Augi Water at Glen’s Garden Market: 2001 S St. NW, DC.
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