Getting to know Marlie Cohen
Meet Marlie, aka the creator of the infamous IG handle, kale_and_krunches. With over 40k+ IG followers, 2k YT subscribers & 10,000 monthly blog readers, Marlie’s page is a source of inspiration filled with fitness, motherhood & most importantly, raw and real content. Not only is her page filled with valuable content, but her goofy humour, compassionate nature and real personality makes her an easy follow on any given day.
How to Marlie get to where she is today? Let’s find out!
When did you first start using social media?
I started using instagram in 2011, on my iPod because I didn’t have an iPhone at the time. I had a personal account, and I would take artsy photos (well what I thought was artsy) with the black/white borders and crazy filters. In 2015, I created a separate account all about fitness/health, which is my current account, Kale and Krunches.
At the beginning, I was too nervous to show my face. The main purpose of the account was to share tips for a healthy lifestyle, to hold myself accountable and hopefully get personal training and health coach clients.I wanted to share what I was up to with other people like workouts/recipes, but had this fear of letting others know I was doing it. It wasn’t until a few months later after the initial launch that I gradually began to share it with my friends & family, & introduced my face to my followers on the page. The more I began to show my face, the more confident I got.
Walk me through the step-by-step process that you went through to get to where you are today. What was the first thing you did? Next?
First thing I did was start an instagram page called, nikesbynight, which I eventually changed to kale and krunches, after my husband suggested it wasn’t the right move to have a brand in my handle. At first I didn’t tell anyone about it, but when I hit 1k followers, I took the plunge and shared it on Facebook introducing myself & my page, and encouraged people to follow along with me.
At the time, I was working in corporate real estate, while doing IG on the side, and also teaching fitness classes at 6am and 7pm, since leaving my full time position to pursue fitness didn’t feel like a viable & financially stable option. I did as much as I could while in my real estate job to prepare me to hopefully take my side hustle full time one day. I got my fitness certification & went to an online nutrition school. Essentially, I was doing two full time jobs.
How long was it before your social media platforms became profitable? How did you live through those first few months/years? Did you have any struggles?
I would say my IG page was profitable before I left my job, mainly because I was taking on brand partnerships while working in real estate. When I left my job, I set myself up knowing what my Monday workday would look like, for example a health coach client in the morning, spin class at night etc. For a full year, I worked on building up my client list/roster to set myself up for success and to also ensure financial stability.
In my very first year after leaving my real estate job, I was working from 5am to 10pm every single day with clients, teaching spin classes, all whilst still taking on & executing brand partnerships. I really grinded, hit the pavement & hustled. After a couple years like this, I started to take on less clients and partnerships but focus on bigger and longer term brand deals. Plus I got injured as an instructor and also became pregnant so I chose to focus on my own digital product, my Pregnancy Workout Guide.
What did you do prior to influencing on social media? If you weren’t an influencer, what would be your dream job?
I love this question, because it makes me realize that this is my dream job. I am making a living, just by living. I am working out, sharing my passion for health and just being a new mom. Or, becoming an actor/movie star working alongside Tom Hardy haha.
What are your thoughts on social media? And what do you think is the most commonly misunderstood thing about social media?
My thoughts on it are that I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon. I believe it’s going to evolve as we move forward and more people are going to continue to share their lives online. I also believe social media at the end of the day is a highlight reel. For example, a lot of my followers often ask, “does Lily ever cry?” And of course she cries, but I don’t pull out my camera to film her in those moments, I am busy soothing her.” My point is to not get too caught up in comparing yourself to others, because they are only showing a snippet of their lives.
The biggest misconception in having a job in the influencer industry, is that people think it’s easy and you just get free stuff. They don’t understand the level of work that goes into creating content. Of course we get sent free things, but nothing in life is really free – you work your ass off to get to a point where people want to send you products to try. And then starts the process of the content creation around those products.
What negative assumptions, if any, have been made about you via social media?
I’ve definitely heard it all, so you really need to have thick skin in this industry. However, the more recent ones have been “she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, she’s not educated, she’s privileged.” but I think it’s so 2019 to have to apologize for every little thing you do and say. Meaning you have to preface every statement with “I am so grateful for this, BUT” At the end of the day, I don’t think anyone should have to pretend to be someone they are not, and if you are following someone, you know what to expect, and you are following them for their perspective because they are a person, and I am not coming onto social pretending to be a lawyer, doctor etc. I am simply sharing my story and my opinion, so there’s no need to comment harmful things because at the end of the day, I am only an expert on myself, and if you do not want to hear my opinion, then there’s no need to follow me, and you can go ahead and follow someone else.
When people choose to comment harmful things, I always think “block em, and bless em,” which I heard someone say recently. My page isn’t a place of negativity and I don’t want it to be a hub of negative comments, because I am here to inspire and provide value to others, and I only want positive energy on my page. It’s not to say I can’t handle the criticism, but it is not necessary. I put so much love and effort into my content, and if you are here to simply bash it, then you don’t deserve to see it. That’s my outlook on negativity on social media.
Tell us something about yourself that your followers don’t know
I have a background in film theory and a masters in film from University of Toronto.
Of all the gifted packages you receive as an influencer, which product/item excites you the most? What would be your dream brand to collab with?
I get the most excited for products that I actually use on a daily basis and need. Things like nespresso or collagen. And sneakers.
My dream would be something to do with travel – AIR CANADA, please sponsor me haha.
Who are three of the most important, and influential people in your life? and why?
My husband – he is my best friend, partner in crime, and I always joke he is my Kris Jenner, hubby/manager. I run every contract by him, and all major blog decisions. I appreciate his opinion because he’s always respected my work and treated it as a business before I did.
My daughter – everything that I post, I imagine her seeing it when she grows up, and I want to be proud of that, and ensure I am setting a good example for her.
My parents collectively, because they formed me and I respect them, and they are extremely hard working individuals.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring influencer if you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip?
Find a medium that you can do every single day and then stay consistent. Meaning, start with one social media platform such as Instagram or Youtube, and stay consistent with your posting regimen i.e. post 1x a day. The common mistake is people starting a page, and not being consistent with it, and then giving up on it way too early.
Be sure to keep up to date with Marlie and follow along with her journey @kale_and_krunches, as this beautiful mama is only getting started (hint hint: health/fitness inspired product? Shh, you didn’t hear it from me!)
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. Let’s chat in the comments below. Who do you want to see me interview next?
Who are some of Marlie’s biggest inspirations?