By Ronda Racha Penrice
Photography by Derek Blanks
HE IS: The founder and CEO of Lucid Enterprises, which produces Mist Premium Spring Water. The entrepreneur, who was born and raised in Decatur, even designed the brand’s bottle (the idea for it, he says, came to him in a dream). In the company’s ﬁrst year, the Mist bottle shook up the industry by winning several design awards and placing second behind the Christian Lacroix– crafted Evian bottle at the Water Innovation Awards in Wiesbaden, Germany.
SWIMMING UPSTREAM: “I saw a lot of my buddies drinking bottled water and I thought it was kind of crazy back in ’96, ’97,” Halliman admits. But he was intrigued enough to investigate the industry. Convinced that it was a “really cool niche market,” Halliman initially delved into the business by delivering ﬁve-gallon water bottles to ofﬁces. When that became too successful to manage alone, Halliman switched gears and bought into the water ﬁltration industry. In 2004, he acquired a bottled water company, and in 2008, Mist—which comes from a spring in Tennessee—was born.
HUSTLE AND FLOW: While he is already selling Mist in Europe, Halliman plans to break into the U.S. market ofﬁcially during the ﬁrst quarter of 2011. However, he is already distributing his water in Atlanta at exclusive events and nightclubs, and introduced it to inﬂuential tastemakers as a sponsor of the 2010 NAACP Image Awards. Recently, he produced Mist Live, a music series featuring artists like Res and Joi. Halliman says he plans to launch his own vodka next year as well.
COOL RUNNINGS: Halliman, who in 1997 started Lucid Enterprises with $10,000 of his own money, believes in ownership. “I own 100 percent. No business partners, no loans, no anything. All me,” he says. “Brokers make money, but owners make changes and differences.”