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Conversations with the Inspiring MacKenzie Koss

Today we’d like to introduce you to MacKenzie Koss.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve been an athlete half of my life and loved how strong it made me feel. I ran track and cross country starting at an early age and fell in love with the sport. When I went to college and ran I realized a shift in my perspective of how I needed to treat my body. I started adding in yoga by going to a class once a week which also led to me getting my RYT. In addition I went to a chiropractor regularly due to the constant pounding on my body. I started to develop my own workout routines after competing in college and people would ask me in person or on social media if I was an athlete or what I did to look how I did. I realized that I was essentially my own walking billboard. The whole “practice what you preach” really resonates with me. There is a big saturation in the health world especially in our current day and age and I wanted to be sure that I was sticking to my beliefs and really showing people there isn’t just one way to do things. I’m not a fan of the cookie cutter approach when it comes to health and fitness. What I am a fan of is helping people move their bodies daily and developing their own style of workouts while embracing their body type at any age! I knew I needed to develop my own business so that is why I am launching Kosseffect in the spring. This will be a soft launch as I am moving back to the Midwest around the same time that my site and brand will be live. This is a big leap and I am excited to see where it takes me but I’m especially looking forward to how many people I can help along their journey. What will make Kosseffect different than other brands out there is the experience. I am a no-nonsense person so I will never be promoting unhealthy eating habits, selling products that I don’t even use myself and most importantly I will continue to always be real and authentic. That is something that is missing in a lot of the health realms that are available at our fingertips today. Where is the raw moments of struggle and starting over? I want people to feel good when they visit my site or see my social media platform because everyone should feel welcome and not feel bad about who they are as an individual. Body positivity and self care are two things that I really talk about because we have all these ads and different products thrown at us daily so its really hard to maneuver through that and know what is real and what is fake. Keep your eyes peeled for Kosseffect and what the brand will bring to the fitness world.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My road to where I am has been bumpy and I think that happens to a lot of us when we start to work towards becoming the person we want to be. Some of my biggest struggles actually came from standing in my own way. It can be hard to break those habits of self-doubt and being your own worst enemy. The biggest things that helped me were daily meditation and taking time for myself. As silly as it sounds, it helped me deal with the voices in my head and my own anxiety I gave myself.

For all my fellow women, I would say never let anybody allow you to believe that you can’t do something. People have told me no a lot or you’re not what we are looking for. At the time it might sting but use those moments as stepping stones to up your game. Networking is huge and makes sure to go to events so you can get your name out in the industry you are in. Never burn any bridges. This is something my parents taught me and I stand by it to this day. We all have those jobs or co-workers in our life that are not a good part of our journey but never leave a job ending on bad terms. Also, within the workplace, you will have to work harder because you are a female but never let that get you down. You are just as qualified as your male counterparts keep working towards your goals. Lastly, to all of my fellow ladies out there, I know right now you might not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel in regards to being at your dream job but it will happen. Those long hours, sleepless nights and temporary jobs will help you get to your end goal. Keep going.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
Currently, I work as a Creative Director for a fermentation company that specializes in fermented foods and beverages called These Things Take Time. We are currently working on a launch coming this summer of our drink Pfizz that I am extremely excited for so keep your eyes peeled!

I also am working on my own business called Kosseffect. This will be a wellness business that specializes in a non-cookie cutter approach to health and healing from the inside out.

My specialties include: teaching yoga, being a RAD Roller coach, women’s health, gut health educator, educating on hormones from my personal experience, and spreading body positivity for men and women.
I’m extremely proud of being a part of the Pfizz journey and my boss is like a second mom to me. In addition, I am also proud of starting Kosseffect on my own. There are a lot of people who have been a part of my journey, so I want to thank them for believing in me and seeing what I was capable of especially Brynna Marnocha for bringing my brand to life.

The thing that sets me apart from others I would say is not only my work ethic but my ability to communicate with others. It’s extremely important to me that other’s are heard and that starts with good communication skills. Listening to someone’s needs whether it’s a potential client or a friend is extremely important in establishing a good relationship with them. A lot of us struggle I think with really listening to someone because let’s face it, there are a lot more distractions in our world. It says a lot to me when I am talking to someone, if they reach for their phone during our conversation, it tells me that what I am saying isn’t important. Be in the moment or life just passes you by.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
Some of the biggest barriers I think have to do with society’s idea of the roles women are allowed to have. Growing up with three older brothers and parents who never told me I couldn’t do something because I was a girl really allowed me to have the confidence to go after my own goals. As I got older and went to college, I saw various situations that made me think you know okay that’s not fair because I am just as qualified as him or that was inappropriate what that guy just said to his girlfriend.

Barriers are meant to be broken. Seeing more women in powerful roles in Congress and even running huge corporations is showing millions of women that we are powerful and capable. But with that, there is a lot of backlash and extremely sexist comments/actions.

For my own industry, there are some big trainers or wellness specialists that work with various actors or leaders that I admire but a lot of them are male that I am seeing. I would love to be a disrupter in the industry.
I think that a lot of women struggle with what their role is and I completely understand that. We are told how to walk, talk, look and act. Yet, men are held to a different standard in a lot of ways. There are a lot of changes that have happened and are happening. I think some women are afraid to use their voice because of the backlash we see so publicly displayed when a woman speaks her mind. I have never been afraid to use my voice and I want other women to be able to have that confidence to just simply be herself. I’m ready for even more change.

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Image Credit:
Jeff Howe, Andy Bonura, and Robert Luxun

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