For Women’s History Month, we interviewed another amazing female founder, Katie Webb of Aila, who is changing what we drink before our morning workout. Essentially kicking our coffee habit to the curb and replacing it with Aila, a healthy, superfood pre-workout blend that boosts energy and focus without the crash, reduces stress and supports a healthy inflammatory response.
What prompted you to launch Aila?
As a fitness consumer and instructor myself, I noticed I wasn’t the only woman frustrated with the lack of ‘better for you’ energy options for before a workout. It seemed like it was either spending $5-6 at Starbucks every morning on my way to a boutique fitness class, or using some questionable pre-workout supplements with ingredients I wasn’t comfortable putting in my body. In the wellness world, there’s a major focus on general well-being and beauty with superfood, adaptogen and plant-based products, but not a whole lot of focus on the fitness or active lifestyle aspect for women. I wanted to take traditional “wellness” ingredients, and formulate them to support physical activity and fitness too. Aila’s become my go to boost before every workout!
Katie Webb, founder of Aila
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Awareness is the biggest challenge when you don’t have a large marketing budget, especially during COVID when people aren’t necessarily active in the same ways they were before. We also haven’t been able to sell into fitness studios from a wholesale perspective which was a big focus for us prior. We’ve been able to overcome it through DTC and building up our subscription customer base.
Have there been any silver linings from Covid?
We’re lucky enough to have actually grown quite a bit during this time. I think a lot of our customers noticed they were drinking a lot more coffee than they normally would and wanted a replacement, or were looking for a new motivation for fitness routines in their homes which can be a bit de-motivating in itself. Really thinking about how our consumer’s active routine has changed has allowed us to pivot messaging and reach our customer in new ways.
Aila, superfood energy drink mix - Matcha blend
Has your POV on supporting small businesses and female founders changed now that you are one?
Oh yes. I think being a founder and waking up everyday to work on something that doesn’t give you a paycheck takes a special kind of devotion for your brand or project. Not only that, but it really is discipline more so than motivation. There are plenty of days I don’t wake up super motivated, but I keep at it and have all the respect in the world for founders that do the same.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
Some days are easier than others. I try to keep track of what I’ve accomplished during the week and all the small wins on a list in Notion, so I can look at them at the end of the day or week and feel proud.
What is your goal for 2021?
Launching our new products soon! And also getting into some of our top retailers we’re speaking to.
Any other female founded brands you want to shout out?
Yes! Well, MASAMI of course :) Also, definitely Liberate Studio and Marea Wellness. I’ve become really close with the founders and it’s been great having a support system of women waking up everyday and building their dreams with great products.