Keep it Cleaner (KIC) is a health and wellness app which delivers a holistic wellness program to your pocket. KIC was originally launched by Laura Henshaw and her best friend and business partner, Steph Claire Smith, as an e-book back in 2015 sharing their affordable, healthy recipes. But as Laura says, at the time, social media was “a really toxic space” because it was full of fad diets, skinny teas promises of a ‘quick fix’.
Laura wanted to provide something more by taking a stance against this toxic diet culture so together with Steph Claire Smith, they transformed KIC into a health and wellness app so you have Keep it Cleaner as it is today. This self-funded app is now one of Australia’s most used fitness apps – focusing on moving people’s bodies for the way it makes people feel – not just because it gets them to look a certain way.
Here at Women Love Tech, we spoke with Laura and she told us: “Steph and I had both personally been impacted by toxic diet culture and formed negative relationships with food and exercise, but thankfully after a lot of hard work we had come out the other end. After experiencing first-hand how damaging diet culture can be, we were determined to help other women avoid falling into that trap.”
Laura adds that in 2018, she and Steph launched their Keep it Cleaner app which is now home to over 1000 expert-led workouts and dietitian approved recipes: “We’ve got everything in the one app – with Yoga, Barre, Traditional Pilates, Cardio Pilates, Power Pilates, HIIT, Strength, Boxing, Bootcamp, run programs, pre- and postnatal Pilates, guided meditations and so much more in the pipeline!” she says.
“At KIC we believe that fitness can and should be enjoyable, it’s not about looking a certain way, or fitting into a certain mould, it’s about how it makes you FEEL. Our philosophy is to empower people across the globe to be confident in their skin; it’s not about the scale, it’s about the smile!” Laura adds.
Kicking some goals at KIC
In the past two years – boosted by the COVID pandemic – KIC’s revenue Revenue growth has been 91%, its customer base growth has been 60% and its internal team growth has been 142% over the past 18 months – and all this growth and success has occurred despite Laura and Steph having no previous experience in technology.
Initially, the team at KIC worked with third party app developers but in early 2021, Laura executed a game changing investment to bring all the software development and operational systems in-house. She says this was because if these systems are in-house, KIC will be more agile as a company and able to stay ahead of the fitness technology game and create purpose-led job opportunities for women in tech.
“Community is at the core of everything we do…”
Laura and she told us she gets so much out of running the company with Steph and her team because, as she says: “Community is at the core of everything we do here at KIC, so the biggest highs for me always involve them!”
“Firstly, our internal KIC community, our team,” she continues. “We’re working together in the office two days a week now and honestly there’s at least a moment or two every day where I stop, smile and think about how incredible it is to be on this ride with such a talented, passionate bunch of people who are aligned with our vision. In the last 18 months our team has grown by 142%, the office is always buzzing and it’s just the best!”
“Then of course our external KIC community, although KIC’s purpose is to inspire and educate them – Steph and I often find that they are the ones motivating us! We have a private Facebook community with over 46K people from across the globe, everyone is incredibly supportive and if I’m ever feeling down I’ll jump on Facebook for an immediate pick me up!” she says.
“Connecting online is one thing, but nothing beats the feeling of getting together with our community in person. Earlier this year we hosted the KIC Tour in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, where we worked out together with hundreds of KIC members, held a health and wellness panel discussion with some incredible guest speakers with a meet and greet afterwards. It’s incredibly humbling and rewarding to hear how KIC has personally helped them, especially over the last few very tough years,” Laura adds.
But it hasn’t all been easy
“My personal lowest point would hands down be towards the end of 2020, when I was experiencing a self diagnosed severe case of imposter syndrome. Like many of us, I crave and thrive off connection and Melbourne’s lengthy lockdowns really impacted my mental health and self esteem. I found myself second guessing everything I did, and my abilities in what I did day to day. It makes me sad looking back at that time because I really had lost my spark, but on the flip side I’m so proud of how far I’ve come, and I now know that I am the right person to be leading KIC, alongside the best business partner, Steph!” says Laura.
“As cliché as it sounds I am grateful for the lesson I was able to take out of this time, being that self belief comes from within. You cannot put it in the hands of others, or rely on external factors. We have to take responsibility for it, and it is so important we remind ourselves of this often. Being decisive and clear in everything I do is so pivotal in my role and so backing myself is important so I can show up as my best self for our team and community each day. I have come to terms with the fact that imposter syndrome will show up for me and I may never be able to push away forever, but I do not let it control my narrative,” she says.
For more information about KIC, you can visit here.
For more from Women Love Tech on female entrepreneurs, visit here.