I attended a “Food and Entrepreneurship” panel last month and was fortunate enough to meet Kathryn Moos, the founder of VROU, a company that makes a multivitamin drink geared towards us active chicks! Kathryn -an accomplished athlete and fitness enthusiast in her own right- decided to put her passion for health/fitness and her business saavy together to create a woman-led sports drink business, so you KNOW I had to ask for her an interview! 😉 Read on to learn about VROU, Kathryn and the ways you can help this “femme-trepreneur” take VROU to the next level!
1. Tell us about yourself!
My name is Kathryn Moos and I’m from a town just outside Minneapolis called Wayzata. I grew up in a very athletic and health-minded home where I spent most of my free time playing sports with the boys, rough-housing and ultimately focusing on soccer and ice hockey. Nowadays, I live in New York City where I recently founded VROU, a new women’s health and wellness brand transforming the way women get nutrients! I still love to play soccer now and then, but living the life as entrepreneur it has been harder to fit it in to the weekly schedule. That being said, the crazy schedule means things are moving forward with VROU–which is super exciting!
2. You played professional soccer and were also a Division 1 player at Brown University. In what ways has competitive sports changed your outlook on health?
Sports didn’t change my outlook on health. Sports created my outlook on health. From the first steps I took as a baby, it seems as though sports have been engrained in who I am. Let’s face it. What we eat, what we drink, how we sleep, it all has an impact on how we perform on the field. The same is true of how we perform on a daily basis in the office. Not only did sports help me establish a healthy lifestyle, sports also helped me establish a work ethic that I think I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for knowing what it meant to sacrifice. Growing up or even in college, when my friends would go out together, being dedicated to a team and something larger than myself meant I would have to forego those temporary distractions to reach a larger goal down the road. Playing sports has instilled the memory of delayed gratification I guess, not just healthy decisions.
3. What was it like as a woman playing competitive sports? Were there any moments where you felt that your gender put you at an advantage? Disadvantage?
Not really. When I was younger I didn’t know any better, so I wasn’t aware that I was the only girl and completely not the norm. I was always playing sports with my brothers and his friends, so I assumed it was normal. Eventually, as we all got older, it was inevitable I did start to take notice that I was the only girl out there. I think it made me work that much harder, and inspired me prove myself that much more. For me, it was about competing to win no matter who I played against.
4. Why did you decide to leave professional soccer?
Playing in Europe was an amazing experience; but I was ready to start the next chapter of my life, the next challenge. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to create a living for myself longterm playing professional soccer in the US and I was ready to come back. I knew I’d never fully stop playing soccer no matter where I ended up; so I decided to try my hand at something new. That led me to a finance job at CBRE Investors, which was a great learning opportunity. But I soon realized there was something more for me. VROU.
5. Now tell us about VROU! When did you start VROU and why? And how did you come up with such a unique name?
I started VROU in 2011 when I became increasingly frustrated with how hard it was for me to stay healthy and feel like I was accessing all the nutrients I was used to getting as a professional athlete. When I realized there just wasn’t anything out there, I assumed I wasn’t the only one looking for convenient access to these nutrients. After doing research and talking to friends I found out I was right and decided to go for it.
As for the name, VROU (pronounced “vroo”) means “woman” in Afrikaans. It comes from my experiencing traveling to South Africa for the World Cup in 2010. After leaving my career as a professional soccer player and diving into a financial analyst role, I took no time off or vacations for three straight years. This was my first opportunity, my first vacation, to take a break from the grind of finance. On this vacation, I was able to workout like I wanted, and had time to get all those nutrients that were so critical to my health. THIS was the lifestyle I wanted. I felt energized. It made me realize how much my health had deteriorated since I began working in finance. It truly opened up my eyes and gave me the opportunity to check in with myself and realize what truly matters to me: health and well-being. Additional inspiration came from learning the history of South African women, and their resolve for a better life. Women coming together, creates a powerful thing, and in South Africa, women coming together, joining forces, allowed them to make a better life for themselves, for their family, and for their community.
6. What is VROU? How was it developed and how does VROU stand out from the many other multivitamin drinks out there?
We are transforming the way women take nutrients. Our premier product, the Multivitamin Drink with Antioxidants and Electrolytes, supports the active lifestyles of women on the go (aka YOU). VROU has been meticulously crafted with women in mind. Women and men have different nutritional needs, so beverages should be made accordingly. No other beverage out there takes into consideration the needs of a women like ours. We have worked with doctors, nutritionists, sports trainers to come up with a meticulously crafted formula aimed to support the active lifestyles of women on the go, which seems to be every woman these days. We also think that liquid vitamins are absorbed much more effectively by the body.
7. Do you have any advice for a woman reading this who is looking to just begin her health & fitness journey?
Don’t stress over it. Listen to your body. Being healthy is fun. It’s not always easy, but it’s fun. I always say moderation in moderation. I thrive off being healthy, but I do enjoy my chocolate! If you take it one step at a time, as you begin to notice positive changes in the way you feel, it will become easier and easier to continue to make positive changes. The other thing would be to find what you have fun doing that is active and do that. It may be playing soccer, running, hiking, or riding a bike. There’s no reason healthy choices need to be made begrudgingly!
8. Anything else you’d like to add about where people can find VROU and support VROU as a new business?
Yes! Right now we are actually in the middle of launching a crowdfunding campaign on Plum Alley, a website designed for women entrepreneurs. People can find us there at http://bit.ly/16RJSVZ We would also love for people to join the VROU Tribe, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @VROUwomen. We are really excited to make a positive difference in the health and wellness of women everywhere with VROU and we really appreciate your support and the opportunity to be featured on ChicFitChef!