From Zero to Success
If you’ve been in a packie (aka liquor store) recently, you’ve probably seen displays of the Celly Hard Seltzer. Or maybe you’ve ordered one at Loco? Well, Southie resident Tyler Dooley, 28, is the co-founder of this wildly popular vodka and fruit juice cocktail in a can, but he also created Wake Up Water – a light, refreshing drink mix that combines natural energy and hydration
“I’ve never really liked the taste of coffee, but I’m an active person who works a lot and I needed the caffeine,” said Dooley. He didn’t want to drink the unhealthy energy drinks on the market, so he took matters into his own hands and made his own! One that uses premium ingredients, like natural caffeine, electrolytes, and B vitamins to provide a healthy pick-me-up anytime you need it. Another bonus? It only contains 5 calories and no sugar.
Trial and Error
Dooley initially launched Wake Up Water as a bottled product in November 2019. He sold his car and put everything he had into starting the business. 3 months later, Covid hit, and stores weren’t taking on new products.
“I was in a very tough spot. I bought the cheapest car I could find and began driving Uber every morning starting at 4am to bring people from South Boston to Logan Airport to make ends meet. After a few months, nothing was getting resolved, so I took matters into my own hands,” said Dooley.
After coming to the decision that he wanted to go direct-to-consumer, Dooley spent a few months redeveloping the product as a more e-commerce-friendly product. “I made it more lightweight and compact by removing the liquid and keeping the functional ingredients in a powdered form.”
In 2021, he started from zero again, and two years later, Wake Up Water is a 7-figure per year business that has been 100% bootstrapped with no outside investment. Inspiring right?
“I’m going to start documenting my journey and showing more behind-the-scenes content to hopefully help other aspiring entrepreneurs,” said Dooley.
You can follow him at @tylerdooley_ on Instagram and TikTok.
You can find Wake Up Water via the Wake Up Water website or on Amazon.