Shake negative self-talk — When I feel the negativity coming in, I immediately try to flip the thought to being grateful. For example, negative thought: “ugh, how am I going to do this” to positive thought: “I’m grateful to have the opportunity to create my own career where I encounter these challenges. They are my own, so I can solve them.”
Asa part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Katie Webb.
Ex-advertising executive turned wellness founder and fitness trainer, Katie Webb, stumbled upon the idea of the product when she became frustrated with the lack of fitness products tailored to her. So she started with mixing a better energy formula of her own in her kitchen in Chelsea, Manhattan. Don’t worry, it’s no longer made in her kitchen.
Herself and her company have recently been featured in Business Insider, Thrive Global, Authority Magazine and Crunchbase.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Sure thing! My name is Katie and I’m the founder of an active wellness brand called Aila. We create functional superfood blends for better energy on the go. I come from 10+ years in advertising and brand partnerships from companies like HYPEBEAST and Barstool Sports, and am also a certified fitness instructor. I’ve always loved being active. I also have a 7lb miniature schnauzer named Letty that I adore.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
I would say COVID hitting about a week after I quit my full time job to work on Aila was an interesting experience. There was certainly a moment of panic, but I was able to pivot our focuses fairly quickly and think about how our consumer’s routines, specifically their fitness routines, were about to change. Focusing on subscription and DTC as well as tweaking our messaging saved us I think. It taught me early that it’s important to never stop thinking about the customer’s day to day and routine. Pivoting is better than trying to force your current ways.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Messing up our trademark by not reading through the details enough ☺ A company had a trademark on our previous name, but we were able to pivot it quickly! Lesson learn — always read the fine print.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My boyfriend is an e-commerce wiz and helped me get all the pipes set up for our business. What’s more, he’s an entrepreneur at heart, and is extremely supportive and positive minded. He’s my perfect match as someone who often gets imposter syndrome!
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
My mission for Aila is to empower as many active lifestyles as possible. Prior to starting the company, we surveyed over 700 women, and over 70% came back to us saying they felt they didn’t have many energy options besides coffee and pre-workout supplements to fuel before their workouts. We lead with superfood and plant-based ingredients to deliver “better for you” products for a market that has primarily focused on men when it comes it performance and fitness.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
- Meditation — 10 minutes every morning has changed my focus and mental health for the better!
- Eat well — I try to incorporate a reasonable amount of protein, veggies, and yes carbs throughout the week. My energy levels thank me.
- Move — Doing some sort of activity throughout the day (whether it’s a 30 minute HIIT workout, or just a walk) is a great way to break up the monotony some of us feel while working from home, and staying healthy while doing it.
- Natural light — I try to do most of my work by a window with natural light — It keeps me alert and energized.
- Shake negative self-talk — When I feel the negativity coming in, I immediately try to flip the thought to being grateful. For example, negative thought: “ugh, how am I going to do this” to positive thought: “I’m grateful to have the opportunity to create my own career where I encounter these challenges. They are my own, so I can solve them.”
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Post COVID, I would love to see communities lean into outdoor and active events for free at the local level, to support connection and healthy living.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Read the fine print (see above!)
- Dig deep into your brand values and messaging — We’ve had to tweak things along the road, but some of it I could have gotten ahead of!
- Work life balance — Since I work for myself, it’s easy to work through my personal time. I’ve gotten on a better schedule now where I plan certain focuses for each day, and try not to tack on extra tasks late into the night just for the sake of it.
- Get a mentor — I still don’t have a solid mentor I would say, although I have a great team of advisors. If I start over again, I would seek this out.
- Mindset is everything — You’re the voice you hear most throughout the day, and if it’s filled with negativity and doubt, your actions will follow suit. Being able to lead with a positive mindset in adversity is extremely important.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Sustainability is a big one for us as we aim to have fully sustainable packaging, which is very new in the supplement world, and still quite costly. I’m hopeful that in the years to come this will become much more of a non-negotiable and less of a luxury. In terms of mental health, amidst a pandemic I’d argue it’s almost more important than the physical kind.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
I’m at @k.webb on Instagram and https://www.linkedin.com/in/kaitlynwebb/ on LinkedIn! Aila is at meetaila.com and @meetaila.
Thank you for these fantastic insights! Welcome!