For Ash Heather, leaving a stable career in finance to start a new business was a calling. Learn why Ash was inspired to launch Epic Water Filters, and how Amazon Lending is helping him grow.
Before he launched his company, Ash Heather lived in Japan and Singapore, and traveled extensively throughout southeast Asia. While in Thailand and Bali, he saw firsthand how many people lacked access to safe drinking water. He also saw how much plastic trash there was, much of it coming from single-use water bottles. The need for clean drinking water in addition to the stark contrast between the beautiful locations he visited and all the discarded plastic inspired him to start Epic Water Filters.
Ash moved to the U.S. in 2014, and like many startups, got his business off the ground in his basement. With no prior knowledge of water filters, Ash’s journey from initial concept to eventual success has been a roller coaster ride, fueled by his hope for a future world with less plastic waste and easier access to clean water. Epic Water Filters produces a reusable water bottle filled with a powerhouse of a filter, which means that people in countries with poor water quality could drink that water without getting sick.
Since 2015, he has grown from that basement to a corporate office in Boulder, Colorado, as well as a manufacturing facility and warehouse in Florida.
Unique needs require a unique partner
When Ash tried to secure funding to get his business started, he found many traditional avenues closed to him. “Water filtration is far from glamorous,” he says. “And banks don’t always think it’s worth the investment.”
It was crucial for Ash to find a partner who understood Epic Water Filters’ unique needs. As a first-time business owner, he lacked the extensive credit history often required by traditional banks Then, he learned about Amazon Lending on the Seller Forums. Amazon Lending sent a Ash personalized loan offer based on the business’s sales record rather than its credit history. Ash gained access to financing options specifically designed to help free up cash flow to invest in growing his business. As he has continued to build his business, he’s been offered, and accepted increasingly larger financing amounts to cover everything from advertising, to inventory, and hiring additional employees.
We’ve really enjoyed Amazon Lending because the rates have been attractive, and the loan options have kind of grown with us.
Amazon grows with you
Epic Water Filters launched in 2015 with a mission to reduce single-use plastic water bottle pollution. To make progress on its ambitious goal, however, Epic Water Filters wanted to explore new ways to reach a wider audience and optimize its operations. In 2016, they began offering their products in Amazon’s store and experienced streamlined fulfillment and tremendous growth. They expanded their product line to include a wide range of pitchers, fitted filters for popular bottle brands, and home faucet kits that are helping prevent single-use plastic bottles from entering landfills.
There are many Amazon programs Ash takes advantage of, like the Seller Forums, Amazon Ads, Customer Review Insights, and more. Managing all aspects of his business from one place—the Seller Central dashboard—frees up the time Ash can spend creating and marketing. “Everything is just a couple of clicks away,” he says.
To help streamline fulfillment further, Ash and the team decided to enroll in Multi-Channel Fulfillment, which leverages Amazon’s 200-plus fulfillment centers worldwide to provide fast, reliable, and low-cost fulfillment for ecommerce channels beyond Amazon’s store, including EpicWaterFilters.com.
In 2022, Epic Water Filters added Buy with Prime to its own website. “With the advent of Buy with Prime, it’s opened up a whole new world for us,” Ash shares. By launching Buy with Prime, Epic Water Filters now offers Prime shopping benefits on its own ecommerce site, including delivery powered by Multi Channel Fulfillment. Buy with Prime is helping Ash continue to grow the business, increasing the website conversion rate by 40%.
Epic Water Filters has grown from an idea to a 12-person operation, including a team of filtration engineers, thanks to his hard work, and support from Amazon Lending. Ash recommends Amazon Lending to sellers when they start a new business. “When you’re starting up, starting too big can mean you get a huge number of returns that can put you out of business,” he said. “Using Amazon can help prove the concept and Amazon Lending can help finance that. It starts small and grows with you.”