A group of well-known Atlanta water boys have turned their street hustle into a thriving brand.
The brand is called Water Boyz N The Hood, and the merchandise includes hats, t-shirts, hoodies, joggers, and branded water bottles.
Water boy Amir has been selling water for nine years.
He said he was around 7 or 8 when he first started, and he told his three friends, Serge, Mackay, and Mekhi about his plans to sell water, and they started selling water after school.
Serge said he became addicted after his first day selling water because he was happy about the money he made.
Mekhi said once he sold his first case, it was no stopping him.
Filmmaker Greg Williams, who said he used to be a water boy, has documented footage of the water boys over the past few years.
Selling water is an Atlanta thing. It’s a hustle.
Even when I first came down in 2012, it was a thing, like, ‘Hey, you ain’t got any money. Go sell some water.’
I used to do it in front of the club. Like, it was an Atlanta thing.
Water boy Serge said he could flip a $4 – $5 case of water into a $200 – $300 profit.
Amir said he started out going to the same corner every day until his sales started getting low and then he started going to Midtown and Buckhead where the money is.
Filmmaker Greg Williams said the water boys are in survival mode because many of them come from impoverished backgrounds.
Some of these boys know the situations they in, they know where they come up from and they go for what they know, it’s survival mode.
So in that survival mode, I feel like selling water is a that, like, as it relates to the exchange and commerce, it’s a perfect profit margin flip.
Like, it makes sense on the business end.
But if you starving at home or you really like taking care of family, you’re gonna… that’s an easy way to do something that you don’t get in trouble for.
It’s way bigger than just bottles. A water boy’s story is bigger than just a bottle because it’s just what it is it’s a life resource.
Water is a life resource. Everybody needs water to live
Amir, Serge, and Mekhi said it makes them feel good to help provide financially for their families.
The trio transitioned their passion for selling water into a brand.
Mekhi said “Water Boyz N The Hood” stands for “young entrepreneurs who are selling water and started their own brand or who translated from selling water into a brand that can provide for them.”
Serge said his big brother Greg came with the brand, and his brother made the logo for them, and he’s been locked in with the brand ever since.
Watch the “11 Alive” news report “Bigger Than The Bottle” below: