As young lawyers together in San Francisco, Kate Cutler and Tal Winter embraced all things literary, culinary, fashionable, political, beauty-related and healthful. And, based on that accumulated knowledge, they lived their lives mindfully, glamorously and dutifully, even drinking the recommended eight glasses of water a day each...out of disposable plastic bottles.
Over time, they realized that the waste (and lack of style) of those trashy vessels contradicted their overall ethos. That’s when they founded bkr international, a line of soda-lime glass bottles with silicone sleeves that Winter designs based on inspiration from Fashion Week collections, transforming the lowly water bottle into a vital accessory.
Here, the two entrepreneurs share their story of innovation and explain why drinking the right amount of water is integral to maintaining a healthy glow
Live The Process: You describe your routine as: “Eight hours of sleep, eight hours of work, eight hours of fun, eight glasses of water—rinse and repeat.” Were you raised in households that prioritized living balanced lives?
Kate Cutler: We had a busy house with three kids, but we laughed a lot, we traveled a ton (my parents were brave) and we ate dinner together. I think I've always at least tried to have that type of balance because everything suffers if you don't.
Tal Winter: Kate is more balanced than I am, but I’m religious about eight glasses of water a day—that absolutely came from my mom. She has perfect skin and only drinks water. The other “eights” are forever fluctuating based on priorities. Growing up, straight A’s came before fun, though I always managed to have both.
LTP: What inspired you to break from your respective legal paths and found bkr?
KC: While there was not one specific thing, there was a specific day that I do remember. I was at a deposition and surrounded by angry people fighting. I looked around the room and thought, “Hmmm, I think I've had enough.” The idea that I could create something with Tal—something I knew that I wanted and that all my friends would want—was so exciting that I took the leap.
TW: I remember going to trial one day wearing a purple animal print Diane Von Furstenberg dress and red sparkly heels. I looked around the courtroom into a sea of people in brown, drab suits, who were all arguing with each other, and I thought to myself: “There has to be something more for me out there.”
LTP: Since then, what has been the biggest shift in your day-to-day lives? How has it altered your approach to wellness?
KC: Getting enough water was always a chore to me and I was generally dehydrated; now, I always have my gloss bkr in my purse and my big tutu bkr on my desk, which constantly reminds me to drink more water. We did a challenge where we asked people to drink four bkrs a day for 30 days, and it was amazing to see how glowing and beautiful people's skin looked when they were finally hydrated. I'm now very aware that water is the foundation of any beauty regimen. I'm also more aware of the things I buy and use. When I stopped buying disposable water bottles, it made me look at other areas of my life and I really try to buy only things I love.
TW: The single biggest change in my day-to-day life is a level of intense, unrelenting focus that makes it almost impossible to remember to take care of myself. It’s crazier than studying for the Bar Exam—I kid you not. So, I have to be really regimented about my health. I take a long walk around the city every morning. I also became a pescetarian a few years ago, and it’s made a huge difference in my health. The only thing I miss is a good meatball.
LTP: What tip would you offer someone who has a strong idea, but is unsure of how to manifest it?
KC: Talk to people in the industry or people who have started a business. You'll find that everyone has been helped and, in turn, are willing to help others with ideas, connections and advice.
TW: An idea is a good start. Be passionate. Have a work ethic. Don’t give up your day job until you absolutely must. And then never, ever, ever give up.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
KC: Being surrounded by family and friends in the sunshine with a glass of rosé.
TW: Happiness is love on every level, in everything you do and in everything you have.
LTP: What does it mean to you to "Live The Process" and how do you do that every day?
KC: I try to live in the present and really enjoy whatever it is I'm doing rather than always be thinking ahead—it's hard but I do try. Being with my kids helps because they demand undivided attention and I don't want to miss what they have to say.
TW: In the words of Coco Chanel, “My life didn’t please me, so I created my life.” I create my life every day. Find more information on bkr here.