Alisa Pospekhova

Founder of Kindroot

Kindroot was founded by Alisa Pospekhova, a health and wellness enthusiast, avid yogi and an aspiring herbalist. Having felt transformative power of holistic nutrition and plant-based supplements for management of her own auto-immune condition, she set out to develop a line of fun and accessible supplements that people would actually look forward to taking.

Prior to serving as CEO of Kindroot, Alisa spent 15 years building and managing healthy food, wellness and beauty brands across the globe, having held senior-level marketing positions at Unilever, The Wonderful Company, Nestle and Manduka Yoga.

Alisa lives in Seal Beach, California and in her free time continues her education in holistic medicine, herbalism and yoga.

Where did the idea for Kindroot come from?

I’ve had respiratory issues since childhood where I would pick up any cold or flu that was going around, this would always lead to asthma and lots of coughing, so I’ve been having lozenges my entire life.

About two years ago, I was standing at Walgreens, looking to buy lozenges and it just hit me how uninspiring and commoditized that category was. Old, stale brands. Boring and unpleasant flavors (cherry, herbal, lemon), irritating ingredients (menthol), lots of sugar or artificial sugar substitutes and rough texture that would begin disintegrating in my mouth and irritating my tongue. I wanted to launch a much better lozenge with natural ingredients, silky smooth texture and pleasant flavors.

At the same time, I began to take herbs to improve my immune system, support my adrenal health and manage stress. I travel a lot for work, so many times taking powders with me was super annoying.
This is where the idea to merge the two by creating a functional lozenge came together- each addressing a common modern need.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

When I can, I try to plan my schedule around my key productivity zones. I am a morning person, so I do the most important things right when I wake up after I get my workout in – when I feel like my mind is most clear and engaged. Key meetings also get scheduled before lunch. In the afternoon, I generally feel like my rhythm slows down, so this is the time to respond to less critical emails or focus on admin tasks – things that aren’t that mind intensive, but still need to get done. I try to do a short walk in the evening either listening to a podcast or some meditation music – anything that helps me clear my mind and re-center. Although not ideal, I will do a few more emails before bed, but cut it off 45 mins before sleep time – that time is reserved for reading or TV and just complete relaxation.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I am a very visual person and somewhat of a day dreamer, so I do a lot of visualization, which I guess people now might call “manifesting”? That is my step 1 and it just lets me feel and see the product in my mind – I usually will do a few iterations of that all in my head. I like it because your mind is a lot more flexible than PowerPoint or pen and paper, so I feel like you have full range in creativity. After I dream up what I want, I will start to lay it out in a very simple presentation – usually so that I am able to share it with other people and eliminate any confusion in interpretation.

What’s one trend that excites you?

There is a movement toward support of small businesses and businesses owned by women and minorities – I love that we as consumers are becoming more conscious about how our dollars are shaping and influencing the world around us and that we can directly help smaller independent businesses succeed both by purchasing their products, but also through some of the more recent trends like crowdfunding and consumer share ownership.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Many people think that productivity means working more, but really it is more about working more efficiently. One of the benefits of being a small business owner is that I don’t have the luxury of wasting time or going after opportunities that aren’t important. I am constantly juggling competing priorities and everything from the most minute tasks to larger strategic questions, so I’ve gotten extremely good at identifying what is key and critical and then I am able to walk away from things that are “nice to have” but perhaps not really that important.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Probably just to slow down and enjoy the journey more – nobody has all the answers and the road to the end is not a straight line, but if you pursue your passions and put in the work, you will end up in the right place.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I think that focusing on being authentic is more important that focusing on pure growth.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I am always thinking about what is next and how to push myself and the team further. I think it is important to continue changing and evolving both in terms of the business, but on the personal side as well.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Slow and steady wins the race. It is very easy to get caught up in the glitz and glam or “big wins” in entrepreneurship, but really it is the daily grind that makes you successful, so to me it is all about showing up and doing all the little things that move you forward every single day.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Launching a business during COVID has been an interesting experience! We’ve been lucky not to have any disastrous things happen, but we’ve definitely experienced our share of little mishaps along the way. For example, a couple of months into our launch, we invested money into getting really nice seeding kits and sent them to key media and influencers. Well, they arrived the day that all the offices closed for COVID, so they are probably still sitting in some mail room somewhere. It was heartbreaking for a small businesses – all that product an money wasted! But I did a yoga class, pulled myself together and started thinking through how to get media coverage through other channels.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I am still waiting for a self-charging or self-filling car. Having to spend time either plugging it in or stopping as a gas station is one of my main pain points – I will be customer #1 if someone brings it to market!

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

It was $300, but I just got a sit stand desk for my home office and it has been game changer – I feel so much more active and energetic throughout the day.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I’ve recently started using Notion for note and record keeping as well as project management with some of our team members. It is an extremely easy to use cloud-based software that makes it easy for us to collaborate and be on the same page in a fast-moving environment.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Jen Sincero, “You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living and Awesome Life
While it isn’t a book focused on entrepreneurship itself, I love her very no b.s. approach to helping you understand you self-imposed limitations while guiding you towards understanding what drives you and what is important to you – all of which are important to a female entrepreneur both in terms of having confidence in yourself as well as understanding what is most fulfilling.

What is your favorite quote?

“If you are passionate about something, then you should pick up the flag and run with it” – Bette Midler

Key Learnings:

  • Slow and steady wins the race – its the daily grind that gets you places
  • Focus on you passions and what drives you – you will end up in the right place
  • Figure out what helps you re-center and re-connect. There are many hard things to deal with as a company owner, so having a method for overcoming those is key.