Meet the leader: Jenn Kautsch is a third-generation entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Sober Sis, a thriving community of women who are renegotiating their relationship with alcohol without labels, shame, judgment, or rules.
Jenn’s passion: Launching and promoting new ventures and bringing people together in the process. “Personal development and growth mindset have always been a part of who I am. It’s just in my DNA.”
How she’s growing her business with Marco Polo and Marco Polo Channels: In 2018, Jenn incorporated the Marco Polo app into her 21-Day Reset Challenge, creating life-changing connections for thousands of women and contributing to exponential growth in Sober Sis. In 2021, Jenn launched Project 365 with the Sober Sis Channel, an exclusive, private, distraction-free coaching program on Marco Polo Channels, for those who want to take their sober-minded living practices to the next level.
The genesis of Sober Sis
In 2017, after Jenn’s kids had grown and flown, she took a close look at her lifestyle and habits. She realized she’d fallen into a rut with alcohol.
“I was a social, casual drinker who did hot yoga and green juice by day yet looked forward to ‘wine o’clock’ almost every evening. I was caught in the ‘detox just to retox loop,’ and that didn’t align with me or who I wanted to be.”
Jenn dove into research and learned from others about the science and mindset of gray-area drinking as well as the powerful marketing directed at women and mothers. (Ever been told you need “mommy juice” to cope with parenting? Jenn had, too.) Having successfully broken the habits that kept her from reaching her full potential, she grew determined to support other women in their exploration of an alcohol free lifestyle.
Her insights and passion formed the genesis of Sober Sis.
Marco Polo allowed people to be seen. Literally, seen. Isolation and shame keep people stuck in addictive or numbing behaviors. Connection is the antidote! And Marco Polo by far is the best way that my tribe got connected. It was a game changer.
Marco Polo: the “secret sauce” for a self-sustaining community
Jenn structured Sober Sis around a 21-Day Reset Challenge, providing daily email content and membership in a private Facebook group with weekly live coaching. She sought not to prescribe behavior but to encourage an intentional, sober, present mindset grounded in self-awareness, empowered choices, and faith.
Community played a big role. But although Jenn witnessed burgeoning relationships among members of the Facebook group, people could only get to know each other so well on social media. When a friend and early Sober Sis collaborator introduced Jenn to the Marco Polo app, she started inviting members to join Marco Polo groups in addition to or as an alternative to Facebook.
Soon, Marco Polo was proving to be what Jenn calls “the secret sauce” for women craving connection because it was convenient, authentic, and face-to-face. Social media acquaintances evolved into deep Marco Polo friendships as diverse groups of women of all ages and from all corners of the world bonded, laughed, cried, prayed, and lifted each other up through their sober-minded journeys.
“Marco Polo allowed people to be seen. Literally, seen,” Jenn says. “Isolation and shame keep people stuck in addictive or numbing behaviors. Connection is the antidote! And Marco Polo by far is the best way that my tribe got connected. It was a game changer.”
Strategic growth, new courses, and Marco Polo Channels
By 2020, Sober Sis had grown exponentially, and its programs were well-oiled. Signups for the 21-Day Reset Challenge, now priced at $97, ranged from 500 to 800 monthly attendees. The free guide had 50,000 downloads. The private Facebook group was 10,000 members strong. Jenn, along with a small staff and a volunteer cadre dubbed the Sober Sis Squad, created and facilitated an average of 20 new Marco Polo groups every month, each with 20-25 women.
Having built a thriving community, a solid business infrastructure, and a healthy income stream, Jenn had the breathing room to turn back to the activities she found most personally meaningful: strategic business growth, course development, and coaching.
In early 2020, Jenn created the Alcohol Free Lifestyle Course (AFL), a next-level experience for 21-Day Reset grads ready to invest more deeply in their sober-minded lifestyle. The 10-week, $500 course includes holistic coaching and spiritual insights, journal prompts, printable guides, Sober Sis success stories and testimonials, and, like the 21-Day Reset, small-group support on Marco Polo. The program now averages 100 new signups per month.
In early 2021, Jenn launched Project 365, a one-year, $997 experience for AFL grads who want to continue the journey with others while still learning real-time from Jenn. This year-long program is all about celebrating ongoing series of “firsts” as participants root themselves even more deeply in sober-mindedness. Jenn chose Marco Polo Channels as the primary vehicle for Project 365 because she knew, based on experience with the Marco Polo app, that Channels would support authentic, convenient, distraction-free coaching.
Project 365 and the Sober Sis Channel
Using the private, exclusive Sober Sis Channel, Jenn shares unscripted insights into her story, goes deeper into the pillars of an alcohol free lifestyle, and even shows options in her fridge for inspiration. She records three bite-sized 10-15 minute lessons per week along themes like Motivation Monday, Winning Wednesday, and Feedback Friday.
Creating 45 minutes of in-depth content each week feels manageable and sustainable for Jenn. Meanwhile, members can pick and choose the content that resonates, watch throughout the week, or watch several posts back-to-back when they have time, with no pressure to engage.
She also loves that Channels has given her a platform for coaching outside social media.
“On Facebook, people are always trying to find my live broadcasts, asking, ‘Where’s Jenn?’ And on Marco Polo Channels, where’s Jenn? I’m right here.”
Jenn’s top Channels features
#1. No ads or algorithms come between Jenn and new or prospective followers. Jenn unconditionally supports members of the Sober Sis community who are active on social media. But people have told her that her live broadcasts can be hard to find. She was also paying thousands each month for sponsored ads yet not seeing the increased engagement with her Facebook “Lives” that she would have expected within the private group. It’s been difficult for her own members to find her easily. But Marco Polo Channels has no ads and no algorithms to manage.
#2. All of Jenn’s content in one place. New content and earlier posts are easy to find and available to members any time. “It’s like a vlog on your phone – a library of just me and helpful content.”
#3. The Extras feature. Extras gives Jenn a quick way to add links to supplementary content that’s relevant to her posts, everything from books to podcasts to mocktail recipes.