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 brandâ€™s bottle (the idea for it, he says, came to him in a dream). In the companyâ€™s ï¬rst year, the Mist bottle shook up the industry by winning several design awards and placing second behind the Christian Lacroixâ€“ crafted Evian bottle at the Water Innovation Awards in Wiesbaden, Germany.
SWIMMING UPSTREAM: â€œI saw a lot of my buddies drinking bottled water and I thought it was kind of crazy back in â€™96, â€™97,â€ Halliman admits. But he was intrigued enough to investigate the industry. Convinced that it was a â€œreally cool niche market,â€ Halliman initially delved into the business by delivering ï¬ve-gallon water bottles to ofï¬ces. When that became too successful to manage alone, Halliman switched gears and bought into the water ï¬ltration industry. In 2004, he acquired a bottled water company, and in 2008, Mistâ€”which comes from a spring in Tennesseeâ€”was born.
HUSTLE AND FLOW: While he is already selling Mist in Europe, Halliman plans to break into the U.S. market ofï¬cially during the ï¬rst quarter of 2011. However, he is already distributing his water in Atlanta at exclusive events and nightclubs, and introduced it to inï¬‚uential 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. â€œI own 100 percent. No business partners, no loans, no anything. All me,â€ he says. â€œBrokers make money, but owners make changes and differences.â€