In conversation with TALA founder and CEO Grace Beverley
We caught up with Grace about sustainable business, work-life balance, and why she loves Heights.
Best-selling author. Influencer supreme. Founder and CEO of sustainable activewear brand TALA and fitness transformation platform Shreddy. Forbes 30 under 30. Grace Beverley knows what it’s like to have a lot going on.
Which means she also knows what it’s like to be under pressure, and to feel the impact of that on her mental health. So this Mental Health Awareness Week, we spoke to Grace about starting her sustainable activewear brand, the lessons in her book, Working Hard, Hardly Working, and what she does to look after her mental health.
Tell us about TALA, what led you to start it and what sets you apart from others on the market?
TALA is sustainably made activewear that you feel good in, and good about.
After years of working in the fitness industry and partnering with activewear brands as an influencer, I founded TALA to provide a solution that was missing from both my wardrobe, and the wider industry. I couldn't find sustainably produced styles that I knew wouldn't let me down on performance, fit, or quality, without the hefty price tag. And after our first Seamless activewear drop sold out in May 2019, it was clear that lots of other people felt the same!
Our products and packaging are made with upcycled, recycled and natural materials, and we focus on ethics, sustainability and transparency at every stage of production. Crucially, sustainability wasn’t an afterthought for TALA, it was a must from day one—from production to manufacturing, materials to packaging. In our first 12 months alone, through sustainable manufacturing practices, TALA saved 3,455,251 litres of water, 226,512 KG of CO2, and recycled 69,150 bottles of water.
Your book Working Hard, Hardly Working, offers a fresh take on how to manage your work-life balance, be more productive, and feel fulfilled. As CEO of two companies, how do you live this mantra while having to juggle so much?
Well, I’m human and it’s a work-in-progress—I’m always honest and transparent about this.
But receiving the reviews and messages from those who have read Working Hard, Hardly Working is fulfilling. Ultimately I wrote the book I felt I needed, because I genuinely did not have the right balance.
I also have a podcast centred around the book themes, and work-life balance, so give that a listen if you can.
In terms of balance and overall business tips—I’ll give these:
Time-block—it will help you achieve a happy personal life, as well as an efficient professional life. I talk about this a lot in my book!
Be cautious of ‘hustle culture’—know where your lines are and what you need to do to protect your sanity. You need to prevent burnout.
If you are starting or running your own business, find the right balance between growing organically and also for progress at the right times. There is a sweet spot between the two.
Follow your gut! It will show you where your integrity is and lead you to create businesses you can stand by every step of the way.
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week—can you tell us a bit about your experience with mental health? And what are some things you do to take care of your brain and mental health?
Firstly, I’m so glad there is an increasing open-forum for conversation on mental health. Of course, as a society we have so much more to do but I love that this is a question.
I have spoken openly about the pressures of business, and working in the online space, amongst other things. I struggled with mental health whilst running multiple businesses, I realised that as much as I was a huge advocate for talking about mental health and removing stigma, I actually didn’t apply that to myself.
Nowadays, this is how I take care of my brain and mental health—fitness, social-media breaks, quality time with friends and family, reading (often not to do with work related subjects), travelling, and the best mood-booster ever, my dog Ziggy!
Why are you and the TALA team fans of Heights?
What’s not to love!
There are several very clear alignments between Heights and TALA. We both put sustainability at the core of our business and products, and we both understand how important it is to have conversations about our mental health journey. The TALA team is very excited to be partnering with Heights this Mental Health Awareness Week to share their expertise with our community.
We’ve teamed up with Grace and the team at TALA to raise awareness during Mental Health Awareness Week. To find out more about what you can do to look after your mental health, take a look at Nawal Mustafa’s top mental health tips here.