Founder Focus: Grace Beverley of Shreddy, TALA and B_ND
Grace Beverley is the Founder and Director of TALA, B_ND, and Shreddy. We caught up with the astounding entrepreneur to find out how she juggled graduating from Oxford University while building three hugely successful brands, all by the age of just 23 years old.
What was your eureka moment?
I don’t think there was a specific moment, it was more an accumulation of things! With TALA, I realised there was a lack of activewear brands I could get behind, as they weren’t sustainable, affordable or inclusive enough. So I decided to look into setting up something myself, and here we are! With Shreddy, I personally felt that fitness apps weren’t doing enough to be accessible and goal-driven, whilst taking into account user preferences, so we created a space for everybody to use and get the most out of. I also think that Shreddy was a natural progression for the business.
What is your elevator pitch?
TALA offers sustainable, ethical, high performance and flattering style for every body type, made from factory offcuts and plastic bottles. B_ND is a one-stop, no-nonsense shop for gym equipment, and SHREDDY is the ultimate fitness companion, space for everybody to achieve their goals and track their progress.
How did you test your idea?
At the beginning I was definitely my own test subject, I based all products I made off of things I would use myself and felt the industry really lacked, so it all had to tick the right boxes for me. The team has been fantastic with this as well, always sharing their opinions and where they think each product can be improved. We all have different tastes so there’s a variety of options for everyone thrown in there. We’re very hands-on with the testing process and I love constantly talking to people about the businesses and using their criticisms and questions to improve the ideas themselves.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start a business on their own?
Prioritise your time and figure out exactly what you want to achieve, there has to be a clear motive to it, otherwise, you’ll easily get distracted and lose track. It’s all about balance and spreading yourself correctly across your priorities. Then, refine your concept over and over until it’s bulletproof!
Do you have a mentor or are you one?
I’ve recently accumulated a few different mentors and people I look up to. I know I have so much to learn and take aspects of that from all different areas that inspire me.
What’s your plan B?
I don’t really have a plan B as such, I always thought I’d work in a corporate job, and have been interested in everything from Law to Politics to Finance. I think in another life I may have gone into law, but I don’t know if that would be something I’d do now. I think in order to be successful you have to dedicate yourself to your present, rather than worrying about what you’d do otherwise, you have to make what you’re doing now the only option.
What is the most worthwhile investment that you have made?
Time and energy are definitely joint up there at the top – without a hell of a lot of both those aspects, I wouldn’t be where I am today with the businesses. My degree definitely has this to thank too, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done as it was alongside starting the businesses, but to be able to say I am an Oxford University graduate is something I am so proud of, and I had to prove to myself that I could get through it.
What one failure are you glad you experienced?
Oh god, I can’t even count how many have turned into learning curves. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had a single failure that hasn’t turned around to be positive at some point. Any product issues, in particular, have made sure that we continuously develop all our ideas and review each product so that we can be proud of every single thing we have out there.
What is coming up for Shreddy?
We have a huge amount of updates in the works at all times and truly care about the feedback of each and every one of our users. We’re constantly looking for new things to do and we have exciting things lined up, we want to make Shreddy more than just an app, and you’re going to have to watch this space!
What book would you recommend that everyone reads and why?
Jodi Picoult – Small, Great Things. Really, really important.
How do you find balance in your daily life?
I plan every day out so I know exactly what I’m doing and when. This means I always give myself a little time to relax, even if that’s just taking my dog for a walk. It’s so important to just take time to chill and relax. It gives your brain the chance to process the day and refreshes you. I won’t lie and say I’m the best at this though, balance is something I am really working towards this year!