Soccer Mom‘s Dream of a  
    Swimming
Pool Gets Canned!

                                     By John Goodson

When Drew Aultman‘s husband dismissed her dreams of having a swimming pool by saying she could "can" that idea, that‘s exactly what she did. 

While sunning and shopping along the beach, Aultman stumbled across a product that she instantly fell in love with – an aerosol product that sprayed an extremely fine mist of water. Great for cooling off at the beach or poolside, she thought, but this simple product could be used for so many other things. She enjoyed the product, as did her husband and three children, but the frustrating thing was it was so difficult to find. 

"The product has been popular in Europe for decades," says Aultman. "I thought that if only someone would make this product here in the States and make it more accessible, people would love using the product. 

It came as no surprise to Aultman‘s family that she would be excited about a water-only product. She spent most of her youth surrounded by it. With national and international spring board diving titles to her credit, her plunge into the idea of launching a purified water spray product seemed only natural.  Maybe she couldn't have a pool, but she could bask in the excitement of a new business venture. She decided to develop and manufacture a product she would tag "swimming pool in a can" and draw from her background as an advertising executive to form a strong marketing plan.

So the soccer mom from Southwest Georgia dove into the complex world of aerosol technology determined not just to make the product, but to make it better than its Continental cousins. But Aultman had barely gotten her feet wet when she stumbled upon some challenges. 

"I never dreamed I would not be able to find all of my packaging components here in the States." says Aultman. She soon learned that because much of the packaging produced in the United States is purely cost-driven, she had to look to Europe for the designs that would reflect the upscale image of her product. “I thought, OK, I‘m only selling water. I‘ve got to look good – really good!" Aultman is quick to point out that her company‘s water is pure water that exceeds the FDA‘s standards for purified water used in pharmaceutical products. Her goal was to provide her customers with the best water spray product on the market. "This water is not only purified, but also sterilized to ensure quality. We‘ve also used medical-grade nitrogen as the propellant because once again, it is the best," she concedes, "but this product is for people who are very particular about what they put against their skin.” 

As it turns out, the packaging parts are imported from Switzerland, France and Italy. “The nozzle that controls the spray pattern and droplet size was of great importance,” Aultman says. “SeaquistPerfect, the valve manufacturer, is an American company, but the particular valve I needed is made in their facility in France. The cans are manufactured by Nussbaum in Switzerland and the caps from Berry Plastic‘s Italian facility Capsol located in Milan. 

Aultman started this venture with no working knowledge of the aerosol industry. Now, she says she feels confident when talking to manufacturers in the business. "At first, I would call and say, ‘You know that thingamajig on the top of the can? Well, I‘m looking for one that does such and such.‘ Now I know that thingamajig is called an actuator button. The aerosol industry is like any other – it has its own language."

And communication with the Europeans also presented some challenges. There was a language barrier and the time-change factor, but Aultman adjusted to both, and the project was not delayed too much. "I am blessed to have met so many nice people in this business,” she says. "Many relationships I have made have become friendships that I am sure will last a lifetime. I am one of those who firmly believes it‘s not want you get at the end of the journey, but who you become in the process."

Aultman hopes her product will take-off and allow yet another dream of hers to become a reality. After an unfortunate encounter at the local mall one evening, she felt an overwhelming calling to make a difference in the prevention of child abuse. She made some phone calls and was soon asked to join the board of a local organization that provides temporary shelter for abused children. "Some of the cases we were dealing with were so horrible and sad. I knew my mission would be to find a way to help these kids." When Aultman first thought of the idea for the product it occurred to her that this may be the vehicle that could allow that goal to become a reality. She knew she wanted to form a foundation funded by a portion of the profits from the sale of her product. 

At her mother-in-law‘s suggestion, she used a combination of her own children‘s names and formed the Andrew H. Jordan Foundation for Children. 'Children are our future' is not just a cliché, it‘s the truth,” Aultman says. “We‘d be wise to invest more effort in helping them when they are young so that they can grow up to be healthy, contributing members of society. Abusive parents teach their children to be abusive parents. Helping prevent physical and sexual abuse as well as neglect is a main area of concern. Another important issue the foundation will address is that of childhood obesity. The number of overweight children in America is staggering. Children need to be taught how to care for their bodies through proper nutrition and exercise when they are young. Like many areas, once we are adults, the habits we learn early on are so engrained, it‘s difficult to change." If her company is successful, Aultman says she will be in position to help fund programs and events that help those who cannot help themselves. "I know it‘s a gamble, but I believe so strongly in this product I am willing to take the risks. Not only is this product so much fun, it‘s also incredibly useful – limited only by your imagination I like to say."

• Restores skin‘s natural pH balance after exercise
• Gently washes away perspiration and pollutants
• Soothing refreshment after facial and dermatological treatments
• Instant hydration for dry, thirsty skin
• Revitalizes make-up
• Plumps surface of skin for a more youthful appearance
• When applied prior to moisturizer, maximizes moisture retention
• Purified, de-mineralized water means no residue to irritate or dry    sensitive skin.
• Instant relief for hot flashes
• Perfect for cleansing after aggressive facial treatments and dermatological procedures because the water is sterilized ensuring quality and safety
• So gentle it is great for expectant mothers and the delicate skin of babies
• Instant fix for a child‘s “bed head” in the morning rush to school (or an adult‘s bed head!)
• Great for cleaning children‘s hands before lunch in the park
• During or after sports, it‘s a quick cool-off for athletes or spectators
• Convenient for clean ups while traveling

 “I have sensitive skin,” says Aultman “so it was very important that this product contain no alcohol, fragrance or preservatives. And as a mother of three, I could definitely appreciate the purity issue for those moms who want to use this on their young children.”

 Whenever anyone sees Aultman using the product on herself or her children, she often gets the same question, "Where did you get that and can you get me some?" Splash Cool and Watersall will make their first national public appearance this spring at the Spa and Resort trade show in New York. The products will be sold locally through The Mint Julep Day Spa, Place On The Pointe, Nature‘s Cure, The Pink Market and Jesse‘s and Salon in Sylvester.

Profile of the Entrepreneur
Drew Gunnels Aultman, 42, is a native Albanian
Attended Deerfield Windsor School – 1968-1977
Graduated in 1980, Leon High School, Tallahassee, Fla.

Georgia age group state champion every year
from age 8 (first year to compete in the state
10 and under division) to age 17. She was a
Georgia AAU All-Star nine consecutive years
Georgia AAU Diver of the Year in 1977.

Won six national titles:
Age Group National champion, twice
YMCA National champion, twice
Masters Outdoor champion, twice

Won three international titles and many other silver
and bronze place finishes in national and
international competitions.

Awarded a diving scholarship to the University
Alabama and graduated in 1985 with a bachelor‘s
degree in advertising and public relations with
minor in dance. SEC Championship third place
her freshman year.

Miss Albany 1984, Miss Georgia contestant

Albany Sports Hall of Fame – inductee 1989

Winner of six Addy Awards for creative advertising
while owner of Knight Advertising

Member First United Methodist Church

Community Involvement includes Open Arms, Inc.; The Junior League of Albany; Albany Museum of Art; Dougherty County Medical Society; Darton College Boosters; March of Dimes; American Heart Association as well as many more charitable organizations and events.

Drew is married and has three children.

Appearing in the May/June 2005 issue of Southwest Georgia Living Magazine



 

 

Watersall, Inc. · 516.692.5472 · info@watersall.com