She launched two multi-million dollar fitness brands and wrote a bestselling book all before her 25th birthday. Now Grace Beverley is working with Linktree to judge the Passion Fund.
For evidence of Grace Beverley’s success, you only have to look at the numbers.
- #1 is the spot her first book placed on the UK’s Sunday Times bestsellers list
- 1 million is the amount of followers she has on Instagram
- $8.5 million USDis how much her activewear brand Tala made in its first year
Number one is also where she placed last year on the Forbes 30 under 30 retail and e-commerce list. It’s an accolade she thoroughly earned. In addition to serving as the CEO and founder of Tala, Grace is also behind the workout app Shreddy. These businesses have made her one of the biggest names in fitness.
The most impressive number of all? Her age.
At just 24, Beverley knows she doesn’t fit the mould of what you’d expect from a typical business mogul, but she sees her success as proof of a changing online landscape.
“I think we all have a view in our heads of what a traditional CEO looks like, but the thing is that just doesn’t need to be the case anymore,” she says from her London home. “Anyone can be a creative, anyone can be a business leader, anyone can be a CEO. And so there’s no real reason that couldn’t be you.”
That philosophy is why Beverley is stepping up as a judge for The Passion Fund, a new initiative from Linktree and Square. The Passion Fund is a support program where online creators and entrepreneurs can apply for the chance to receive financial support to further their vision. To help them turn their passion into a full-time gig, it will distribute a total of $250,000 USD to 25 to 40 creators, artists, side hustlers and small businesses.
For someone with a big dream, it could be a life changing cash injection.
The decision to launch The Passion Fund was inspired by the growth of what’s been dubbed ‘the passion economy.’ Unlike the gig economy, where work may be freelance but still controlled by a third party, the passion economy gives creators complete agency over what they do. On Linktree, for instance, users can now collect tips or payments from their audience on the platform—no intermediary involved.
It’s a profound market shift that has been facilitated by the rise of Linktree, as well as online platforms like Patreon, Cameo, Substack and Twitch, which have allowed creators to monetize their work on their terms. It’s now easier than ever to make a creative living —something the Passion Fund wants to help creators get out and do.
Beverley is excited to be part of the Passion Fund because she knows what it takes to balance a side hustle with other responsibilities.
At age 18, she began amassing a following on both Instagram and YouTube with her workout videos and fitness-related posts. A year after starting her social platforms, Beverley began selling products online “here or there.” The extra money helped because at the time, she was undertaking a full-time music degree at the prestigious University of Oxford. Another year later, in the middle of her degree, she founded Shreddy and “things just completely blew up.”
There’s a lesson in that, Beverley says: “It just goes to show how much you can achieve when you start to monetize your platform.”
Two successful businesses and one book deal later (her Productivity blueprint book Working Hard, Hardly Working was released in April), social media remains an “important tool” for what Beverley does. But these days, she is just as likely to post about her dog, what she’s reading, or the struggle of being a vegan as she is overt fitness content.
It’s all about staying connected with her audience. “[Social media] enables you to create audiences that would be really tough to create otherwise,” she says. “For me, that has been so hugely important in creating communities of people who really care about my businesses and what they’re doing and what they’re going to do next.”
There’s also an authenticity to the products Beverley is selling. Both Tala and Shreddy reflect the way her relationship with fitness has evolved over the years, something she’s long been honest with her audience about.
“My passion for fitness started really early. I always loved team sports. I love gymnastics. I love pretty much anything active,” Beverley says. “And then when I started to kind of force myself to go to the gym, that passion really disappeared. It was only when I discovered lifting weights and something that really made me feel empowered, that that passion came back.”
So with Shreddy, she wanted to create a workout app that was actually enjoyable. The ethos of it was simple: “You shouldn’t have to do workouts you hate.”
Beverley then created Tala because she wanted to be able to wear activewear made from recycled and upcycled materials, produced in conditions that she could be proud of. “I was really passionate about sustainably and ethically-produced clothing becoming the norm,” she explains. “I really believe that there is no place for non-sustainable brands nowadays.”
That passion and commitment is what Beverley thinks has helped her succeed.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say I’d always been business-minded. I would, however, say that I have always been a hard worker and I’ve always wanted to make things happen,” she says. “I’m very much the type of person who gets very determined and won’t stop until something is done. And I think that’s actually more important than being business-minded.”
Beverley’s fitness empire wouldn’t have been built if she hadn’t thrown herself into it and tried things out. That is the biggest learning she has to offer budding creators, entrepreneurs and side-hustlers eager to apply for the Passion Fund.
“My advice to anyone pursuing their passion is to just start. Get your idea on paper, get it out to an audience and just make it happen,” she says.