aila is made from natural ingredients, essential vitamins and superfoods. It's free from unknown chemicals, fillers and all that other sh*t. made for women who workout, by women who workout. We chatted with aila’s Co-Founders Katie Webb + Hannah Biondi to see how they achieve balance in their daily lives.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! I'm Katie. I was born in Rhode Island but have bounced around a bit - have been living in Manhattan for the last two years or so, and was on the west coast for about four and a half before that. I've worked in media sales for the majority of my career, stemming from sports to tech to lifestyle. By day, I work in brand partnerships at a major global digital publisher focused on youth culture fashion and footwear. At close to all other times, I work alongside Hannah, my close friend, and co-founder, to grow our newly launched wellness brand - aila.
I'm Hannah, the aforementioned co-founder. I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and went to college at Penn State. After school, I moved to New York and I've been here ever since. I work in the sports industry by day, more specifically the boxing industry, where I manage marketing campaigns and original content. Like Katie, I work on aila in all my other free time surrounding my day job.
What does balance mean to you?
K - Balance is more important to me now than it ever has been, juggling a full-time job, a side gig I hope to turn to the main gig, keeping up with my loved ones, keeping up my fitness/wellness regimen, and having some time to myself. I have a tendency to dip into a lot of different activities/commitments at once, but I've been working on making a conscious effort to keep my daily to-do lists focused and short. Putting less focus on checking off long lists to tackle everything, and putting more focus and effort into one thing at a time. Balance to me means to keep pushing forward, but when I do take the time to myself, making sure I really turn off and rest.
H - Balance means keeping all my life pillars standing. What does that mean? I look at it this way - I have things that matter to me most: my relationships with people I love (ok, and the ones I like), my job, my side hustle and myself. If at the end of the week I feel like one of those 4 things is "falling down," then I'm off balance. Sure, are there some weeks where one pillar is way stronger than the others? Of course. But have I at least checked in on them all to make sure they're not a pile of rubble, hopefully. I find that if I don't balance myself in these four areas, I start to lose grasp of all of them. Balance means, keeping yourself in the best mindset to be happy, healthy, successful and more.
What three things define balance for you and how do you achieve them?
K - My three main pillars would probably be fitness, career, and family/friends. I achieve them by keeping a steady routine - days I workout and days I don't, nights for TV and nights for working on aila. I try to block my calendar at the beginning of each week with my commitments, things I need to get done, etc - and bake in the downtime around it.
H - Mine would definitely be - my career, myself (fitness, self-care, etc.) and my relationships. I take care of them by having a routine and a well-scheduled calendar. Also, I get up extremely early to be able to enjoy my mornings. Mornings are my time to enjoy a break before digging into my inbox. At the moment it means either getting up early to crush a workout or waking up earlier than needed to be able to enjoy a cup of coffee with my boyfriend before getting to work.
What advice do you have for someone struggling to find work/life balance?
K&H - We work very similarly in how we stay balanced so we'd both say scheduling your time is a great start - whether that means going to a gym class, working on finishing that book you started (we both could be crowned the queen of the half-read book), or just vegging out in front of the TV (Katie is a BIG proponent of this) - make the time. And try to avoid super long to-do lists, you'll likely wind up doing a bunch of them half-assed without really feeling like you checked things off. Try to focus on 2-3 major tasks a day. We've been working on this strategy when we meet to work on aila - it's helped us so much to be productive and make the best use of our time.
Do you have any go-to resources or rituals that help you find balance?
K - In terms of rituals or habits, I guess I would say I try to limit myself to one "social" outing on weeknights - whether that be drinks or dinner with a friend, a client/work outing, etc.. The other nights I try to focus on aila, cook (translation: learn to cook) and spend time at home with my boyfriend and my pup. Keeping a steady pattern of what I do with my weeknights helps me ensure I have some self-time.
I also pretty much only workout in the morning before work - it's way too daunting to leave it until the end of the day and I like to optimize my time after work for other things. Getting 4-5 workouts in per week is important to me and improves my focus and motivation throughout the day - I can say with certainty that I accomplish more during the workday when I've worked out that morning.
I just recently picked up the book Journey to the Heart. It may be pretty mainstream at this point, but I love the quick daily affirmations to set my mind right for the day. Also, did I mentioned I love TV? Putting on The Office and just taking time to not think is a big recharger for me.
H - I'm pretty simple - I need to make it to the gym at least 3 days in a week or I'm useless to myself and others. I try to make at least one of the days boxing. Having that time to clear my head (& hit things,) turn off from work and sweat a little keeps me balanced (read as sane). Otherwise - the occasional face mask never hurts!
Now let’s have some fun, what are some random things we don’t know about you?
K - I held the hula hoop record in elementary school (still might tbh.) Dark chocolate makes me sneeze. When I'm not daydreaming about aila making it big, I wonder if I ever would have made it as a backup dancer for Justin Bieber.
H - I can throw a football better than most men I know. I have a plant in my apartment that I named Spike. I once took a trip to Paris alone. Talk about self-care! It was my first time abroad and I speak no French - but I survived!
To learn more about Katie, Hannah and aila follow @meetaila on Instagram and visit their website.