Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stephanie Wang, Founder, and CEO of KA! Empathogenics, located in New York, NY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

KA! Empathogenics makes handcrafted Chews made with 100% botanicals like Kanna (sceletium tortuosum), a psychoactive (not psychedelic) succulent from South Africa that's clinically proven to activate an immediate sense of grounded energy, helping people feel more alive, connected and capable as they navigate everyday anxiety and stress.* The felt effect is subtle and does not affect sobriety.

KA! makes everything a little more enjoyable: try it at the top of your day for an energizing dose of good vibes before you give the best Ted Talk of your life, or have it instead of a cocktail before a lively night out with friends.

It's for anyone who is interested in finding a healthy ally in support of mental and emotional wellbeing and being more heart-centered. KA! Kanna Chews are vegan and zero-calorie; they contain no sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no artificial flavors, no nuts, no caffeine, no soy, no corn, non-GMO, no chemicals, no preservatives, no "natural" flavors, and are non-drowsy, non-addictive and non-pharmaceutical. Our pioneering formulation of key nutrients contains unique phytochemicals that are non-synthesizable (aka cannot be accomplished) by pharmaceuticals.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Tell us about yourself

I discovered Kanna through shamanic plant ceremony as an extraordinary heart-opening and healing plant which helped me enormously. I wanted to create a business that would bring this to as many people as possible. KA! was born out of the pure inspiration of nature, deep respect for the healing wisdom of indigenous communities around the world, and humanity's call for more head-heart harmony.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

To hear from customers how KA! is helping them calm their minds and connect with themselves and others more deeply and how the Chews have allowed them to switch to natural and effective means to support their health and wellbeing.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The weight of responsibility in all aspects of the business. Not only do I have to make sure customers are taken care of, but also my team and all stakeholders. As an entrepreneur, I have to make sure to be focused on the right priorities that are constantly shifting and be able to go super micro as well as have a macro view as to where the business needs to go and how we're going to get there.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Only work with people who believe in your vision and totally get it. Hire people who are smarter than you and are going to be your evangelists.
  2. No matter how mired you are in executional roles when you start, keep focused on your vision and long-term goals. Don't lose sight of the most important thing: how can you better serve your audience and customers?
  3. Track everything and make sure you capture as much data as you can on sales, marketing, traffic, etc., to help you know your customer better and improve your ROI.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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