Meeting up with Krumble founder Keira Rumble in Bondi for our interview and shoot felt no different that just hanging out with a good friend at the beach. A good friend with over half a million followers on Instagram, that is.
Super chilled, down-to-earth, friendly and completely unpretentious, I would have been happy just sitting there chatting to her all day… except, you know, she’s a super girl boss that’s got a business to tend to. Having recently joined the list of Aussie health entrepreneurs successfully making the move from influencer to brand developer, Keira has just launched a range of high protein, low carb, low sugar protein balls called Krumballs. [Editor’s note: I’ve tasted them… and they are DELICIOUS!]
Off the back of the launch, we pulled Keira aside to talk all things blogging and Instagram, moving into product development, and all the fun fast facts you’ve just been dying to know…
Congratulations on all your success with the Krumble platform and brand. Can you tell me a bit about how it all began?
I started off with doing just a full food blog – healthy living made delicious. I just wanted to make healthy food.
How did you initially get started into blogging?
I was a vegetarian at the time and use to always cook food and write up a lot of recipes for my friends. I noticed they started sharing the recipes and photos of my food with all their friends via email and I was like: ‘Well okay, I may as well put it up on a website’. I wanted to actually call it the ‘Vegie Patch Girl’! My partner at the time was like: “Don’t be ridiculous! No-one is going to read it…” – so I didn’t do it for ages, which was really disappointing.
When did you launch the blog?
It would have been 2014. I really barely even did anything with my Instagram back then, it was more my website. Lorna Jane’s first e-book had about 4 or 5 of my recipes put into that – so that really drove traffic to my website. I don’t even know if I had my Instagram up at that time.
So what was the catalyst for starting the blog?
I’ve always loved creative writing and like to be quite expressive and creative, but it wasn’t until I had a health scare where I was told by a doctor that I was about to be diabetic that I was like, ‘You know what, people are going to join me on this journey!’ Unfortunately it wasn’t until a year into my journey that I did all my recipes because I was feeling vulnerable at the time, but then I just started doing it and actually really enjoyed doing all the photography.
I was living with my sister at the time and we completely turned her kitchen into a studio. She would walk in and I’d be climbing over chairs trying to take photos and she loved it – she’s such a foodie too. It wasn’t really until the Lorna Jane e-book that I started to get a wider audience than Sydney. Now we’ve got a great following in America for the website.
When did you begin focusing on your Instagram?
Once the website started getting really good volume and traffic, I decided to put it on my Instagram. It wasn’t until the end of 2014 that I really started being more active on it. I’d begun doing a lot of modelling and so thought, ‘Okay, maybe I need to introduce myself more into this platform that I’ve created’. I lost myself a little bit though, which was really disappointing.
I really try to push my Instagram back to my website – that’s where I have a proper voice and can express what I’m feeling and be quite authentic and raw. I think social media is great to a point, but you can’t express everything through Instagram or Facebook – you need to have that other platform where you can truly voice your actual personality.
How did you initially gain a following on Instagram?
What gave me the first plug was actually being featured in Lorna Jane’s e-book.
And now you’ve just also moved into developing your own range of protein balls as well?
Awww, my balls! It’s been a very long journey but I’ve learnt so much. It started about four years ago when I was on my weightloss journey and I had plateaued. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t lose any more weight – I was working out all the time, I thought the food I was eating was healthy. I was working a 9-5 job at the time and I’d be sitting at the desk and I’d be starving – so I’d go grab all these protein bars and protein balls. It wasn’t until I turned the packet over that I realised the sugar that was consumed in one snacking session was the equivalent to two cinnamon doughnuts. Some protein balls have over 55% sugar!
I was looking for a high protein, low sugar protein ball so started making my own at home and started blogging about it. I did a couple of charity fundraisers and I was giving out Krumballs and started to get a couple of cafes ask if they could get some. At the time I was hand rolling everything – individually weighing, rolling, mixing… I was getting my sister and her housemate rolling, making a line of protein balls. We then went into a commercial kitchen and it got to the point where I literally didn’t have time for anything else. I think that’s when I did lose a little bit of my passion for doing anything else because I was so fixated on rolling those damn balls! I decided I needed to streamline the process – make it a commercial business… I couldn’t spend the rest of my life in a kitchen watching TV shows whilst rolling protein balls!
How is the product going?
We’ve only done a soft launch – next year will be my actual launch, but within three weeks we’ve gone from 0 stockists to over 350 stockists! It’s been incredible. I do know there’s nothing like our product out there in the market.
Sounds like you are super busy! Can you talk me through what a normal day in your life looks like?
So yesterday, for example, I woke up at 4.30 and took my dogs for a walk – I’ve got two sausage dogs and they are the loves of my life. I then had to go to an event before heading to a prop store to get some props for styling today. After that I went home for a nap for about half an hour because I have epilepsy and it comes with a lot of fatigue. Then I worked until about 10.30 on stockists, distributors and trade decking before moving on to organising my shoot for this morning and working out what looks I have to do. In between all of that… cook and eat and be a loving girlfriend!
My life is all over the place. The days when I don’t have events, I’ll be in my own beautiful home office – those are the days I’m really productive. It’s so hard to be productive when you’re running in and out of meetings! I really try to have two to three days a week at home, and then Saturdays and Sundays I do content and write vlogs and edit photos.
Do you tend to do all of your shooting in one day?
Nope! I have no structure. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find that synergy between Monday’s a shoot day, Tuesday’s an accounting day, Wednesday’s… in this industry, and especially with food, it’s just so all over the place.
What about with Instagram. How much planning and time goes into that?
It depends on the day. I try and post at least once a day and try create content a couple of days a week. I will normally plan and write a calendar for exactly what I want to do and then will shoot it during a day and then not have to worry about it. I have all my content planned because I’m just too busy to spend an hour here, an hour there. I would rather shoot multiple looks in one morning so I don’t have to shoot anything again for another three weeks. Then I just normally spend time on engaging. I also need to start focusing on my @krumbledfoods Instagram – go follow it everyone! My gosh it’s so hard starting out in this climate!
Can we just talk favourite filters for a minute? And how you edit your pictures?!
It’s like an internal battle with me, I am very particular with how I want photos to look. Everything goes through Lightroom. I have bought a couple of presets, but as soon as I bought them – I learnt how to do them. Now I’ve just made my own presets – I have the ones that go well with food, the ones I know go well with the beach… I actually tried to steer clear of the beach for a while because I felt like I was getting pigeonholed as a bikini girl and I’m so much more than that. With editing, I put the shot onto my computer and do all my Lightroom settings and then Air Drop it to my phone. If I want to lighten up certain things, I’ll just do Snapseed at the end… I have a weird method!
What camera do you use?
At the moment I’ve broken my good camera, so I’ve got the Canon EOS M3 with a 50mm lens and it does the trick. It’s a little mirrorless one, it was really affordable. I’ve also got a G7X Cannon for vlogging, but I haven’t been vlogging lately.
Where are you hoping to see your business in 5 years’ time?
If I could emulate my business to be off one person, it would Lorna Jane. I think what she has created is the most phenomenal empire of girl power possible. I love the community she’s created. I want to do more than just create products that people consume, I want people to feel like they’re a part of a change in their life.
- Where were you born? Sydney
- How many countries have you lived in? Three! Japan, America, Australia
- How tall are you? I’m 165cm… I’m short!
- How much do you weigh? Around 53kg
What more fast facts about Krumble’s Keira Rumble? Check out the video below… including her top Instagram tip and number one health rule.