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She Just Became The First Black Woman In New York To Own & Operate A Water Bottling Company

She Just Became The First Black Woman In New York To Own & Operate A Water Bottling Company

Her children inspired her!

A single mother makes history as the first Black woman in New York to own and operate a water bottling company, Black Enterprise reports.

Paulla McCarthy is the founder and CEO of Youth Saving Society and YSS Water Works. The latter is a water bottling company she came to own after being inspired by her children during the pandemic.





The nurse and single mother of three taught the importance of financial literacy and entrepreneurship to her children during the pandemic. She eventually invested $1600 with her twin boys, encouraging them to sell pallets of water during the pandemic. The boys dubbed themselves The New York Water Boys, purchasing water in bulk from BJs and selling to individuals, supermarkets, and bodegas. The budding entrepreneurs became very successful and eventually landed a contract to sell water to 21 supermarkets. 

It was then that McCarthy reached out to the supermarkets, asking them if they would be interested in carrying a private label water brand. They all agreed, and McCarthy started locating a water company, planning a Poestenkill, New York trip to taste the water. As a result of the pandemic, McCarthy had to stop her financial literacy workshops with students in schools, and she was solely working as a nursing case manager. The business seemed like a perfect opportunity and a chance to build something meaningful. 

She made the trip to taste the water, eventually getting the elderly couple to sell her their 15 acres of land, including an Aquifer, also known as “The Spring.” She began researching the business of water and the bottling industry, utilizing the help of family and friends to fund YSS Water Works since bank loans were hard to come by. After months of preparing and $130,000 in donations in two days, McCarthy purchased the land and became the owner. 

Now, she is working on maintaining her new company and its nonprofit, Youth Saving Society. The Brooklyn native has now launched the YSS Water Works 3 Million Gallon Challenge. She encourages people to purchase her natural spring water with the promise that each dollar will yield 1 YSS Token to be used towards future purchases. Each 10 water tokens is eligible for trade-in to receive 1 YSS Water Coin garners 1 gallon of water. The efforts are in favor of increasing access to high-quality drinking water for underserved communities.

“To combat [the issue of scarcity with natural spring water, we are bringing] our community the absolute best...YSS Water Works is launching our 3 Million Gallon Challenge to pre-sell 3,000,000 gallons of water within the next 30 days and bring access to the hands of the millions in our community,” McCarthy said. 

To support YSS Water Works, pre-order by visiting their site or click the link here to donate to Youth Saving Society. 

Congratulations Paulla!

Photo Courtesy of @PaullaMcCarthy/Instagram