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Federal Prison Time Leads Man to Start Bottled Water Company

Mike Bagley, Founder of Jellyfish Water, is currently the sole delivery person for all local orders. (Photo courtesy of Mike Bagley)

Alexandria, VA – While serving two years in a federal prison camp drinking only water every day, Mike Bagley became very in-tune with his thoughts, emotions, actions, feelings, and beliefs.

“For my two years there, I only drank water, no soda, juice, or alcohol. I ate healthy every day, worked out physically, spiritually, and emotionally. The lockdown where I was, was similar to what everyone else experienced: people having emotional and physical problems as a result of the pandemic and being locked down.”

The reflection and change of habits inspired Jellyfish Water, what Bagley calls “hydrotherapy for the soul.”

Purified, manufactured, and bottled in Maryland, stored in and shipped out of Alexandria, Bagley is proud to promote his local, made-in-the-USA product. He is also pleased to promote the message on the bottle: For over 500 million years, the mission of a jellyfish has been to survive, adapt, and succeed in water. Our mission as a company is to produce a bottle of water that inspires you to survive, adapt, and succeed in life. Refresh. Reset. Rejoice.

The idea behind Jellyfish water was conceived during the lockdown, as were many others, but Bagley’s lockdown was different from those experienced by other local business owners.

Bagley believes that everyone can identify with the sentiment on his labels—Refresh. Reset. Rejoice—as essentially everyone had to refresh and reset during the pandemic, whether to new lifestyles, new jobs, no jobs, missing loved ones, or losing loved ones.

As physical and emotional stressors increased during the pandemic, so did something else: online shopping. “If nothing else, the pandemic has made everyone feel comfortable ordering online,” says Bagley. “My mother couldn’t send an email before, but now she is an Amazon Prime customer.”

This ease with online shopping grew from necessity. People either were not allowed to leave their homes or were so frightened of COVID-19 that everything from groceries to clothing to cars suddenly became available at the tip of a finger out of necessity.

Food and water are necessities, and bottled water will always be relevant, so how did Bagley make his product stand out from all the other waters available online?

“We distinguish ourselves,” he says, “as a bottle of inspiration that you can order online.” Online ordering, as many now know, is simple. Visit the Jellyfish Water website (jellyfishwater.com), place your order, and delivery is free.

Waters sold in cases of 24 are personally delivered by Bagley within the D.C. Metropolitan area. Also, did we mention that delivery is free?

For national shipments, Bagley has partnered with the 3PL (third party logistics) ShipBob, which will facilitate the orders he is sure to get after signing a deal with 98Strong, a company that helps college athletes take advantage of the new NIL (name, image, likeness) rule.

Jellyfish Water is a bottle of inspiration you can order online. It is proudly made in the DMV. (Photo courtesy of Mike Bagley)

The rule allows college athletes to receive goods, payment, sponsorships, and endorsements from corporations nationwide. 98Strong specializes in helping Division II and III athletes, the 98 percent who will not become professional athletes.

Not only has Jellyfish Water gone national with this partnership, but it has done so at an incredible pace. The time from the company’s launch on October 15 to signing with 98Strong was less than a month. The period from Bagley’s prison release to signing was a mere 100 days.

All that Bagley has done with his company emphasizes the goodness inherent in water, from its origin story, its message, its natural effects on the body, and its positive impact on future generations. “We want to be a bottle of inspiration, not just a bottle of water,” he says. “We want people to feel good and smile when they read the label and drink the water.”

After two years of refreshing his mind and body in the federal prison camp and 100 days of resetting his life and career, Bagley can now rejoice as he exemplifies the goodness of a product he truly believes in.

“I start every day with a bottle, and I end my night every night with a bottle,” says Bagley. He leaves us with a notion that he started living in his version of lockdown: Every day is a new day, and you can start again, keep going, and be inspired by anything—even something as simple as a bottle of water.

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