Drew Whited moves materials along the production line Friday while working at Waggin Water, his company. // Mickey, the company mascot, keeps an eye on the production Friday at Waggin Water. 
(Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)
Drew Whited moves materials along the production line Friday while working at Waggin Water, his company. // Mickey, the company mascot, keeps an eye on the production Friday at Waggin Water. (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)
Whenever Drew Whited travels, beside him is his 6-pound Chihuahua, Mickey. But many times, Whited would forget Mickey’s collapsible water bowl, frequently stopping at restaurants and buying a bottle of water and asking for a bowl or container to put it in.

Knowing this was a common problem for many pet owners — from the casual forgetfulness to dire emergencies — Whited’s solution was to develop Waggin Water, the bottled water equivalent for pets. Water is stored in a plastic bowl container with a peel-off lid, so pet owners can use it to hydrate a furry friend.

Whited started Waggin Water out of his Chicago apartment in June 2020, initially using a small machine that sealed one package at a time to fulfill orders at approximately 1,200 Target stores in December.

Unable to fill orders by himself long-term, he opted to move back to Bloomington — his hometown — to operate the business with his family. On Christmas Eve, Whited moved to Bloomington with an industrial grade sealant machine. He filters water from the area and seals bowls in a warehouse on the west side of the city, with help from his nephews.

“It was kind of a bit of a sacrifice, but I felt in my heart that it was right to come here,” Whited said about moving to his hometown. “I had an opportunity to have my mom and my nephews work for me, which is a fun dream to live out.”
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