Short Story

Richmond Water is a truly sustainable water brand that sources local water and local art in a movement to change how people hydrate. Backers of this campaign will get a limited edition aluminum bottle of Richmond Water plus other selected rewards.

Richmond Water Debut

by Will Melton

  • $125,000.00

    Funding Goal
  • $3,160.00

    Funds Raised
  • 0

    Days to go
  • Goal and Date

    Campaign End Method
Raised Percent :
Minimum amount is $5 Maximum amount is $5000 Put a valid number
Richmond, VA, United States (US)

Campaign Story

Key Aims of This Project

🌎  Greatly Reduce Single-Use Plastic Bottles
🖼  Promote Local Artists With Rotating Can Art
💛  Donate $.50 from Each Can to Rotating Nonprofits
✅  Give Customers the Power to Choose Future Can Art & Nonprofits
💧  Repair & Install Public Refill Stations to Encourage Reuse

What happens when you ask “what if?”

What if there was a really good shot we could make RVA cleaner, healthier, and stronger using a little courageous creativity?

There is better than a good shot and that is what Richmond Water represents.

A Growing Problem

It was just an idea on December 26, 2022. What started as a frustration about water consumption from plastic turned into Richmond Water, a viable solution to a problem. The reality is, plastic bottles of water are the default option in many cases. If not at home, at work, at conferences, at concerts, at festivals – wherever people gather, water is sold in plastic bottles.

Growing in volume every year, the amount of water sold in plastic containers in 2021 reached 15.5 billion gallons in America alone.

There has to be a better option and we can make small shifts in our choices that improve things over time.

A Local & Sustainable Solution

Richmond Water is providing local artesian water in a durable, collectible, recyclable aluminum bottle, designed by local artists with $.50 from each bottle produced going to local nonprofits. The water comes from our partners at Virginia Artesian Bottling Company in Hanover County, Virginia, and is filtered and bottled in a facility run entirely on solar energy.

Our sustainable water solution doesn’t solve the problem without an abundance of places to refill, so we’ve begun a campaign to repair existing public refill stations (we’re currently in talks with Bon Secours & James River Parks about two broken refill stations and making progress). We will also install free Richmond Water-branded public refill stations to amplify sustainable hydration options for RVA.

A Community-Driven Project

As we distribute our sustainable bottles in the community, we will introduce rotating bottle art, paired with rotating nonprofit beneficiaries, selected by our customers through an online voting process.

With your support in this campaign, Richmond Water will go from a 10,000-bottle campaign to a full-production run of 250,000 bottles, reaching across community bridges to support at least four more local artists and nonprofits. 

When you support this campaign at any level, you’ll get a vote on future artists and nonprofit beneficiaries. Voting will commence for full-production artists in mere weeks.

Water will be available by the case in April and individual bottle rewards will be available at our public pickup events scheduled throughout the year. Our market schedule will be released in April.

Swag will be available at or around our Classified Launch Party in June. Details to follow. (We’ll help you find a buyer for your ticket if you can’t be there on the selected date.)

Our launch party is being planned by early email subscribers at a private celebration on April 15. They will be selecting the venue, libations, food, music, and quirks that will make this party a true RVA event. Get your tickets now through this campaign. They won’t get less expensive as our event budget grows.

The Future of Water Summit in the Fall of 2023 will be a panel discussion and convener of community leaders to discuss our drinking water supply and the challenges we face as a community to provide and encourage healthy drinking water options. We’ll discuss topics including waste, sanitation, fluoridation, municipal water safety, emissions associated with water distribution, and more. We’re in discussions with some exciting panelists and will update campaign supporters as we have developments.

Expect even more truly Richmond and truly transformative events as we launch more local artists, celebrate more local chefs, promote more local makers, and jam out with more local musicians in our pursuit to create a better community.

Ham on Your Can

Please join us in this sustainable celebration of local art, local artists, and local doers who make Richmond rich and help us shape the future of hydration in Richmond. Support our campaign for as little as $5 and get a limited-edition bottle featuring art from Hamilton Glass and a vote on a future artist and charity. Back this project in a bigger way and help us select a future artist for $4,000 and a future nonprofit for $5,000. Every supporter of this campaign will get at least one standard bottle of Richmond water and a vote.

Watch the Full-Length Documentary, 167 Plastic Bottles



1 Limited Edition Bottle of Richmond Water With Hamilton Glass Artwork

Help us install free public refill stations.

Only 25,000 bottles with this design will ever be made so pledge $5 and you can be one of the first people to get your hands on Richmond Water!

Single aluminum bottles are available for pickup at scheduled events throughout the year. Select a case reward to get free early delivery.

April, 2023

Estimated Delivery
12 backers
3988 rewards left


1 Limited Edition Stainless Steel Richmond Water Bottle + 1 Bottle of Richmond Water

Enjoy our refillable stainless steel water bottle forever, wherever you go. Featuring a mashup of designs from local artists Hamilton Glass and Noah Scalin.

Help us pay the artists for this edition.

June, 2023

Estimated Delivery
4 backers
246 rewards left


1 Hamilton Glass Signed Bottle + 1 Unsigned Richmond Water Bottle

Our very first can, but it's signed by featured artist and celebrated Richmond muralist Hamilton Glass. Only 100 will ever be distributed so pledge now to lock in one of these rare items!

A portion of proceeds from all rewards supports Mending Walls.

April, 2023

Estimated Delivery
1 backers
99 rewards left


1 Limited Edition Organic Richmond Water T-Shirt + 1 Bottle of Richmond Water

In love with the artwork for this release? Why not wear it! Our shirts are made with the support of local shirt makers with sustainable fabrics. Choose from unisex or womens. Enter your choice and size at checkout.

June, 2023

Estimated Delivery
2 backers
248 rewards left


1 Ticket to The Future of Water Summit in Fall 2023 + 1 Bottle of Richmond Water

Understand the challenges facing our waterways, oceans, and drinking water supply. Hear from the community leaders working to improve sanitation, quality, sustainability, and access to water in the Richmond region. Panelists announced soon.

September, 2023

Estimated Delivery
2 backers
48 rewards left


1 Limited Edition Medium-Weight Richmond Water Hoodie + 1 Bottle of Richmond Water

Stay warm inside this summer, support local, and spread the word about the new RVA sustainable water option with our branded hoodie. Hoodies are made with 100% organic cotton. Enter your size in the notes at checkout.

June, 2023

Estimated Delivery
1 backers
124 rewards left


1 Case of 24 Bottles of Richmond Water

The best way to secure this limited edition bottle is to support us at this level. Same-week delivery is included.

Need more than one case? Complete checkout and support us a second time at this level and we will fulfill your order.

April, 2023

Estimated Delivery
3 backers
197 rewards left


1 Ticket to Our Classified Launch Party + 1 Bottle of Richmond Water

This epic launch party on a TBD date in June is a CLASSIFIED event for fans of Richmond Water - details for this party are being planned by early Richmond Water email subscribers at a free private April 15 celebration.

(It pays to be a subscriber.)

June, 2023

Estimated Delivery
3 backers
97 rewards left


1 Extremely Limited Edition Signed Framed Can Art + 1 Bottle of Richmond Water

Make our very first bottle design a piece of art for your home or office - or better yet, both! Get this framed feature artwork print from the bottle and launch campaign, SIGNED by celebrated artist and Richmond muralist, Hamilton Glass.

June, 2023

Estimated Delivery
1 backers
24 rewards left


Truly Richmond Water Starter Pack

For our most dedicated fans, you get a Big Ol Bundle:
- 1 Bottle of Richmond Water
- 1 Limited Edition Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- 1 Limited Edition T-Shirt
- 1 Limited Edition Hoodie
- 1 Ticket to the Launch Party
- 1 Ticket to the Future of Water Summit
- 1 Signed Limited Edition Framed Can Art by Hamilton Glass

June, 2023

Estimated Delivery
1 backers
11 rewards left


Intimate Dinner With the Artists + 2 Bottles of Richmond Water

Enjoy a wine-paired, chef-presented dinner for two at a favorite RVA eatery accompanied by the artistic minds behind this release:

- Brand Designer Nikki Peters
- Font Designer Noah Scalin
- Featured Artist Hamilton Glass
- Richmond Water Founder Will Melton

June, 2023

Estimated Delivery
0 backers
1 rewards left


Designate a Local Artist + 1 Bottle of Richmond Water

Thinking of a local artist whose work deserves some visibility and would look amazing on our cans? This perk gives you the power to pick a future artist to help design one of our cans. If for any reason Richmond Water does not begin full production, this reward will be refunded.

June, 2023

Estimated Delivery
0 backers
1 rewards left


Designate a Local Charity for a $13,500 Donation + 1 Bottle of Richmond Water

Have a charity in mind? This perk gives you the power to choose a charity to receive all of the Richmond Water proceeds from a certain run of bottle art. The selected charity will receive at least $13,500 from the run. If for any reason Richmond Water does not begin full production, this reward will be refunded.

June, 2023

Estimated Delivery
0 backers
1 rewards left
  • 03-02-2023

    Three Months Later & We Are Finally Live!

    We have secured our art licenses, bottled 10,000 cans of water, finalized our documentary, designed our crowdfunding reward options, and launched our campaign! Supporters can finally get access to Richmond Water.

    As we open up this opportunity to the general public, we will be spending the few couple weeks meeting with concert venues, market organizers, breweries, restaurants, retailers, government and academic institutions, and festival organizers about carrying Richmond Water in their locations. We are speaking first to those who have reached out to us, but we are highly interested in being present at breweries, performing arts venues, sports venues, and festivals, so contacts are welcome.

    We also have meetings scheduled with municipal leaders in Richmond and Chesterfield County about repairing and installing free public refill stations around the region and accompanying Keep Virginia Cozy on a trash pickup on April 9 to help spread the word about their work.

    We will soon begin accepting nominations for artists and nonprofits to pair with our first full-production run and we are currently vetting strategic investor relationships. We have never distributed a beverage product before, but for Richmond\'s sake, we cannot afford to fail on this project, and long-term capital will be needed.

    A lot has transpired since December 26. More updates to come.

  • Now Taking Wholesale Orders!

    Now that we have sufficient inventory of Richmond Water on hand, we are fulfilling bulk orders of a case or more. Thanks to our commercial customers who have already placed orders for their employees for Earth Month or to give away to visitors to their office! We are grateful!

    While our traction on our overall campaign has been a little slower than we were hoping for, we have been extremely encouraged by the retail partners who have reached out to inquire about pricing and minimum order quantities. We are currently in talks with well-known breweries, retailers, golf courses, and performing arts venues and hope to have Richmond Water available at your favorite event venue soon.

    We are also days away from releasing our schedule of events where early supporters will be able to pick up their bottles and new customers can get their hands on their own as well.

    April 24 is our cut-off date for artist nominations, so we encourage submissions and are encouraging you to support our campaign, so you can claim your vote for the next local artist to design our bottles.

    Now that we are taking wholesale orders, we have special pricing for orders of two cases or more. Send us a wholesale inquiry on our homepage or send us a DM on Instagram to request an order link.

    Lastly, stay tuned for some pretty big news. We are getting an upgrade!

Name Donate Amount Date
Angie Cabell $40.00 May 13, 2023
Lisa Clemmer $120.00 May 09, 2023
Lisa Clemmer $0.00 May 09, 2023
Lisa Clemmer $120.00 May 09, 2023
Levata Coleman $40.00 April 20, 2023
Chenoa Forrester $5.00 April 17, 2023
Richmond Region Tourism $300.00 April 15, 2023
Phil Russell, REALTOR $75.00 April 15, 2023
FIT4MOM Richmond $75.00 April 15, 2023
Chris Nelson $45.00 April 12, 2023
AMF Bakery Systems $600.00 April 11, 2023
Mari Kotze $35.00 April 08, 2023
David King $120.00 April 06, 2023
joseph Ready $5.00 April 06, 2023
Michael Street $5.00 April 05, 2023
Travis Kuhn $95.00 April 05, 2023
Berkley McDaniel $45.00 April 04, 2023
Marie Elder $5.00 April 04, 2023
Annie Hedrick $5.00 April 03, 2023
Nancy Feldman $5.00 April 03, 2023
Leigh Graham $5.00 April 03, 2023
Jeannie Wermuth $5.00 April 03, 2023
Chuck McCarthy $35.00 April 03, 2023
Courtney Turrin $1,000.00 April 03, 2023
Anonymous $5.00 April 03, 2023
Robin Brewster $125.00 April 02, 2023
Robin Brewster $30.00 April 02, 2023
Beth Vann-Turnbull $30.00 April 02, 2023
Emily Millhiser $30.00 April 02, 2023
Emily Millhiser $125.00 April 02, 2023
Will Melton $40.00 April 02, 2023