Ripple was created in November of 2020 in a small dorm room in North Canton, Ohio by Joe Knopp. Joe had been running a profitable drop shipping company for 6 months while working an internship, but felt like he wasn’t making a real difference in the world, so he put a pause on the businesses and took a trip to Florida with about five books, trying to figure out what was missing and why he wasn’t feeling like himself.
One of those books was Start Something That Matters by the founder of Toms, Blake Mycoskie. The thesis of the book was simple: start something that matters. That book changed Joe’s perspective on business and life forever.
Upon returning from his trip, Joe laid in bed brainstorming problems that he could solve. Growing up, Joe always remembered his Mom saying “ Eat your green beans and drink your water before you get up from the dinner table.” As the thought crossed his mind, he looked across the dorm room at his roommate, Chip, and asked him what he thought about solving the world water crisis. Chip quickly responded with “You’re crazy, someone would have solved the problem by now if it was possible.”
After some research, Joe discovered that he could build a well for about eight to ten thousand dollars. He decided to leverage his entrepreneurial skills learned from dropshipping and his internship to raise enough money for one well.
What Joe and Chip ended up coming up with was Ripple, a brand dedicated to serving others by leveraging high quality product lines to solve real world problems. The team just happened to start by selling high quality water bottles in order to give every human being access to clean drinking water. The team calls themselves Ripple because of the idea that our efforts here will have the ripple effect to impact thousands of lives on the other side of the world, as every 2,000 ripple bottles sold builds a well!
At the end of November 2020, Joe took a leap of faith. He wired every penny that he had saved from working his internship and dropshipping (about $14,000) to a manufacturer that he believed could help him with his dream.
Joe had just enough money to purchase 2,000 ripple bottles to be sold in order to build the first well. Flash forward through the nights filled with anxiety about whether or not our bottles would ever actually arrive, and our ripple bottles FINALLY arrived in March of 2021!!
It took 6 months to sell enough bottles to build our first well (It was the FIRST ever modern solar powered well for a remote village in Uganda!!). This journey included nights of packing bottles to the point of exhaustion as well as cross country trips to deliver bottles to businesses.
There’s so much more I could tell about our story, but if there’s one thing to take away it’s the fact that everyone creates their own ripple in the world: you choose whether or not your ripple is going to be a positive ripple.
Joe created a Ripple, and now its becoming a Wave. But every great change starts as just a Ripple, and We Are The Ripple.