HOLA! USA wants to empower the Latinx community with narratives about the contributions that Latinos have made in the U.S. It is time to celebrate our Latinidad in all its glory. These are our stories; this is Latinx.
When women hold positions of power, true change begins to happen and co-founder of FabFitFun, Katie Ann Echevarria Rosen Kitchens is no exception to the rule. At first glance, her extended last name may be a mouthful but know it carries grace, history and Puerto Rican pride. The mother-of-two went from holding leading roles in the editorial world to birthing one of the most exclusive and sought after lifestyle boxes on the market. The California-native continues inspires women to lead happier, healthier lives through product and brand discovery. Keep reading to find out how she is pushing forth Latinx representation, honoring her Puerto Rican heritage, and more.
What has been your biggest achievement up to date with FabFitFun?
Over the past ten years, we’ve grown and achieved so much, but last year we crossed the million-member mark and it felt like such a significant milestone. My co-founders and I couldn’t wait to make the big announcement to our staff. It was a special moment and we all celebrated together as a company. We couldn’t have done if it weren’t for the incredible, hardworking, and intelligent people that we have the privilege of working with. In addition, it’s the everyday impact of our members that inspires me the most. We are lucky to have an incredibly engaged online community where members can discuss products, share photos of their family, ways to ease anxiety and even set up in-person meet-ups after they form these deep friendships in an online space. I spend a lot of time in the community as it’s an amazing way to get real-time feedback and directly connect with our members. Our FFF community team is constantly sending notes and flowers to our members when we see big moments happening in their lives and it creates these really amazing after effects. We see comments such as ‘My house was destroyed in a tornado. I was left with nothing. But then I got my FabFitFun box and I felt better’ or ‘I have been suffering from anxiety and depression for the last 15 years. I haven’t been able to leave the house. But then I joined FabFitFun. I started making friends in the community. Treating myself four times a year and I feel like a different person.’
How has your previous employment experience forged your journey at FabFitFun?
I went to college to become a writer and spent the early days of my career in editorial. I worked for a variety of magazines, newspapers, and websites before starting FabFitFun with my co-founders as Editor in Chief. As an editor, I was constantly receiving samples to test and my co-founders and I were frequenting events where we’d walk away with these incredible gift bags full of the latest and greatest products on the market. We had an a-ha moment where we thought we’re getting all this great stuff, and writing about it, but wouldn’t it be great if our readers could actually try the products we’re writing about. From there, the box was born!
How do you juggle being a parent, co-founder, Editor in Chief, wife, stylish being, etc.?
After years of juggling, I’ve learned that work/life balance is a bit of a fantasy, and that’s okay! I have definitely struggled with 'am I being the best mother and wife' versus 'am I being the best leader at FabFitFun.' It’s taken me some time to recognize that I don’t always have to be the best at both all the time. You find your partners, in both professional and personal lives, who are there to amplify all the goodness you put in at your best and carry through when you’re needing to place your focus elsewhere. I really try to give my mornings and evenings for my family, two beautiful daughters at home, and when I’m at work, I’m all in. The key is be present.
How is FabFitFun speaking to the Latinx community?
Last year, I had a conversation with my mom where she mentioned how there were no Latinx actors on TV or in the movies when she was growing up. The absence of girls like her often made her feel like she just didn’t count. Hollywood has made some strides, but this overall idea of representation was something that really struck a chord when thinking about our membership as a whole. With that in mind, I made a small but significant change to my name last year. Prior to getting married, I was Katie Ann Echevarria Rosen — Echevarria being my mom’s maiden name. When I got married I dropped the Echevarria and added Kitchens, but now I officially go by Katie Ann Echevarria Rosen Kitchens.
It is important for me to represent that part of my heritage. I am a big believer that you need to see it to do it. There are so many amazing, talented, smart Latinas with big dreams and ambitions. I would be doing a disservice to myself and future generations not to if I didn't use my platform to inspire others.
At FabFitFun we’ve partnered with a number of incredible Latina women. Eva Longoria and Rocky Barnes have been the face of our lifestyle magazine, and we’ve worked with Dascha Polanco, Adrienne Bailon, Dani Meza, Ana Quincoces, among others. We’re so proud to celebrate the diversity within our membership and to highlight that through our partnerships.
This year we also had a presence at the #WeAllGrow Summit, an annual conference that brings together the most influential community of Latina creators and entrepreneurs. I was honored to speak on a panel with several other inspiring and successful Latina founders and we had a pop-up activation for guests to come build their own FabFitFun box. It was really inspiring to meet and hear the stories of all the strong, successful women in the Latina community.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next year with the brand?
So much! As we continue to grow, we’re really being thoughtful about how we can best cater to our diverse and growing member base. We are working to offer even more personalization with the boxes, launching additional in house brands, building out our growing community along with continuing to develop FabFitFun TV, FabFitFun Live and FabFitFun Style. We absolutely understand that we’re not 'one box fits all' and we’re going to continue evolving our membership to truly celebrate every woman, everywhere.