Aicha McKenzie co-founder of Amck Fit
The brains behind AMCK, the leading model, dance and fitness agency, on building her empire
‘Iwake up at 6.15am every day. My two-year-olddaughter comes into my bed and drinks hermilk, and my husband gets our 13-year-oldson up and they have breakfast together. Whileeveryone’s getting ready, I like to roll out my yoga matand spend a few minutes on a mix of yoga, stretching,core work and calisthenic (bodyweight) exercise. Next,I set an intention for the day. Then I make asmoothie with spinach, pineapple or mango,ginger, coconut oil, spirulina and a splash ofapple juice and water – and I have this in a bottleon the go. We then drive our son to school, dropour daughter off at the nursery near work, andhead into the office together.’
Aicha Mc Kenzie co Founder of Amck Fit Photo Gallery
BUILDING THE BRAND
‘I founded AMCK with my husband. As an exprofessional dancer and model, I discovereda love for fitness at an early age while trainingas a rhythmic gymnast [Aicha was a British andCommonwealth games champion]. Some skillswere transferable – being super-disciplined as agymnast has helped me as an entrepreneur. AMCKDance, which supplies dancers to the likes of KanyeWest, Katy Perry and Rihanna, launched first. I was adancer and choreographer, so we decided to use myknowledge to open an agency. AMCK Models, one ofthe UK’s largest male-only model agencies, came nextThrough the dancers, we were working with designerssuch as Dolce & Gabanna and Missoni, so moving intofashion seemed a logical step. Now, 10 years later,we’ve launched AMCK Fit, a fitness and wellnessconcierge service for people in highly stressful jobs. Ithelps people to understand that,when you feel your best, you lookyour best and are better able to builda sustainable lifestyle that doesn’trequire crash diets or quick fixes. I’mlucky to have the most amazing teamsupporting me in these projects.’
A LABOUR OF LOVE
‘There’s no typical day in the office. With three strandsto the brand, what gets most of my attention dependson what’s happening at that time. Some days, it’s allabout fashion. The models are constantly in and outof the office, and we’re planning shoots or doing clientwatching the models andmeeting them backstage. Otherdays, the focus is on dance,especially if it’s music awardsseason. We recently cast andbooked all 125 dancers for the MTVEMAs [Europe Music Awards],working with high-profile artists suchas Liam Payne, DemiLovato and CamillaCabello! And nowthat AMCK Fit haslaunched, I’mdeveloping workoutsand classes forclients. I’m working with AMCK Fitconsultant, Dr David McLaughlin,on his ideas to alleviate stress andanxiety – you need a healthy mindas well as a healthy body.’‘At lunchtime, I often meet with aPR company or a fashion brand at aprivate club such as Soho House orThe Curtain to discuss collaborating. It’s alsogreat for networking – you never know whoyou might be sitting next to! When I’m notlunching, I may teach a speedy workout to aclient or be on set at a photoshoot. And afterwork, there’s normally an event to attend –anything from a new restaurant opening toa private viewing at an art gallery. It’s all go!‘I try to have a work/life blend rather thana work/life balance. I don’t think you can doit all in equal measures. Instead, I’ll make itto sports day but email while on-the-go, ormy daughter will join me while I deviseexercises. And if I can tag a couple of familydays onto the end of a work trip, great! Idon’t have time to go to exercise classes,but I clean my teeth before bed while inthe yoga tree pose!’
AICHA’S LIFE- MANAGEMENT TIPS
Prioritise based on what’s importanteach day. And if that means that thelaundry is piling up, don’t beat yourselfup about it! Concentrate on where yourfocus needs to be and don’t sweat thesmall stuff.
Be authentically you. Rememberthat your individuality is your secretweapon and, when you truly live inyour own lane, nobody can touch you.
ʻDon’t be scared to ask for help, andalways buy the ready-made cake’ mix.
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