Mckenna Haz: Leader, Entrepreneur, & Badass
Q: In your own words, who is Mckenna Haz?
A: I’m constantly evolving and learning who I am every day. When I set my mind to something, I dive in deep. I thrive off creating a unique path, I’m mission oriented, and a risk taker.
I grew up on Vancouver Island, a small island on the West Coast of Canada. Living in a coastal community, I spend a lot of time hiking mountains and getting in my daily dose of vitamin sea. I’m a free spirit that loves to explore and I strongly believe the universe helps guide me.
My goal on this earth is to spread love, kindness, and leave it a little better than when we first arrived. In university, I majored in Advertising & Integrated Communications and minored in Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management. I combined my mission to clean up the ocean with my athletic career as an NCAA rugby player to found SEAAV from my dorm room.
Q: How are you defining happiness these days and what makes you most happy?
A: Happiness to me, stems from the little things. Coming home and having beach days with friends and laughing until my stomach hurts from stupid inside jokes, spontaneous adventures with my mom that often lead to patio drinks, competing with my brother and dad in just about anything – right now it’s spike ball tournaments and thrill-seeking activities.
I also find fulfillment from travel, meeting new people and learning about different cultures. I’m currently a digital nomad – and I’m grateful for the freedom this offers and the people I get to meet on my adventures.
Lastly, creating – I get butterflies when I’ve been working hard on something for a long time, and it finally aligns and what seemed like a massive hurdle is no longer in front of me. I can’t think of a more intense happiness – of evolving, adapting and overcoming an obstacle. Happy dances in the kitchen are a must when a big achievement is made!
Q: Where are you pulling motivation and inspiration from these days?
A: I stay motivated, positive, and focused by setting goals. As a business owner, it’s important that I make sure the conversation I have with my conscience is positive. It’s easy to compare, or go down a rabbit hole of what if?
It’s vital for my mental health to stay in my lane to achieve my goals and surround myself with supportive, driven, and motivating people. It’s truly amazing what you can achieve with the right conversation. Most of the time, that conversation comes from within. There’s also just as much power in the network of people I have around me.
Q: Do you think 10-year-old Mckenna is proud of who you are today?
A: 10-year-old Mckenna, would be super unimpressed. 10 year-old Mckenna thought she would be a famous singer or actress, but I’m no superstar today. As my vision has changed, I’m sure she’d come around.
Q: What are three things you’re grateful for right now?
A: (1) My parents: I would not be the strong, competitive, fearless woman I’m today without their support and guidance. Their belief and constant reaffirmation that I can achieve anything I set my mind to has stuck with me to this day.
(2) My network: I really feel like I’m surrounded by the best people from my coaches, mentors, professors, friends, and family that have come in and out of my life. I’m so grateful and have a lot of paying it forward to do in the future.
(3) My health: I feel like this is something I often take for granted. I’m blessed to have a strong mind and body.
Q: What’s a secret about you that nobody knows?
A: I’m terrified of birds! I think they are creepy.
Q: What was your motivation for starting Seaav?
A: SEAAV started as a college project in my intro business class my freshman year. I had to find a problem and create a solution. The problem I found is that over 52 million tonnes of polyester garments are produced every year. Because it’s made from non-renewable resources, virgin polyester is responsible for 40% of the fashion industry’s emissions. I saw a future for activewear without virgin polyester. A future that’s more responsible and sustainable. So, SEAAV was born. We make every SEAAV garment with recycled polyester, which reduces emissions by 75%, water use by 90%, and energy use by 50%—and I’m always learning how we can do better.
Since then, SEAAV has taken on a life of its own. As a proudly women-owned business, we’ve diverted over 100,000 plastic bottles from the ocean, we upcycle plastics into every garment, and we donate 1% of our profits to We The Reef.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received that you want to pass on to everybody reading this?
A: Nurture your relationships. Don’t take people for granted.