Photos: Cipriana Quann

*Click photos to enlarge


Tell us your name, occupation and where you are from?

My names is Tara Purnell, hailing from our nation’s capital Washington, DC.  I spread love and make magic with WTRMLN WTR, yoga, and music.


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What was the inspiration or idea that sparked Watermelon Water? 

My friends Jody Levy and Harlan Berger, cofounders of WTRMLN WTR started discussing the idea of bottling WTRMLN WTR after Harlan received a fresh batch from a trusted friend for his birthday. Harlan was big fan of coconut water back then, and his clever friend made him some watermelon water to compare the two. That night, we found out that 1) WTRMLN WTR is delicious and 2) it’s got even more nutritional benefits and hydration benefits than coconut water. A few months later World Waters was incorporated, and I came on board to help with the production and launch of our cold-pressed beverage.


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Why watermelon?

It’s super hydrating, very low in sugar, full of vitamin C, helps muscles recover, acts as a natural Viagra, cures hangovers, and tastes like summer in your mouth – incredibly refreshing. 


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How receptive were individuals to your ideas before its success?

People have been falling in love with WTRMLN WTR since the very beginning – even before our first press! Watermelons are the most popular melons in America, year after year, so the idea of getting that taste in a bottle has been pretty thrilling for most people who hear about it.


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What are some facts about watermelons that many of us may be unfamiliar with?

Watermelons are high-alkaline, anti-inflammatory and relieve internal heat. They have high concentrations of L-Citrulline, an amino acid that dilates blood vessels and helps muscles recover quicker – so that’s going to restore you on a cellular level whether you’re on the dance floor, in a triathalon, or in between the sheets – yep, that means WTRMLN WTR acts as a natural Viagra.


Tell us the motive of Watermelon “Baby Dolls” and the Designer of the one piece?

Babydolls are actually a type of watermelon, so that’s where we got the name; there are over 40 varieties! Our bodysuits (aka bottlesuits) were Jody’s idea and I actually worked with a team of 8 artists to design and produce them based on our exact artwork from the bottle. We wanted to appeal to the athletic and fitness-minded consumers and also make a sexy splash in the beverage world. Everyone loves the Babydolls because they’re all smart and sweet: kids think they’re superheroes, women are impressed and often ask where they can get a suit of their own, and men just become silly putty. The suits’ fabric uses wicking technology to pull sweat away from the body, and they’re printed by the people who make Cirque du Soleil costumes. In the end, the suits are a great conversation starter to get people talking about clean food!


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What is the strangest comment, reaction or request regarding the Watermelon Baby Dolls?

Sometimes people assume that the Babydolls are forced to wear the bodysuits and say things like, “You poor thing!” As a feminist, I recognize their misguided pity; but Babydolls aren’t required to wear bottle suits. Each has been excited to wear one of our hand-made limited edition pieces. And I can even say from experience that wearing a bodysuit is truly empowering for a woman to confidently show off her curves and be proud of her body. Also they’re totally comfy and made for all types of athletic activities. I’ve taken a Zumba class in a bottlesuit, practiced yoga in a bottlesuit and even danced in the desert wearing a bottle-suit.


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What would you say to those who don’t have  the positive reinforcement of family or and friends when pursuing a passion?

I’d say be enthusiastic about each small step you take toward your passion and it will be contagious. When my friends and family saw how excited I was to be helping people to be healthier, happier, and more comfortable in their own skin, they couldn’t deny my path. Also not everyone will understand or take you seriously, but we’re living in a time where a lot of our occupations just didn’t exist in the generations before us. Even if you think your ideas have all been thought up before, share them as an offering and connect with other people who had the same thought…or if you think your ideas are completely strange and outlandish, that’s just another reason to share them to inspire someone else to think outside the box.


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What does fear mean to you?

Fear is a chance to be brave, an opportunity to rise and go beyond what we think we’re capable of. Gathering the courage to face my fears has helped me learn to truly love and even admire myself.

Suggestions or advice for those who are afraid to take the first steps in building a business?

Just do it! Start doing the job: take a couple of clients/missions and accept payment. Learn about your own personal work style from your past work experiences. Be real about your strengths and weaknesses. Ask for help when you feel like you’re sinking. Kick your ego to the curb and learn something from every mistake.


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What is the best piece of advice or life lesson you have learned regarding your work?
Surround yourself with people you trust that encourage you to be your best.


What keeps you motivated?
The mission of our company is to seed change and that is broad enough to always keep me motivated. Our goal is more sustainable methods of food production, less waste; right now, we cold-press part of the 800 million pounds of ugly watermelons that would otherwise be considered “waste” melons. We’re also starting conversations about food equality –why aren’t there more affordable healthy food options in low-income communities? We strive to educate people about what we put into our bodies to promote better eating habits, healthier humans, and a happier world.


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Current music playlist and favorite book?
I’m currently listening to a lot of my own music! I’m a singer and play a little ukulele, so I recently started writing songs with friends, and playing the instrumentals on repeat helps the melodies and lyrics reveal themselves to me. My favorite book is Siddhartha.


Favorite restaurant and dish you would not want to live without?
Well, I wouldn’t want to live without WTRMLN WTR! My favorite restaurant is Locanda Vini e Olii –a little dream of an Italian restaurant right around the corner from my Brooklyn apartment.


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Do you have a workout/exercise routine? If so, what is your routine?
I’m a certified yoga teacher and have been developing sequences for my own home practice that last anywhere from 20 minutes to 90 minutes. I try to do a combination of strength training and cardio once a week with friends, and I did 50 squats waiting on a subway platform today. Seriously, squats are a girl’s best friend!


Set the mood of your work space; do you listen to music, enjoy silence, turn off your phone etc…
It really depends on the task at hand…for creative work, I prefer silence. I use hand-written lists and an old-school Moleskin planner. I keep snacks like raw almonds and a tall glass of water near my desk, and often hold my next meal hostage until I’ve finished the task at hand. I love eating and cooking so food can be a real distraction for me!


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What is your favorite life lesson

My favorite poem sums it up! Read it at

Favorite inspirational quote?
“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson


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Future projects or new locations for WTRMLNWTR?

We are thrilled to be launching in Los Angeles right now and soon in Northern California and Florida. We always have awesome marketing projects brewing…look out for our outdoor ad campaign all across Manhattan later this month.


Where can we find WTRMLNWTR?

WTRMLN WTR is sold in Whole Foods, Fairway, Gourmet Garage, and nearly 200 other natural markets throughout New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Reference our website ( or instagram (@WTRMLNWTR) for retail locations near specific zip codes. In New York City, we’re also sold in fitness centers like Jivamukti Yoga Center and Brick New York and venues such as Provocateur and No.8. Our hot pink Soho pop-up store is located at 187 Spring Street between Sullivan and Thompson. Come thru!!
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