An Interview with Founders Simon and Charlie of Naughty Water

Charlie Brake and Simon Horth Founders of Naughty Water

Meet Simon and Charlie

Naughty Water is a collaboration between two friends and entrepreneurs; Charlie Brake and Simon Horth. They decided to bring their shared passion, for clean living with a dash of healthy hedonism, into the UK drinks market.

Between them, they have co-founded the UK’s most awarded CBD brand of lifestyle and wellbeing products, Naughty Water – and conquered Reality TV and social media. Sometimes, they even liked to take a day off, but unwinding with the usual alcoholic beverages had begun to grow stale and flat. Upon discovering the enormous potential of hard seltzer and its synergy with current health trends, the pair decided to pour their talents into a refreshing new beverage with limitless appeal.

1.Can you explain to us how the idea for your business came to you and how the whole process kicked off?

Simon and I met in September 2019 on a train from Manchester to London.  He recognised me from a reality TV show that I had taken part in. He had just launched a new company and sent me some product to first of all try, and then promote on my social media platform. 

We stayed in touch after this – and began talking about the possibility of developing something together.  Simon had become aware of a new ‘craze’; the hard seltzer market in the US.  Coincidentally, my younger brother was still at University in Arizona, where he had been for the past four years, and he confirmed that it was HUGE – and “was all anyone is drinking out here”.  This is where our lockdown project was born.  

2.What were the biggest challenges you faced when bringing the idea to market?

The biggest challenge was obviously that the world was – and still is – a very different place to the one we lived in pre-pandemic.  The hospitality market was on its knees, and caution was very much the watch word.  Things moved much more slowly; opening bank accounts, registering domain names etc – and every meeting had to take place via Zoom.  The design of the branding and even tastings had to be done remotely, which feels very different when you are in a partnership and trying to get the right ‘vibe’ for the brand.  It’s just not the same – because you can’t bounce off one another in the same way.

3.Where do you think good ideas come from and what inspires you?

 This is a very easy question.  The answer is Simon’s Mum!! She had read an article about hard seltzers and mentioned it to Simon, who then mentioned it to me – and the rest is history!  Personally, my inspiration early on came from my late Grandfather, who, along with his brothers, set up the largest wholesale food distribution company in the UK. He left his legacy behind, and I’d like to leave mine. 

4.What are your company’s values and why are these things important to the business?

It goes without saying, that we are very proud of our organic and environmentally friendly approach to our business. I believe that our friendship and rapport is fundamental to the smooth running of our business.  Beyond that, we are just two guys aiming for success, and to use a favourite quote of mine, “business is all about relationships; there’s no reason to do it alone” (Tej Lalvani).

5.What is next for your brand?

We have just completed our second production run, and have signed one of the UK’s largest wholesalers.  We have also just agreed a distribution/logistics partnership with Lighthouse Brands. We have had international interest in ‘Naughty Water’ from Europe, Asia and even the US, (which is home of the seltzer), so the momentum we have experienced so far has been nothing short of overwhelming. Looking to the future, we hope to introduce more flavours, and continue to develop ‘Naughty Water’, making it the ‘go-to brand’ in a category that is set to be a multi-billion pound industry by the end of the year.

6.What one piece of advice would you have for someone just starting out on their business journey or currently going through a setback?

Don’t overthink it.  Concentrate on quality.  The right product will garner its own attention at the right time.

7.What resources and tools do you use to remain productive or up-to-date on industry trends etc?

I watch an awful lot You-Tube podcasts etc! I’m very pro LinkedIn and Instagram.  I’m lucky to have a large Instagram following, which helps.

More info on Naughty Water

Company Name: Sea Gras Naughty Water Ltd
Brand Name: Naughty Water
LinkedIn handle: Charles Brake
Twitter handle: Charlie_Brake
Facebook handle: Charlie Brake
Instagram handle: CharlieBrake1