Sarah Kauss is an American businesswoman. She is known as the founder and CEO of S'well, a reusable, insulated products manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer. Additionally, she is a member of the EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women program.
Early life and education
Kauss received a bachelor's in accounting from the University of Colorado Boulder. After receiving her bachelor's degree, Kauss worked as a CPA for Ernst & Young in Denver, Colorado and Los Angeles, California. Kauss received her MBA from Harvard Business School.
In 2009, Kauss was inspired to create a more upscale and fashionable reusable water bottle, while hiking in Arizona with her mother. Kauss founded S'well in 2010. Harvard Business School, S'well's first customer, bought bottles from Kauss to give to incoming students. Kauss partnered with her then-boyfriend, Jeff Peck, to launch a S'well boutique in December 2012 in Palm Beach on Worth Avenue. In 2014, S'well's customers included Starbucks, Whole Foods Market, J. Crew and Neiman Marcus. Fortune included Kauss on its 2014 40 under 40 list. In November 2014, she was selected as a member of the 2014 class of EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women. S'well has partnered with TED conferences and designers from Fashion week. She has been featured in Entrepreneur magazine, Fortune magazine and on CNNMoney, and CNBC. By May 2015, S'well had sold four million water bottles. According to Forbes, S'well had over $100M in sales in 2016. She also created an additional product line, S'ip by S'well.
In 2016, S'well was listed first on the Women President's Organization list of fifty fastest-growing women-owned businesses. In 2016, Kauss was named number 49 on the Business Insider 100 list, The Creators. She was also recognized on Inc.'s "Most Impressive Women Entrepreneurs of 2016" list. In 2018, Kauss was named one of Aspen Institute's Henry Crown Fellows. The fellowship trains entrepreneurs to build a better society by tackling world problems.
From 2010 to 2014, Kauss donated a portion of her company's profits to WaterAid, an organization that helps people without clean water sources. The company partners with organizations such as American Forest, Drink Up, Fashion Targets Breast Cancer and No Shave November. In 2015, her company donated $100,000 to UNICEF and partnered with its Tap Project to provide children with clean water. Kauss is a mentor for the U.S. Department of State Global Women's Mentoring Partnership.