Anyone else feel like staying hydrated is a constant battle? Especially as we head into summer, increasing your water intake is so crucial to your health. But if you’re not great about drinking water (hello, coffee and wine!) you should definitely try our newest obsession—Flow Alkaline Spring Water. Launched in 2015 by Tammy Eckenswiller and her husband Nicholas Reichenbach, this game-changing H20 takes hydration to the next level. It’s not only naturally alkaline, but also rich in minerals and electrolytes. Plus, the packaging is a stylish, boxy shape that’s sealable, making it perfect to throw into a diaper bag, gym tote or purse. It’s also 100 percent recyclable and made using renewable materials. But what we really love is the fresh, subtle flavors like Cucumber + Mint, Strawberry + Rose and especially the new collagen-infused varieties, including Meyer Lemon and Watermelon (they also have “original” for purists!). And we’re in good company—celebs like Halle Berry and Shawn Mendes have also recently teamed up with Flow, on their “Beautiful Inside & Out” Campaign.
We spoke to Tammy, now SVP of Brand Creative, and FLOW’s Chief Marketing Officer, Krissie Millan, about their growing brand, “ying and yang” relationship, strategies they both use as working moms (Tammy has Romy, almost 5, and Krissie has Kieran, 3), and more.
Want to try Flow? Use code MOMSNETWORK20 for 20% off your order at flowhydration.com!
Tammy, can you please tell us how Flow came to be?
My husband and I were living in San Francisco, ready to have our first child—but we were more East Coast people. He was in tech but was getting tired of that one-dimensional world. One weekend he went to Burning Man and had an epiphany. He called me from a satellite phone and said, ‘I think we should launch a water brand.’ I said ‘Are you okay?!’ But he came home and kept talking about it. His family owned property in rural Ontario that was home to a well-known Artesian spring. He suggested putting it into a sustainable package. I was working at Rebecca Minkoff at the time. Then the Christmas holidays came and I had a miscarriage. We were devastated and the pain was unbearable so I thought that it would help me to work through it, by literally working through it. I had taken two weeks off from work for the holidays so I used that time to develop the Flow brand: strategy, architecture, messaging etc. We got the product out in 8 months. Fast forward five years, and I work on the creative and branding, and we have Krissie who handles our whole marketing strategy, and it works.
What an amazing story. Krissie, how did you find yourself working with Tammy?
Tammy was a friend of mine. In 2018, Tammy was already at Flow and living in Toronto. She flew to New York to my baby shower, and my husband was like, I know why you’re here, ha. I immediately loved the product when I tried it and I was really inspired by the brand and its purpose. When Kieran was four months old, I joined Flow. It was a pivotal year for the brand with expansion in the US and I was excited to join Flow at that important time of its growth
Love that! Can you please share a bit more about both of your backgrounds?
Tammy: I began my career in fashion editorial and journalism but I wanted to move into ecommerce because of my education in business. The opportunities in Toronto were nonexistent in Ecommerce at that time (2007) so I moved to NY to work for Gilt. I was an early employee in the start-up and I was fortunate to be able to see the company grow from just 30 employees to 1500 while I was there. My title was Style and Content Editor and then Director. It was an amazing experience because of the incredible people that built the company. I left Gilt to move to SF because my husband’s tech start-up got funding from Google Ventures and the team wanted to be there. I worked with Everlane while I was there but I really missed NY so after only a year I accepted a creative director role at Rebecca Minkoff and moved back. I left Rebecca Minkoff to work full-time for Flow in 2016.
Krissie: I spent the first several years of my career at McKinsey as a management consultant. I also did my MBA at Harvard Business School during this time. I led strategy and growth projects from many different sectors but I always gravitated towards consumer-facing industries (Retail and CPG). While I learned a lot at McKinsey, I also got tired of traveling all the time. After spending two years living in London, my husband and I moved back to New York, and I left consulting to join the Fashion and Luxury Goods space, focusing on my passion: the digital and ecommerce space and leading Direct-to-consumer businesses: Tiffany & Co., Reed Krakoff, Rebecca Minkoff. It was at Rebecca Minkoff that I met Tammy—she was the VP of Brand Creative, and I joined as the VP of Ecommerce and Digital. From Day 1, I felt really connected to Tammy and knew that we were going to work really well together, especially since our skill sets complement each other.
Krissie, do you have any working mom strategies you can share?
My husband works for an investment firm here in Greenwich, Connecticut. He and I are partners when it comes to childcare—he understands (and thankfully, is very patient!) with my work schedule and is supportive of my career. We balance each other out and we try to manage our schedules the best we can. Tactically, we talk through our schedules each week: what big meetings we have/can’t miss; what activities Kieran has scheduled; he usually does drop-offs and I do pick-ups for Kieran (but we check our schedules regularly in case we need to shift); and we try to carve out time on weekends as a family, and with each other. Being a working mom is a team effort – it really does take a village. I won’t be able to do this without my husband, my mom/family, our nanny, and friends.
And I’d like to say that Tammy is an amazing mother and I say this not because she’s my friend and I work with her, but she puts Romy first. She and Nick both work for Flow so sometimes Nick has an important investor call and she has to take a step back to take care of Romy. We are going public and there are a lot of demands on our time and attention. She has navigated this in the most graceful way. She’ll make the work work for her. Even if she has to put extra time when Romy is asleep or on weekends.
What product are you most excited about and why?
Tammy: I’m most excited about the collagen-infused spring water. It just a terrific formula. The collagen is the highest quality grass-fed, hydrolyzed bovine so it’s easier for your body to absorb it and it just tastes amazing. Collagen isn’t an easy thing to dissolve in liquid, that’s why collagen powders work best when you can mask the texture in coffee or a smoothie. Even then it can still taste gritty and can make a mess. This product is just an easy way to get 10g of collagen per serving while you hydrate and It helps support healthy skin, hair, nails and joints.
Krissie, what is next for the brand?
Next year, my goal as CMO is to continue to support the massive growth we’ve had, especially in the US market. There’s so much opportunity and Flow is ready to capture all this growth! In the next few years, I’d like to see Flow as a global brand—to grow beyond North America, into Europe, Asia, Latin America! I’d like to see Flow become the next billion-dollar premium water brand and continue to bring new consumers into the brand and uphold our mission of wellness and sustainability.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Krissie: As mothers we are efficient because you have to get a lot done in a short period of time so we have to balance the “work-role” with the “mom-role”. Finally, as mothers, we tend to be hard on ourselves—maybe that’s a woman thing. We have to learn to celebrate our wins!
Tammy: Just that women are awesome. Moms are the best. Everyone on our executive team aside from one person has young kids, so we can relate to someone who was up with a sick kid who they need to take to the doctor—we all get it. I’ve never been more inspired by anyone than I am by Krissie and the other amazing women on our team. We support each other and we truly make magic together.
Want to try Flow? Use code “MOMSNETWORK20” for 20% off your order at flowhydration.com
This story is sponsored by Flow.