Falling Forward Into Abundance - Meet McKenzie

by McKenzie Rife

Published October 1, 2019

Like me, Kettle Care Organics does not fit into any one category. It is not a typical manufacturing company, not really a regular retail store, and not your average local business. It's just different. Kettle Care has roots that run deeply into its foundation of unique, natural and quality formulations. Every product is hand crafted- truly- and the result of long discussions, fine tuning, and somehow taking the passion for wellness and translating it into a material item. Small batch sizes ensure it's quality based manufacturing, not quantity. From raw material selection to the final product- the amount of concentration, focus, and energy that goes into each item is abundant. Likewise, Kettle Care nurtures community relations- through supporting Organic farming, showing up wholeheartedly to local events, networking, and advocating for health and wellness. It's different- and it shows.

My name is McKenzie ...

... and Montana mountains & meadows are my sanctuary.

Hiking, bobbing along to live music, and passing time at my cabin 

in the woods near Bigfork are a few of my favorite things...

My name is McKenzie Rife, and I have been given the opportunity to work at Kettle Care for the past few months. To avoid sounding cliché, my time spent here has been nothing short of life changing. As a former Store Manager for Natural Grocers, I was comfortable in my career choice and realm of natural product retail. However, something was missing- yet, this wasn’t an unfamiliar feeling. I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Organismal Biology from U of M in 2014 and allowed repressed wanderlust to take over. For years, I worked seasonally in places from Babb, MT to St. Petersburg, FL in search of eclectic experiences and environments. I traveled to Puerto Rico, Peru, and fell in love with the adventure and spontaneity of the lifestyle. This too, though, eventually wore thin and I returned to Montana- my home, my safe place, my sanctuary. I settled in and began a career with Natural Grocers, which eventually presented me with the opportunity to move to my dream spot- the Flathead Valley. I was content. It wasn’t until I came into KCO and met Annegret, Klaus, & the team- that the pieces of my purpose finally fit for me.

Onyx Moon - my hiking partner & loving sidekick

Moon Unit is stoked for the fresh powder days! 

Makes one of us...

When I left that day, I knew that I had finally found it - everything I am passionate about - in one place. Supporting local commerce, Organics, chemistry, design, sustainability, gardening, and merchandising - in one place! Grateful is understatement.

Harvesting Calendula and soaking up the sunshine w/ Shannon aTerrapin Farm- MT's longest running certified Organic farm!

Judy & Stewart of Terrapin Farm grow a pecialized species of Calendula that is rich in resin- and therefore nutrients!

I was able to experience the first Calendula harvest at Terrapin Farm. We picked the flowers, toured the farm, and piggybacked onto the daily employee luncheon. I sat there, completely blown away with my reality. I was on the clock and I wasn't checking in pallets of produce trucked in from all over- I was literally breaking bread with the team from Montana's first Certified Organic farm. Just like this experience, there is something so special about Calendula- or as it is known around KCO, 'The Mother of the Skin'. Multiple harvests were available this year, which isn't surprising since Calendula is a hearty and enduring plant. As the leaves fall and the weather changes, Calendula continues to bloom. I find it inspiring that seasonal change doesn't bring the end of anything but the weather- and like Calendula; we can always find a way to keep blooming.

Rebecca & Annegret during our visit to Two Bear Farm- Certified Organic and absolutely awe-inspiring!

A sneak peak of fall at Two Bear Farm.

I look so forward to getting to meet you all, and I am continuously humbled with learning the intricacies of KCO, and getting to experience the magic that you all provide through your support. It is a breath of fresh air to become immersed in a community of people who care so deeply. Whether you have been using Kettle Care Organics since the dawn of the company, or you have just placed your first order- I am looking forward to playing a role in your wellness journey! Thank you for listening to my rant, and stay tuned for further product releases and KCO news updates! *Secures hair net, buttons lab coat, & hits the ground running*

All the best,

Kenzie and the Kettle Care Organics Team