Thinking big, living mighty: Senior Kayla Vine’s startup Mighty Blendz helps customers prioritize health on a busy schedule

Senior Kayla Vine blends health and convenience with her powdered smoothie blend packets, Mighty Blendz.

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Kayla Vine

Founder Kayla Vine began formulating for what now is the Mighty Blendz “blend” in November of 2020.

Jaime Svinth, Deputy Life Editor

From Nike’s Phillip Knight to Keurig’s John Silvan, many of the most successful business founders have built their multi-million dollar empires from simply solving their own problems. This was exactly the case with senior Kayla Vine’s startup company Mighty Blendz, which blossomed from her humble experimentation with smoothie formulas to give herself access to healthy food wherever and whenever she wanted as a busy college student.

Mighty Blendz, launching Friday, Oct. 15, sells pre-packaged, meal replacement smoothie powders that just require adding water or milk, made to use on-the-go with the Mighty Blendz shaker bottle or at home with a blender. Vine centered her concept around the idea that healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated.

“A hardship to eating clean is that it takes more time,” Vine said. “I wanted to create something that was like, ‘No, you don’t have to sacrifice convenience for health—you can have both.'”

Flashback to when she was little: Vine recalls watching Shark Tank with her family. While this may not be a unique experience, she took it a step further to even have her own “invention journal” where she would write down her own business ideas. However, despite this early entrepreneurial spirit, Vine did not foresee herself owning her own company right after college, much less as a college senior.

“I never thought ‘I’m going to start a business in college,’” Vine said. “I thought that I would work in a lot of different jobs when I graduate and get exposure to different business problems, and maybe in my 40s or 50s I could start my own thing.”

Experience and opportunity framed Vine’s journey to starting her own company. As a high school lacrosse athlete, Vine became interested in nutrition and holistic wellness, pursuing this passion through podcasts and books. When she arrived at Vanderbilt, Vine was excited at the prospect of taking coursework that supported her love for nutrition, but was not able to get a spot in the one nutrition class offered. 

“I wanted some nutrition education—I love this and I’m passionate about it. I found this place called Institute for Integrative Nutrition,” Vine said. “That was amazing because the certification was integrative nutrition health coach. A lot of people go into that hoping to open their own private practice, but I was more just wanting to do it to learn the material and supplement what I was learning at Vanderbilt.”

Now a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Vine took her knowledge from the classroom to her blender—mixing what she deemed to be essential components into her own unique smoothie blend. For her, the ideal smoothie incorporated a source of protein, healthy fats, fiber and leafy greens. Based on her nutrition knowledge, Vine believes that this blend is the “best to balance blood sugar,” allowing her to avoid the “crash” people often experience when consuming sugary foods. 

Having perfected her recipe, Vine soon found herself in many places where she craved this smoothie option, but it wasn’t convenient or available to her, like on vacation. 

Mighty Blendz packets are single serving and 400 calories. (Kayla Vine)

“I wished there was a way to have this on the go,” Vine said. “I started looking for things out there that might have those elements in them in powder form. I spent time market-searching and couldn’t find anything with adequate micro and macro nutrients but didn’t have any fillers or artificial sugars. I was frustrated because I just wanted something to solve my own problem.”

In true entrepreneurial fashion, she got busy. Vine started by ordering different powdered forms of her favorite smoothie ingredients. She continued to formulate and test among her family and friends until she found a blend that was satiating, nutritious and tasted delicious. 

“I thought, if I were to put it in powder form, what would it look like and how would I make up for some of the qualities lost due to putting it in powder form?” Vine said.

Mighty Blendz ingredients now include collagen peptides, MCT oil powder, kale powder, hemp protein, acacia fiber, spinach and monk fruit. While many similar products contain artificial ingredients and preservatives, for Vine, it was important to stay true to whole ingredients despite being a packaged product. 

“I’m always a huge proponent of eating whole foods and not as much packaged goods,” Vine said. “But I also know that not eating packaged food is not realistic for a lot of people, so I wanted to create something that blended those two roles.”

Finding a solution to her own problem was one thing, but building her own business around it was another. Vine learned about the Builder Program through the Vanderbilt Wond’ry, and signed up, hoping it would enable her to actualize her idea. 

Through the program, Vine developed her minimum viable product (MVP) and organized her next steps. 

“It helped me think about how to take my idea and turn it into a product,” Vine said. “If you don’t solve that issue, you can’t survive in the real world.”

Now just a few days from her launch, Vine reflects on the purpose behind her product aside from its immediate use. She not only hopes to give busy individuals the convenience of health, but inspire them to be a “mightier” version of themselves, something that has a unique meaning to everyone.

The “Mighty Starter Pack” comes with a shaker bottle and five smoothie powder packets. (Kayla Vine)

“The brand is all about fueling your body so you can do mighty things, whether that is being a top performer in your sport, showing up to work and doing the best you can or being the best mom you can be,” Vine said. “It follows the belief of fueling your body in the best way possible, not from a place of discipline or punishment, but from a place of love.”

Mighty Blendz will officially launch this Friday, Oct. 15, with orders available on the Mighty Blendz website. You can order the Mighty Blendz “starter pack,” consisting of five pouches and a shaker bottle specifically designed for optimally dissolving powders ($39.95). You can also opt for the “Mighty 10 Pack” ($69.95) that comes with 10 pouches of Mighty Blendz and an option to subscribe and save 10% ($62.96 per month).