Kossie: A Wellness Startup Borne From Burnout
Kossie, an online platform aimed at women building their careers, has been built from the ground up from articles supporting mental health and wellness, a focus on balancing careers, self-care, and guides on how to manage life itself, professionally and personally.
The business runs a series of interviews with industry-leading individuals, including well-known ‘power couples’ in the entrepreneurial space. In a milestone moment for Kossie, interviewing an LGBTQ+ couple for its ‘Incredible Two’ series – which asked how it feels to fall in love with same gender in a conservative culture – brought its highest DAU in 2019.
Founded two years ago ( 2018 ) by CEO and Founder Karen Chung, Kossie now holds a five-strong, cross-continental team in Hong Kong, London and New York City.
The Journey to a New Start
Karen says – “I used to work in an environment that was dysfunctional and full of drama: this was where my toxic career journey began. I would hide in the bathroom to cry at least half the days in the week and my mental health was very severely affected.
Although I worked in this environment for three years, I don’t regret it. If I hadn’t stuck it out, I would never have experienced a truly toxic workplace. Most importantly, I would not understand the importance of a fantastic workplace culture.
The day I finally left that company, I realised that I needed to create something great, to make the world a better place and make sure that other people are given the ability to cope with career challenges. Additionally, I wanted to create a source for others to address and cope with their own mental health and help them to achieve personal health and success.”
Self care is important
As Karen began the journey into building Kossie, she realized that she needed to spend much more time on self-care – making time for herself and not allowing herself to feel so low again. She said – “Nowadays, I try to find balance by having a journaling session in the early morning, a quick gym session before work and a 10-minute meditation to wind down for maintaining good mental health. I have also made a promise to myself to spend at least few hours a week to bond with my support system – my family and close friends.”
Since the impact of COVID-19, the traffic to Kossie has hit well over 190% MOM growth rate (avg. MOM growth rate: 46.3%), giving the team at Kossie a some pride in the midst of an unprecedented situation.
Rapid changes in the light of COVID-19
The team at Kossie has found that viewing interest has changed since COVID-19. The audience is now continuously looking for coronavirus-related articles, regardless of the fact that previously it was indicated that readers wanted articles on information detoxes or how to stop digital distraction. To that end, the content direction must be as relevant to the audience’s current emotional state as possible.
Sweeping changes include the team making massive cuts on all interview pieces with founders and entrepreneurs since COVID-19. Instead, Kossie is working with Career, Money and Lifestyle Coaches, as well as useful tips and guides to help its audience thrive in the current climate.
Karen says – “This what our audience want to see from us – a holistic approach to ease negative thoughts, emotions and habits, and also, more user-generated content such our Fear Journals which allow our readers to tell us, and others, exactly how they are feeling.”
To combat and allow for sudden changes, the team at Kossie now works on a two-week schedule, with an ability to change and execute on short notice what is required each week.
Karen continued – “I’m lucky that we are a digital business so that we are able to continue to grow. However, one the main concern have is that we just can’t foresee when the global pandemic is going to end.”
Motivational words by Karen for business people
Strategies Karen recommends to other businesses to have in place to ensure they grow at the right pace are to always reflect on team performance, learn from your mistakes and don’t make the same mistake twice.
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