In Conversation with Verity Park of TALA X WILSoc

By Emma White

Having followed Grace Beverley since the days of GraceFitUK, the announcement of her new fashion brand ‘TALA’ back in 2019 came with great excitement. A similar sense of

excitement came with the announcement that TALA would be visiting our university as part

of Women in Leadership Society’s [WILSoc] ‘Empower Conference’. The society, which

prides itself in diversity and inclusion, holds the conference once a year to inspire the next

generation of graduates.


Grace Beverley is the founder and CEO of three brands: TALA, Shreddy and B_ND. All of

which have proved greatly successful for the Oxford University graduate. Grace has used her platform (which originated from YouTube) for positive change that is imperative to spark

the interest of our generation. Not only has she begun to challenge the stereotypical

content of ‘YouTubers’ by consistently producing content that is productive and informative

for young women, but she has done so whilst fully engaging in such side hustles!


Verity Park has not only worked alongside Grace on the launch of TALA but is also very

importantly a Leeds alumna herself! Verity has worked closely with Grace as a friend and

colleague, as a member of the ‘Gleam Futures’ management team. After graduating in 2016,

she has worked within Marketing and PR teams from Leeds to London and is now working

as a Talent Manager at Gleam Futures, whilst overseeing the development strategy of

TALA as an exciting start up.


Who are TALA?

TALA pride themselves upon the core values of diversity, inclusion and sustainability and so

were the perfect fit for an afternoon aimed at motivating like-minded women. Transparency

and honesty are unique to TALA’s business plan, and they very clearly have the figures to

supplement their sustainability practices. An incredible 92% of their products are upcycled

and all of their packaging is made from recycled material which is even further recyclable

after use!


TALA mean business when it comes to sustainability, and the closure of the website for

‘Black Friday’ evidences how serious they are about their customers making conscious

fashion decisions. Similarly, their use of Instagram as a platform to educate consumers is

revitalising its purpose as a marketing tool. Not only are TALA’s customers aware of the

positive impact their choices are having on the environment, but they’re doing so whilst

looking bang on trend too!


The brand provides a refreshing sense of hope amongst a market otherwise saturated in fast

fashion. Such hope is very easily submerged in negativity surrounding the fears of climate

change and global warming; TALA could not have come at a better time! Even further, their

high levels of Instagram engagement would suggest they’re becoming an ever-growing

leader in the market for sustainable activewear!


A Conversation with Verity Park

At the conference, Verity gave a very insightful presentation on how herself and Grace built

TALA from an idea to the business it is today. Afterwards, questions were presented by both

WILSoc’s President and then later, the audience. Below are a selection of Verity’s intuitive

responses on working for TALA and further advice on how you can build your own social

media brand, just like Grace!


What does your day to day look like?

“It literally never looks like one thing! I do different things every single day which is one of

the things I love about my job because I’ll be with different clients or I’ll be working on long

term career strategies for them. I might be going to shoots, attending press interviews,

putting pitches together or negotiating long term partnerships. Like I say, it really varies,

and that variety is what myself and I’d say most of my colleagues at Gleam love about the

job”


Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years…what’s the dream?

“I would like to think that by that point TALA will have expanded and hopefully will be

reaching a much bigger audience, and I’ll be able to help harness the direction of where this

goes/what this looks like. Similarly managing Grace’s career and profile as this develops is

something I feel really excited about”


What advice would you give yourself as an undergrad… what do you wish you would have been told?

“You’re probably going to get imposter syndrome with whatever you do, so feel confident

and know that what you have to say is valuable and don’t second guess yourself. I’ve found

that anybody at any level will feel like this, even Grace! Everyone would look at her and

think she would never feel negative or feel imposter syndrome, but it’s something she

speaks about regularly, so back yourself and know that sometimes you’re going to feel a bit

out of place, but actually you are valuable and that’s the reason you’re in the room”


As you said, TALA has more engagement on social media than any other leading brand in the field, why do you think that is and how is a relationship like that built with the consumer?

“Good question… why do I think that is? Well, we are really on our brand and tone of voice

on Instagram. You know what you’re going to get from us. We do a lot of work with

Instagram about how to best engage your audience as a brand using Instagram. Off the back of this we do lots of videos explaining our products and Instagram stories taking people

through features of our products. That kind of insight into the brand narrative is something

that people really want, and have been found to really engage with, I think that is one of the

things that sets us apart. Also, we were born a digital brand, so we started on Instagram and

that’s how we primarily did all of our marketing. I think that gives us an edge as well

because people know where they can find us.


Aside from Grace’s following, what strategies did you use to build your Instagram

community? Or could you recommend/ give advice to a smaller brand hoping to build their community?

“Yeah absolutely! So, there are a few things that are best practice. You should be posting

every day and you should ideally be posting more than once a day. The reason for that is we

see so many ads per day. Apparently, we scroll the length of Big Ben on our phone every

day, which gives you an insight into how we are bombarded with content, so you need to

get in there amongst the noise!


Give Instagram exclusives if you can, people are really moving away from curated content

and now want to see ‘the real stuff’. People want to see the people behind the brand, they

want to see how that product came to be and why it came to be, so build commerce into

the narrative on your stories.


Also, video is a huge priority for Instagram at the moment so make sure that you’re posting

lots of video content and don’t feel as though your IGTV has to be really beautifully edited

or beautifully shot. Film it on your phone and upload it there and then, like I say people

want to see things that are real. Use all of the features, as they are here to help you engage

with your audience. By that I mean stuff like polls, questions, music… all those things!”



I would like to give huge thanks to Verity for an absolutely invaluable conversation which

has given great insight into the world of social media marketing and the future for

sustainable businesses.


You can check out the TALA brand using the link below:

https://www.wearetala.com/


I would also like to thank everyone at WILSoc for your efforts to put together an inspiring

afternoon and comprising some great, informative questions!


Find more information on how to join Women in Leadership Society below:

https://www.luu.org.uk/women-in-leadership/


Join their Facebook group here:

https://www.facebook.com/luuwils/


And lastly, make sure to attend the conference next year!

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