Meet Jessica Larson, President of Indy Soft Water. Indy Soft Water strongly values client relationships and makes it a goal to remain “true” to themselves by promoting honesty and gratitude. Under Jessica’s operation, the company promises to work with only the highest quality products that are made in America, in addition to being environmentally efficient. For the past 15 years, the team has continually educated themselves on new technologies in the industry, especially as they pertain to water conservation.
What does your business do?
At Indy Soft Water, we treat residential and commercial water issues, hard water staining, and filter drinking water for the best taste and quality. We even filter drinking water for large office settings!
Why did you decide to start this business?
Indy Soft Water chose us. We actually purchased the company from my father in 2006. Which looking back seems in some ways harder because there many personalities and patterns already deeply rooted in the company. We were anxious to put our own stamp on things and there was tremendous pushback from people. We never anticipated having to battle for what we viewed as improvements, but we definitely grew from that experience.
What drew you to becoming an entrepreneur?
A degree in Philosophy! I have always wanted to push things as far as I could without self-restriction or limitations set by others. Once we purchased the business in 2006, we knew that we wanted to work for ourselves, and I fell in love with water. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
What advice would you give to those thinking of starting their own business?
Do it! Think about it, but not so much so that you talk yourself out of it.
Once my Dad asked me what I have learned about being a small business owner, and I answered “you don’t own the business, it owns you.” This realization is key when it comes to growing into your role as an entrepreneur.
Why do you feel it is important to be known as a local business?
It is funny to say that we were local before it was “a thing,” but it’s true. It is super exciting to see the movement where individuals really want their companies to support the local community… and we do. Our employees earn living wages, we support our local nonprofits, it is all part of the cycle of a real community.
As a local water treatment company, having a really good handle on the water in our area is essential. Having the knowledge to be a true asset to your community is a great feeling. We love helping people.
What is the biggest challenge in your industry?
Our biggest challenge probably remains the big box store. It is a challenge and an opportunity. We are the warranty service provider for several of the DIY stores, so we often have the opportunity to really help someone whose project has not gone well. Additionally, I would note that conveying the value of purchasing quality products at the local level can be challenging.
Personally, I have also found challenges in being the front person in our organization as a woman. The water industry is traditionally very male-oriented and that is what people expect. We do things differently because we are women-run, and in my opinion, better!
What new events or plans do you have in the near future?
Indy Soft Water has a new counterpart, Kayak Coffee. My husband has taken a big leap into the world of roasting and loves it- I love the benefits of amazing fresh coffee.
What is one fun fact about yourself or your business that people may not know about?
Since the pandemic began, we have been letting our son’s fencing team use the loft in our building…so several nights a week some of Indy’s best fencers are here.
Anything else we should know?
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