We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Klein and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren, what do you want people to remember about you?
One of my favorite quotes is by Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
As humans, we all obviously want to accomplish our goals and dreams in life, and to be somewhat remembered by those accomplishments. It’s a natural trait for everyone to find some self worth in the achievement of their goals. The reason I love this quote though is that it reminds me that most people don’t care about what I accomplish in life, and few will actually remember. When I think of people near and dear to my heart, I think about their kindness, contagious smiles or laughs, and how they made me feel as a person. I hope that when someone thinks of me that they remember how they felt valued, respected, loved, and cared for. You make a huge impact on people by how you treat them, not necessarily by being successful in your career (besides being possible motivation or inspiration).
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am co-founder of Genesee Nutrion, a Colorado-based sports nutrition company. We have the best tasting protein bars that are made for the Colorado lifestyle. We only use all natural and clean ingredients (meeting the requirements for a natural grocers store), have great macronutrients, amazing flavors, and the best branding out there! We named our company after Genesee mountain, and our messaging is all about being healthy, active, and happy- whatever that looks like to you! Colorado is full of adventurous people who are focused on getting out there and doing what they love and we wanted to provide a nutritious and delicious snack for their on-the-go lifestyles.
Genesee has evolved drastically. We started out as a protein powder company with CBD as an added ingredient. We wanted to get into the CBD space because of its amazing benefits, but we want a more unique product (as opposed to oils, capsules, gummies, etc.) Will, Genesee founder, and I both have backgrounds in sports and nutrition and we knew a lot of athletes were using CBD for recovery so going the sports nutrition route made sense. We went through a brand upgrade and then slowly changed our focused to revolve around Colorado, and less around the gym lifestyle, hence the on-the-go nutrition swap from protein powder to a protein bar. We originally kept hemp extract in our bars for the added benefits of recovery, but recently have decided we are going to bring out a line of bars without the hemp so we can grow in retail and our online presence where previously hemp has limited us from.
Was it easy? Absolutely not and still is not. There are a ton of protein bars on the market so we had to set ourselves apart. We take pride in the fact that we use the cleanest ingredients and still have high protein content and amazing taste and texture. Hemp extract is the cherry on top of any difficulties that come with starting a business. It has prevented us from running online ads, and getting into a lot of retail in areas where there is less knowledge around hemp extract.
Through this journey of running this company we have learned how to be okay with letting our original ideas die and making 180 pivots. You have to be okay with evolving and don’t look at it as failure if your original plan did not work out. The industry is constantly changing we we have to change to keep up with it. What works for another company may or may not work for us, so be patient with trial and error.
We want Genesee to become the go-to protein bar for all of your outdoor adventures. Not only are you getting high quality nutrition, but you are also getting the best tasting protein bar ever. We want to grow in the Colorado community and to be more involved and give back. We love Colorado and all of the epic adventures it provides!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I don’t spend a ton of time in the city- most of my weeks are spent camping, hiking, mountain biking, or skiing. But when I do hang out in Denver I love taking groups friends to Improper City in RiNo and then exploring a little more around that area, or hitting up some bars in LoHi. For some great Sushi I would hit up Uchi, cocktails with a view at 54-thirty, and dessert at D Bar Denver!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As a child, I always came up with little side hustles here and there and my parents always joked about how I became an entrepreneur at a young age. They’ve always encouraged me to pursue that and raised me to have that independent mindset and not let fear get in the way. They also led by example and taught me incredible work ethic. My husband, Mitch, has been a huge supporter and advocate for my dreams and goals from day one and never lets my dreams die down. Lastly, but not least, my cousin and founder of Genesee, Will, has encouraged me to take risks and have a different mindset about what “failure” is.
Linkedin: Lauren Klein
Facebook: Genesee Nutrition
Lauren Klein, Brandon Russell