Founder of Yuhme, The World's Most Eco-Friendly Water Bottle
Hello world-changers! I am honored and thrilled to present a very special guest post for Modern Merfolk.
It is a rare thing to find a kindred spirit, and when you do, you don't take it for granted.
We connected via a comment thread on Instagram, and before I knew it, I'd found out that she and her family are a year into following a dream of making the world a better place, and succeeding.
Sustainability is on the rise, and it's time for all of us to do our part to contribute to a better world. That's what their company-- Yuhme--is all about. They've made the world's most eco-friendly water bottle, and poured their hearts, souls, and dreams into making sure that clean water is available via a charity organization called Water For Good.
Enjoy her beautiful story, and be sure to watch the Yuhme video below for a look at their gorgeous performance bottles.
It all started with a dream.
Dreams “the bunny” that is. I was approaching maternity leave with our youngest daughter Harlow (now 22 months) and I had decided to give myself one single thing during this time.
That was mental time, space in my head to think.
I bought our then unborn daughter a stuffed animal bunny and called it dreams to be reminded every day what my focus was. She, together with her older sister Freya, are my dreams and for them I had to figure this one out.
I want to show our daughters what we can achieve in a lifetime, and that there are many different ways to live your life. I wanted to spend more time with them and the time I spent away from them or working with them by my side had to be meaningful.
I had for many years lived with the preconceived idea that in order to help others you have to make a lot of money and then you can really make a difference.
However, during my many hours of book reading (if you need a good reading tip please let me know) I came across the book “Start something that matters” by Blake MyCoskie.
To give for every product that you sell- that is just magical.
Both me and my husband used to be elite athletes (swimming & rugby) so making a product in that category was just natural, and to do anything but the best possible way for the environment was out of question.
One day on my way home from the gym I picked up my water bottle and thought “there must be a better way to do this and we will find it”. It didn’t take much to get my husband in on it all and we had started Yuhme.
Yuhme stands for You- Us- Humanity- Me- Environment and represents all we stand for.
And things started to fall into place. I have an affinity to water, we were well aware of the impact the lack of water has in some of the most impoverished countries in the world. Particularly children in Africa, but we also wanted to do something that was environmentally friendly.
Because there is no point to give with one hand but contribute to another problem (global warming), with the other.
There we had it “the world’s most eco-friendly reusable water bottle with a purpose”. It is made out of sugarcane, which is CO2 negative and for each bottle we sell we give 6 months of clean water to a person in Central African Republic via our partner Water for Good.
It has taken us about one full year from idea to finished product.
A lot of soul searching before that, and now two months after the launch of our web shop the work continuously keeps growing.
It has been a very challenging time but the most rewarding time of my life.
In today’s society, we are constantly fed with information that life should look a certain way, but when you start peeling off the layers the truth says otherwise.
Some of the best tips we have gotten along the way I would like to share with you guys.
First, don’t put too much stress on your dream.
And by that, I mean expect nothing and trust the process. The journey has to be so pleasurable that the end result doesn’t matter. I truly believe if we quit our jobs and expect this new dream to feed us from the get go we put a block on our imagination and creativity.
Let it take time.
Which brings me in to the second piece of advice, calculate the cost of your dream. Sounds crazy huh? But I strongly believe if you take the time to sit down and calculate how much day-to-day life costs and how much reaching that dream would cost, you are half way there.
We spent the year living off one salary and saving the other to make sure that one of us could eventually work without pay and also to save a buffer.
This is a very cleansing process and really declutters your life. I once read a book where a man working a busy life with 80 hour+ workweeks so that he could reach his goal of saving $1 000 000. When asked what, he was going to do after reaching this goal, his answer was “go to Thailand for one month and do nothing.” This is CRAZY. How much does a month in Thailand cost? A lot of the time there is such a great disconnect in what we think we need to do to get somewhere.
Finally, follow your heart. Always. Regardless of the outcome you followed your heart.
At the moment, our life is slightly crazy as we still have our other jobs, however my husband has his own building firm and I run a small IT company so we do both have the flexibility.
Both our daughters are in nursery, but we try to focus on picking them up earlier and to do work when they are in bed at night for now. Also, weekends are all about relaxing and spending time with family.
There needs to be some area of life where we can just recharge. As with every dream there is the other side of it- where you have to cut things out.
We rarely buy anything, have a limited social life beyond our closest group of friends and family, our kids have a very limited amount of activities and most of our date nights are in a research institution or in front of the computer.
To us this is a small price to pay.
Every day, good or bad we focus on the purpose.
We have the absolute privilege to provide clean water to those who need it.
Without clean water, there is no life.
When that purpose is found, the daily struggles become less important. Like a wise professor once said “we can truly accomplish anything if we use our time wisely”. Focus on what truly matters and life will have a way to be that much brighter and fulfilling.