How yoga inspired this female founder to launch a start-up

How yoga inspired this female founder to launch a start-up

Tiega Alberts, 32, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and, along with her siblings, immigrated to the UK when she was 26 years old and now lives in London. Despite having a very promising career trajectory in a large public company, she felt unfulfilled and decided to forego the corporate track to give it a go at entrepreneurship. With only enough funds for 5 months personal expenses, Tiega is attempting to see whether with a good idea, a great product and the right strategy, she can successfully launch her brand Kwush. Born from her yoga and Ayurveda journey, Kwush is looking to support people to boost their vibrancy through incremental improvements in how they consume and is starting with a range of superlattes inspired by traditional Ayurvedic moon milk recipes. She wants to prove that anyone can start something of their own.

How did you come up with the idea?

“I used to do exercise that was punishing like over-doing cardio but then I changed to yoga which helped me mentally, spiritually, and physically. Now I look at exercise as a pleasurable experience. As I’ve been growing on my yoga journey, I’ve also started to incorporate principles of Ayurveda into how I consume and my diet and that is how I came across Ayurvedic moon milk recipes. They are essentially simple recipes containing Ashwagandha, a root with powerful medicinal properties, and other health promoting ingredients like Turmeric and blue matcha. And essentially, I thought, how can I bring this to the public. And that is how Kwush was born.”

Who can benefit from these lattes?

“The kind of person that can benefit from Kwush superlattes is a person who is looking to decrease their caffeine intake, has caffeine intolerance, or wants to enjoy the purported health benefits of Ayurveda such as for better sleep and the management of anxiety and stress better. There is a whole lot of new studies and evidence coming out about how adaptogens like Ashwagandha can be beneficial in these areas and on top, overconsumption of caffeine can really have negative effects on us. What fascinates me is that a lot of studies today are just proving what traditional medicine systems and yogis have known for years ”.

What has been the hardest part for you?

“One thing, I am very conscious about recently is how much courage it takes to put your face next to a project and just put yourself out there. That has been the hardest part for me, becoming fearless and really being brave to remove ego and get out of my comfort zone and be willing to potentially make a fool of myself. Yoga also has made me stronger in this regard because of how it has taught me to remove ego and I’ve had a lot of yoga teachers remind me that it is okay to look silly or fall over as you try master new poses. There are so many people in my professional network, all the bosses I’ve had, all the colleagues I’ve worked with, whose opinions I value, and it takes a lot of courage to really put my brand and project out there in front of these incredibly smart people I’ve worked with in the past and hopefully not get trampled. I do remind myself that these people would want the best for me no matter what, however; everyone judges and I have started to get comfortable with the fact that some people just won’t like what I am doing and that’s going to have to be okay if I am going to succeed.” 

What drives you?

“I am driven by different things. On one hand I think to myself “why not me?” – like if other people can do this, why can’t I?” On the other hand, I do think that entrepreneurship is a creative process – I may not be a photographer or a painter or a poet but to create a business from scratch is an enormously creative process and that is my creative outlet. I want to create something fun but also good for people. Creativity is one way to get closer to the divine. On top, I do dream of being able to fly my parents in business class from South Africa to London because they are getting older and it pains me to think of them sitting upright for a 12 hour flight. I also want to be in a position to make a difference in vulnerable people’s lives and I just wasn’t making enough money in my 9 – 5 to be able to really even think about making any dent in anything. So yes creativity, the act of creation and then all the benefits that come with that drives me”. 

What have you learnt throughout the process?

“Similar to yoga, with time, resilience, and patience, you improve but you have to show up and keep going and keep trying. I’ve recently started Kundalini yoga which has been fascinating to me as it is all about resilience in the face of repetition. Sometimes, you will do these very simple movements but you have to keep going for a long time and what starts off easy becomes very difficult after many repetitions, but you have to engage your mental resilience and no matter what, not stop. I am trying to bring those principles into how I work on my start-up. Don’t get me wrong, I still get plagued with so much self-doubt, but so far, I’ve managed to conquer these doubts and get back on the horse”.


How to follow Tiega’s journey

Tiega has just launched her crowdfunding campaign which allows people to pre-order her Kwush superlattes and be the first to try. She is currently on Indiegogo and you can find her campaign at KWUSH SUPER LATTES: Healthy coffee alternative. You can also join the waiting list on her website or follow on Instagram @thisiskwush. 



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