My Monthly Favourite: Natasha Kelly, Founder of Tiosk, UK
When I was choosing who I wanted to write about as my favourite inspiring person this month, it was an easy choice for me to choose Natasha Kelly, Founder of Tiosk UK.
I first met Natasha 2 years ago when she signed up to do my 6 Week Course, Transform Your Diet, Transform Your Life. She was getting ready to launch Tiosk and wanted to reconnect to her love of wholefoods and plant-based cooking. Little did we know, it was going to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship between us.
Whilst teaching Natasha I watched her re-establish her love and passion for wholefood cooking (and eating) as well as re-connecting to a deeper relationship with herself, her dreams and how to nourish herself. It soon became clear that food and nourishment was going to be just as big and important part of Tiosk as the beautiful Teas, which we can all see flourishing beautifully today. She soon recruited me on as her Head Natural Foods Chef to help her launch their wholefoods menu and neither of us has looked back since.
Tiosk is blossoming into one of the best-kept secrets in London, and where I will ALWAYS go to when I want a great plate of food and the best Matcha Almond Latte in town. You will be guaranteed a great bowl of nourishing wholefoods, great Tea, Zen atmosphere and impeccable service. All qualities embodied by Natasha herself (although she would deny it profusely), which is why I couldn’t wait to introduce her to you as my favourite inspiring person this month.
1. Scene setting – Where are you right now?
I’m very fortunate to be holidaying in Port De Soller Majorca with my children right now. I woke up early so I could sneak in an hours work, but as usual my youngest Gabriel awoke the second my foot touched the floor. I am now writing my interview answers whilst Morph plays loudly in the background (for those of you not familiar with Morph, he is an animated plaster-sine character that makes continuous babbling noises – no words..) and my every thought is interrupted by “mum, can I have”…
Wish me luck with this interview!
2. What was the trigger that inspired you to give up your old life and create a new one?
I have been plotting my own business since the age of 20. Thirty years experience in corporate international fashion, working in senior roles for amazing brands like Donna Karan and Michael Kors, really drove me to try to improve the quality of our life. Make no mistake, starting a business will likely dramatically reduce your quality of life for at least 3 years and of course carries some pretty hefty risks, but if the motivation is there, then you jump off feet first anyway and hope that it will all pay off in the end…
3. What does empowered eating mean to you?
When you find a healthy, natural way of cooking and eating that fits in with your lifestyle and allows you to enjoy food for foods sake without thoughts of calories, fat etc, for me you are empowered. It’s not necessarily easy to find this balance in this fast paced age we live in, but if you can find that happy place, then you are truly empowered.
A couple of years ago, I took one of Nicky’s amazing cookery courses, it has served as a really great foundation for the way I eat and cook for the family. I am not strictly macrobiotic or even vegan, but I can really see the benefits of eating in tune with nature and the seasons.
At Tiosk we really underpin everything we do with this ethos too.
4. You have 4 children and you are a single mum, which is pretty amazing! How do you manage to do it all?
Honestly….? It’s pretty challenging at times and I am most certainly not going to get any ‘Mum of the Year’ awards anytime soon, however I have a very good relationship with the children’s father and he is really present in their lives, so despite being apart, together we make a pretty strong team.
5. What is the next act of self care you need to do to help keep you in balance?
I plan to build more routine into our lives. Since the launch of Tiosk, there has been little routine or structure to our daily lives, it has felt a little like we are in a permanent state of moving house, everything is a little up in the air. The food and drink industry is really 24/7 and full of unexpected variables, so things can be quite frantic at times.
Structure is probably the single most important thing missing from my life since the launch of Tiosk, so I am now working hard to build routine back in for a healthier me and happier family.
6. What’s next?
Actually we are at a very exciting crossroads, we are just about to launch a Crowdfunding campaign with Crowdcube, which we hope will allow us to realise phase 2 of our business plan, which is to launch our packaged dry tea for retail, wholesale and e-commerce. Phase 3 next year, will include more stores!
7. What is your ultimate vision for Tiosk? Don’t hold back!
Ultimately we plan to expand the business significantly through a big retail roll-out, e-commerce and wholesale.
Our goal is to bring healthy tea based drinks and wholesome food to a wider audience, starting with the rest of London! To be continued…