Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: Interview with KeVita's Founder Chakra Earthsong
Chakra Earthsong is the Founder and Chief Formulator of KeVita Drinks. KeVita alleviates poverty through Whole Planet Foundation, a Whole Foods Market's non-profit. To date, KeVita has donated $125,000 to Whole Planet Foundation to fund microcredit loans for the world's poorest women to start or expand a microbusiness. This month, KeVita is the Presenting Sponsor of Whole Planet Foundation's Party With a Purpose Annual Online Auction, celebrating the Foundation's global impact and creating more opportunities for microentrepreneurs to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Here’s why that's important to Chakra and her team.
Q: What is KeVita?
KeVita is an authentic and trustworthy fermented beverage brand that offers a range of probiotic and prebiotic drinks in a variety of flavors. Since the early days of KeVita, we have built our credibility around creating a high-quality product. What is in our bottles is sacred and integral to the brand because it is sophisticated and thoroughly researched - all to maintain the authenticity of our very first ferment.
Q: What inspired you to start KeVita?
I began culturing water kefir in my Ojai, CA kitchen in 2008 as part of my studies in fermentation and exploration of the whole foods diet. Inspired by the delicious, lightly refreshing taste and the positive effects of working with water kefir culture, I wanted to share this experience with the outside world. A couple of months later, my best and most delicious ferment – Lemon Ginger Sparkling Probiotic Drink – was born.
Q: How did KeVita become a national brand?
A small team and I continued to perfect the formulas and flavors, putting all our resources into developing a Certified Organic fermented drink. KeVita then began to gain steam, word of mouth and soon, we had national distribution in our first year. Whole Foods Market became our first large scale account!
Today, I’m still heavily involved in KeVita’s flavor development and innovation, ensuring that every bottle of KeVita maintains the authenticity of that very first ferment. With more than two dozen delicious flavors across four distinct product lines – Sparkling Probiotic Drinks, Apple Cider Vinegar Tonics, Master Brew Kombuchas, and newly launched Prebiotic Shots – there’s truly something for everyone.
Q: What are KeVita’s core values and how do they come to life?
Our core values are inclusivity, self-care & innovation. It has always been important to me that there is inclusivity within the KeVita brand – a space for everyone to experience and enjoy something different. We have flavors that are fruit-forward, flavors that exude heat, and ones that are tangy – there truly is something for everyone!
Self-care means something different to everyone, for example for me it means prioritizing nutrition and hydration. I believe that having a personal self-care routine that works for you is important, and KeVita offers a simple, delicious way people can add more probiotics into their own daily routines.
Innovation is also a core part of our DNA. I have always had a strong desire to discover and create new, innovative approaches to wellness. It comes down to how we provide consumers with the options they want, and how we make our products super user-friendly.
Here is perspective from Katie Kowalski – Sales & Strategy Manager – KeVita, who has met microcredit clients in person.
Q: Why does KeVita support Whole Planet Foundation?
KeVita is proud to partner with Whole Planet Foundation in their mission to alleviate poverty around the globe. As a female founded company, we are continually inspired by the women entrepreneurs that Whole Planet Foundation supports – and were honored to participate in Whole Planet Foundation’s recent International Women’s Day virtual event, which highlighted the importance of championing female entrepreneurship.
Since our inception, KeVita has been committed to innovation, inclusivity and accessibility, and our partnership with Whole Plant Foundation only elevates that commitment.
Q: What’s the most memorable part of your partnership with Whole Planet Foundation over the years?
In 2019, I participated in the Impact Trip to South Africa. I had the opportunity to visit and speak with female entrepreneurs at 10 different businesses. These businesses were very different – they ranged from chicken farmers to macadamia nut vendors to secondhand clothing resellers – and each entrepreneur had a unique experience and story in founding her business.
But the women had many things in common as well. They were proud of what they had created and the improved livelihoods they were able to share with their families. They were especially proud that they were now able to employ and therefore empower other women in their community. The emphasis they placed on paying it forward and helping other women really resonated with me.
In my work at KeVita, I am very committed to mentoring, supporting, and partnering with other women throughout the industry to make sure we are sharing our talents and resources with those who need them!
Learn more at wholeplanetfoundation.org.