Meet our Co Founder, Maya! In addition to being an entrepreneur and part of the 2018 Forbes 30 under 30 class , Maya is a fitness enthusiast and wants to spread the importance of plant based nutrition with Koia’s consumers. Let’s learn more about Maya!
1.) How did you get started in the natural products and beverage industry? Do you have any tips for anyone interested in getting involved in this industry?
Just by chance! I met Dustin (Koia Co-Founder) back in 2013. He was a neighbor and close friend of mine and expressed interest in starting his own company. He was making juices with the original business plan to build out juice bars in grocery stores. When that business didn’t work out, I asked if I could help him out with a new business plan. We went from there, trying out different products and I’ve been obsessed with the industry ever since!
Yes! For those looking to get involved in the industry, always attend trade shows and networking events. The industry is so small, so it’s important to pay attention to who can help you and be a resource.
2. What specifically sparked your interest for getting and staying involved with Koia?
I was always interested in food and loved the creativity aspect of it. Being able to put out a product you created and see the immediate response from consumers is a huge rush. It’s not only incredible to learn so much about the food industry, but it’s also amazing to learn about what consumers need right now (especially in health and wellness) and how we, as a company can contribute to that.
3.) As a fitness enthusiast AND entrepreneur how do you find time to incorporate movement into your day?
I work out with a personal trainer and have a set schedule twice a week. Movement is very important to me because because I’ve seen how much it helps with mental clarity, reducing stress, and staying healthy overall. It’s difficult to be at my best in work and life if I don’t feel my best, which is why I hold myself accountable to incorporate movement everyday.
4.) What are some of your favorite forms of exercise?
I love strength training. I’ve been doing a lot of aerobics and I absolutely love boxing for a full body workout. I’ve also been making a point to do yoga more often because stretching is so important for your joints and overall body. Other than that, I make a point to get outside whenever possible. Hiking, walking, or other outdoor group activities. That’s the luxury of living in California- Getting to enjoy the great outdoors whenever you want!
5.) How does eating plant based fit into your life? Do you have any advice for people looking to start out on a plant based diet?
Recently, I switched to a 90% plant based diet. I have inflammation issues and dietary restrictions with dairy, so sticking to a primarily plant based diet feels better overall. It’s fun for me to look up new plant based recipes and get creative with my meals.
For people looking to start out on a plant based diet- Make it fun! Read new recipes, look up influencers who are offering tips for plant based eating or creating meals. A lot of people think it’s really expensive to eat a plant based diet, but it doesn’t have to be if you’re shopping smart. Beans, vegetables and grains are quite inexpensive and taste delicious when cooked the right way. Also, be informed about your specific health needs so you can focus on what’s best for your own body. I think that’s the best place to start!
6.) What advice do you have for people with 9-5s in big cities that have no time for movement?
The best advice I would give is always choose natural movement throughout your day to day if you are given the option. For example, always take the stairs or walk instead of driving or taking public transportation. Also, make time for the gym whether it’s in the morning to start your day or in the evening to settle down.
Thanks for sharing your insight and enthusiasm about Koia, health and wellness! Follow Maya’s journey and see what awesome things she’s been up to on her instagram @mayajfrench!