Kristen Runvik Lagom Body Co.

Kristen Runvik was burnt out. She was working long hours for an e-commerce start-up and feeling disconnected from nature and herself. In her spare time she started making seasonal skincare products, both as a relaxing activity and to take care of herself during a stressful time. Eventually that hobby turned into Lagom Body Co. a skincare and lifestyle brand focused on using seasonal herbs in a sustainable way. Today the Warwick, Rhode Island-based entrepreneur is focused on growth and brand awareness – and finally enjoying some work/life balance.

Runvik’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:

I was working 60 hours a week for an e-commerce startup and I was exhausted. I’d always felt connected to nature and turned to making skin and bodycare products to ease my anxiety during that phase in my life. What started as a self-care practice to prevent burnout turned into a passion and then into a real business.

For me, success is creating something that will have an impact that goes way beyond just my personal interests (like financial independence and pursuing a passion). My intention has always been to leave an impact and create a legacy that will outlive me. That’s why I create products that support the emotional and physical well-being of my customers as well as the earth through supporting small farmers that are local to me. My next step in this direction is to plant a tree for every product that’s sold as well as to mentor other female entrepreneurs who are creating amazing things in the sustainability and wellness world.

[Related: 1 Year Later, Concerns About Employees’ Mental Health Are on the Rise]

One of my biggest struggles was when I was working full-time, working too much and generally feeling consumed by work. It’s been a challenging journey to not feel like I need to be on 120% of the time (which as an entrepreneur is difficult not to do) but I have reached a point where I do have a work/life balance. I’m helping people and people love what I do for them. That feels amazing!

My current goal is company growth and brand awareness. I have a super solid brand and systems in place. I am ready to scale up. I want to continue growing my e-commerce arm to reach more women around the world in addition to growing the educational arm of my business which helps women reconnect with their intuition through seasonal living for more joy, magic and happiness.

My biggest challenge has always been creating systems and managing/increasing cash flow. I started with the mindset of spend money to make money that dug myself into a hole—and now I’m having to slowly work out of that. By learning how to trust myself and my business and my customers—and take calculated risks—I’ve learned that I can trust myself to take the right path.

[Related: This International Women’s Day, Meet the 22-Year-Old Climate Activist From Pakistan]

In terms of personal challenges, I recently relocated from Washington State to Rhode Island and it put a huge strain not only on my personal life but on my business as well. I moved somewhere with no network, a small group of connections through my partner’s family, and felt like I needed to start over. Add COVID-19, and it’s been really difficult to network and meet new people.

I don’t have a specific role model but a combination of multiple people who inspire me to become better. My mom, my aunt, and my grandmother, for example, in addition to some of the women who have risen and grown businesses that make the world a better place.

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