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5 Tiny Companies Making Millions

  • 2. Hint Water
  • 2011 revenue: $30+ million
  • Employees: 20
  • Kara Goldin, founder of Hint Water, also noticed that there was an opportunity in the beverage market while trying to satisfy her family. As she began to encourage her four children to make healthier choices she noticed they preferred her pitchers of ice water with sliced fruit. It was then that she realized she was on to something.

    Goldin, a former vice president at AOL (AOL), decided to create the all-natural flavored water. Seven years later, her company has revenue of more than $30 million, with 20 employees and some big name investors like singer-songwriter and Grammy-winner John Legend.

    Despite the success, it's still very much a family-run business. Kara and her husband Theo head up the company's operations.

    The natural essence waters have zero calories, zero sugar and zero artificial flavors and preservatives and initially came in 10 flavors. The brand's message of "Drink Water Not Sugar" has resonated with health conscious consumers. More than 30 nationwide retailers carry her beverage including Whole Foods (WFM), Starbucks (SBUX) and Amazon (AMZN).

    Last year, Hint Water added Hint Fizz, a carbonated version of the beverage.

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