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WM Spotlight: Kristen Hoffman and Kate Kruuse (Part Two)

by Rachel Johnson

Kate and Kristen of Swakx

We’re back with our interview with Kristen Hoffman and Kate Kruuse, partners in launching the U.S. branch of the South African-based non-profit organization, Sealed with a Kiss (Swakx). We read about Swakx in the first part of the interview and we learned how Kristen and Kate became involved with the cause. Read on as Kristen and Kate share their tips for boosting creativity, juggling crazy schedules, and keeping the pantry stocked with yummy goodies.

Q: What inspires the two of you and keeps your creative juices flowing?

Kate: First and foremost, we always make sure that we have enough snacks!  We are fortunate enough to have a product that we truly believe in and this energizes us to keep moving forward, even on days where it seems we are stuck. The potential that the United States market holds for our company and the women that it benefits keeps us motivated and charged.

Q: You two are both very busy ladies – you have excellent careers, you invest in your families and friends, you make time to keep your bodies healthy, and, on top of it all, you’re working on launching the Swakx line. How do you recharge your batteries?

Kristen: So many snacks (mind you Kate is pregnant, eeee)! An occasional joke from Kate’s 5-year-old son, Henry (often seen sporting his Spiderman costume). We also both think that it is very important to lead healthy active lifestyles. The level of energy and productivity that you get from your body is a direct result of how you are treating yourself. Stay active, eat good food, don’t forget to take care of yourself, no matter how busy you get! I already have it in my head that Kate will be giving me personal Pilates lessons as we work once it gets closer to market (to cope with the madness). Also, quality time with friends and family is a great way to keep a full heart and a grounded mind.

Kate: Yes, we fuel up on plenty of good foods during our meetings! Our favorites are almonds, rice crackers with cheese, and clementines. Getting enough sleep is the biggest component to recharging my batteries and I am finding this more difficult to do as I progress in my pregnancy. That said, making sure we take out time to be outside getting in fresh air and moving the body.

Q: Many women might be in a similar position as you – they are working a day job that they enjoy but they want to use their free time to promote a worthy cause. What advice would you give to them about prioritizing their schedules and tasks?

Kristen: When we had our first meeting, we put into place our entire timeline for the next three months. It is important to plan ahead before your schedule plans you. It is important to remember that no matter how much energy/drive/love you have, you do not have time to do everything. Cut out the extras that don’t fill up your heart. I know that giving up the weekend marathon watching of Mad Men may sound impossible, but it is worth it!

Q: Readers are going to want to know where they can nab some pieces of Swakx’s gorgeous jewelry. How and where can they score some jewels?

Kate: Our website is currently a work in progress. We expect to have it up and running in full force by the time that we attend NYIGF at the end of January and we are starting a blog documenting a journey starting SWAK X USA to accompany it. Until then, you can check out the South Africa Swakx website. We are happy to correspond and take orders via e-mail ( You can find us on Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, we will be sure to harass Rachel into posting a follow up with links to pictures and our website once we are finished.

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