Hydrating the Soul

Life is a luxury with ‘This is Good Water’

By Amy Nicole Tangel

When the pandemic hit and grocery store shelves became bare, Philadelphia based fashion entrepreneurs, Dave Miller and Mel Nazlume, felt a calling to provide something people truly needed in their community.

 “Everyday I was going to the market and the cupboards were so bare,” Dave said.

One day when he was shopping, he began feeling distressed about the lack of essential products and empty shelves.  While on the phone with Mel in the middle of the grocery store, a light bulb went off.  They decided right then and there they wanted to manufacture water.

“[Water] seemed like the essential product, pre-covid, post-covid; no matter what,” he said.

Mel, who has been an educator for over 30 years and owner of online clothing boutique, Emmy Elle Clothing said it was at the height of the shutdown when her and Dave decided to combine their forces and began brainstorming ideas.  They did not originally set out with the goal of manufacturing water, she said, but they just wanted to do something to help others.

“I am not new to entrepreneurship, just new to the beverage industry,” she explained.

In 2006, Dave who is a U.S. Army military veteran and a healthcare worker came home from the service and in that time in 2007 he started a clothing line, Peace and Love Attire, while continuing to live a life of service in the medical field. Dave said he tried to be as cautious as he could during the height of the health crisis and wanted to avoid the supermarket as much as possible, but he loves to cook.

A true birth child of the pandemic, Mel said the entire company was essentially built in the middle of a park.

“We were having meetings [water tastings] in the middle of the park in the middle of the day for the sake of social distancing,” she said.

Eventually, they connected with a bottling facility, Far Away Springs in Brandonville, PA. The water from the Pennsylvania springs, Dave said, stands out from other waters. Not only does the water taste delicious, he explained, but also the spring company makes their bottles and distributes directly on site.

“The water goes straight from the spring into their bottling facility,” Mel added.

And just like that, This is Good Water was born. Working with what they had, Dave and Mel decided to use a logo that was already in existence from his clothing line. Mel said it was a just “for now” decision and what they thought would be temporary, but the symbol representing peace and love stuck.

The first delivery of water came in June 2020 to Dave’s mother’s doorstep after delays in production and shipments with everything being shutdown, so when the time finally came he matter-of-factly told his mom to just throw the first 10 bottles in the fridge and would be by to get them in the morning.

What ties this duo together and the marketing behind the bottle is the Vice President of Visual Media Production, Ty Brown.  Ty joined Mel and Dave in July of 2020 after trying the water for himself and eventually changing his own health for the better because of it.

Three years ago, Ty was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and said he had never drank water in his life up until that point.  Although Ty was proactive in his health, it wasn’t until he tasted This is Good Water that a water tasted good to him for the first time ever.  For Ty, he said the water has changed his life forever and the reason he knew he had to be a part of Mel and Dave’s team.

“Never drank water.  I thought drinking iced tea was better than soda before I would drink water,” he said.

Today, Ty not only drinks This is Good Water every day, but his mother, who was also never a water drinker, it is now all she drinks.  While Ty is humble in his sentiment with the work he has done to create a successful “direct-to consumer” business model, Dave said the distribution plans Ty has implemented for This is Good Water and the expertise he offered as a believer in the mission from the beginning has been integral in the company taking off.

“Ty is a really, really key part to what we do,” said Dave.

As a result of Ty’s role in getting This is Good Water out into the world, in less than two years, it is available nationwide online with shipping for six and 12 packs.  Local delivery is available in 24 bottle cases in Philadelphia, and parts of New Jersey and Delaware.  Most recently, This is Good Water has made it’s way to New York and has been sponsor to fashion events and art receptions throughout Manhattan.

What sets This is Good Water apart from the rest is the mission in itself and the message to their clients in their slogan, “Life is a Luxury.”  The company is not competing with other water companies, because their focus is on the individual health side.

“Self-care, self-love first,” Ty said, explaining that it’s all about loving yourself and treating your body the way it deserves to be treated.

Going hand-in-hand with self-care is the passion held by the company to bring the water to the inner city and to literally put This is Good Water in the hands of the young generation.  For Dave, he said working with the kids and the schools is where his heart lies, having grown up in the inner city himself.

“It’s a lack of certain things.  It’s a lack of positive influences, so we try to do our piece with that,” he continued.

Most recently, This is Good Water adopted West Philly Cornerstone Charter School and for the past three months they have hosted a monthly honors breakfast. The honors breakfast has just been the jumping off point for the company and the work Dave said he wants to do in the future with kids everywhere. 

Of course, Dave said they love giving the kids waters and t-shirts, but it’s the new programs they are implementing, such as “Effort Paired with Excellence” to recognize the efforts from the small to the biggest accomplishments of all kids so no child feels left out that really inspires him to keep doing more.  Not everyone can get straight A’s, Dave said, it is important to help those kids.

“It’s not even just about the water piece with that.  It’s about showing these kids people that look like them are doing these cool things,” he said noting that they deserve to be praised.

For Mel, Ty and Dave the story is the same when it comes to their passion for being a positive influence on the kids in their community.  They don’t just want to help inner-city kids in their own backyard, but they have goals of reaching kids across the country.

“Inner-city kids picking up bottles of water instead of bottles of soda […] that makes me happy,” said Ty.

Looking forward to, 2022, Mel said securing investors is one of her biggest goals on the business end, but the community service aspect will always be number one.  Before the water even landed, it was all about how the water could bring positive changes in the community through jobs and opportunities to give back.

In the past two years since the launch of This is Good Water, a certain amount of water is donated every month to various causes and has even been sent to Africa, Flint, Michigan and has sponsored local community events such as outdoor movie nights in parks for kids.

Although the trio is focused primarily on helping others and not the numbers, they do have a goal and a campaign to “Race to the Millionth Case” in 2022.  A celebration is currently in the works and the millionth case of water will have a special surprise for the lucky winner.

To place orders and to learn more about This is Good Water, visit www.thisisgoodwater.com.  For the most up-to-date events and happenings, follow them on Instagram @thisisgoodwater and Facebook @Good Water.

Feature Photo: Amy Nicole Tangel

Gallery Photos courtesy This is Good Water