Did you know the most abundant protein in your body is collagen? It is an important component of our body, making up 90% of our connective tissue and 70% of our skin. Also known as the ‘glue’ that holds our body together, collagen forms a scaffold to supply strength and structure. Our bodies naturally produce about 1% less each year starting in our mid twenties. The structural integrity of the skin declines. Wrinkles form, and joint cartilage weakens. Women experience a dramatic reduction in collagen synthesis after menopause. By 60 the body has much less collagen but the decline actually starts in our mid twenties. While there are some foods that “boost” collagen production, the only way to get actual collagen is a supplement or eating animal products. There aren’t any new practices that would increase collagen in the body.
Growing popularity of collagen products
The increasing use of collagen as a functional ingredient has been driving its growth. The link between consumption of collagen peptide and the health benefits it provides has led to the establishment of collagen supplements industry. There are an increasing number of collagen-based products (powders, pills, protein bars, etc) but it is not included in most health foods.
We caught up with Kaitlyn Rackens, Co-Founder of Collagen For Her to chat about the business.
At a Glance
Startup – Collagen For Her
Co-founder – Kaitlyn Rackens
Launch – 2018
About the product – Protein supplement for women
What’s the story behind Collagen For Her?
I started Collagen For Her after returning from a seven month backpacking trip around the world. Throughout my time abroad, I had a very hard time getting the proper nutrition and I experienced first-hand the toll that can take on the body both physically and mentally. Before I left to travel, I was very healthy; I worked out five days a week and ate a relatively clean diet so I didn’t realize how drastic the other side was. When I returned to the United States, I felt weak, my skin was a mess, my hair was falling out, and I had aches and pains that I had never experienced before. Feeling that way affected everything in my life – my mood, my relationships, my self-confidence, and so much more. This is a feeling that so many women have experienced at some point in their lives. Wanting to feel more confident, lose weight, eat healthier, or whatever else it may be.
I had always felt that the supplement market was missing one thing – a band for women. For years, I would scroll through Amazon or walk the aisles of Target looking for a protein supplement but I always felt overwhelmed by all the choices and nothing stuck out to me as being made for women. All the products had a ton of ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce and were clearly targeting men with their packaging and messaging. As a woman, the idea of taking a “supplement” was a little bit terrifying to begin with because there is this stigma that supplements are unhealthy and can cause weight gain or bulkiness.
Collagen is an overall health and wellness supplement that can help women feel good from the inside out and in turn, empower them to gain the confidence they need to do whatever it is they desire. Creating a brand and providing a product that helps women get to that point was the inspiration behind Collagen For Her and what keeps the company going.
Can you tell us about the product and benefits?
Lack of collagen in the body can be attributed to a lot of signs of aging such as wrinkles, hair loss, joint pain, slowed metabolism, etc. Adding collagen to your diet helps to replenish collagen levels and taking it in powder form allows it to be absorbed into the bloodstream quicker than pills and topical collagen products.
Benefits of taking collagen daily can include improved hair, skin, nails, joint pain, digestion, and gut health. I personally started taking collagen because I experienced knee pain when I ran. I had always been a runner and even after going to many doctors, the pain wouldn’t subside. After taking collagen for about six weeks, the pain in my knees went away and it hasn’t come back since. My hair also grows like crazy and my skin has never looked better. I actually went to a makeup class at Sephora last week and the instructor didn’t believe me when I said I didn’t have any foundation on, ha!
What makes your product different from others that are already in the market?
Collagen For Her is a one-ingredient protein supplement that is non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, soy free, and contains no all artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. In addition, we donate a portion of our proceeds to charities that empower women and our primary goal is to provide women with a trustworthy supplement that they can feel comfortable putting into their bodies. Collagen is an overall health and wellness supplement but we believe especially for women, the word ‘supplement’ has a negative stigma. Most products on the market that are made for women are diet pills and other quick fixes that don’t provide any long-term value for our bodies (and can actually harm our bodies). We want to connect with women and change the stigma of supplements to something that actually benefits the women’s body and in turn, make us all healthier and more confident.
Ways we can incorporate collagen to our diet?
Collagen For Her is a flavorless powder that dissolves in liquids so it is really easy to add to coffee, tea, and smoothies. We also love adding it to baked goods like pancakes, waffles, muffins and other foods like oatmeal and chia seed pudding. Collagen is an animal product so it can only be found in whole meats but as a society, we are moving away from heavy meat diets and more towards plant-based diets, which is why collagen supplements are becoming increasingly important.
We envision playing a much larger role in the lives of women than just being their go-to collagen supplement. We look forward to expanding our current charity partnerships and working alongside our partners to create a happier, healthier, and more confident generation of women. And of course, we are always looking for creative and versatile ways to add collagen into our diets so we will continue to expand our collagen product line.
Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs
Meet as many people as possible and view every situation, positive or negative, as a learning experience; then use it to make yourself and your company better. Attend events, put yourself out there, and take all the free advice you can get. You never know who you are going to meet or what door will open as a result.
How to connect
If you would like to have your startup featured please send an email to Tanya@ClairemontTimes.com