Wellbeing Agency Founder Tilly Berry on why she's determined to give young people a voice
We had a chat with Tilly Berry, Founder of The Wellbeing Agency, to find out more about how she turned her passion into a business.
What was it like finding your first job?
Stressful! At university I was so focused on achieving a good grade that I forgot to apply for jobs! The good news was that I got the grade I wanted, the bad news was that, unlike my peers, I was totally unprepared for what would come next... unemployment. I was disillusioned and disheartened by so many failed job applications and interviews (post uni) that I decided to throw it all in and signed up to a temping agency, where luck would have it, I ended up finding my first proper job as a well-paid air hostess on a private jet. I managed to hold the job down for year, travelling around the world and growing up, until finally the glamour of the job had worn off and I actually craved applying myself in a different way.
I had just started the process of job applications again when my friend posted a job ad on Facebook for the startup company she was working for called City Pantry (CP): 'Searching for a temporary sales assistant to help sell food over Christmas'. My heart leapt at the opportunity to be able to tell my parents I had a job without actually having to apply for anything. The next week I was on the phone selling food and ... I absolutely LOVED IT! Time flew by, and I am pleased to say that CP decided to offer me a full time role.
I left CP four years later after making my way up the startup ladder to (rather prematurely) managing a small team of account managers. I loved my new role and stepping into my managerial shoes but at the same time my passion for selling food was declining as I discovered a new passion, yoga. It was then that I started a company called The Wellbeing Agency with my best friend Meri. We were finding yoga teachers for offices which complemented my job at CP where I managed large corporate accounts. When I finally plucked up the courage to leave my job at City Pantry and embark on our new venture, our co-founder also decided to embark on a new adventure - to Australia! Today, The Wellbeing Agency thrives, delivering not just yoga but all kinds of wellbeing classes to a diverse range of clients including companies, families, private individuals and wellbeing apps!
As a young company with a young founder (yourself!), is it important that you continue this trend and hire young people into your business?
I am one of four and have two younger siblings whom I love very dearly and have deep admiration for. I have watched them grow up in a different world (and very grateful for it, thank god I have them to keep me young and cool!
Young people bring boundless energy, new perspectives and creativity to the table. You are our future and I am determined to give you a voice. More significantly, research from the Mental Health Foundation shows young people are one of the worst affected groups by the pandemic, which is unsurprising given the lack of job opportunities out there. I am excited to be part of changing this story to a more positive one where young people are levelled up through the Kickstart Scheme and given an opportunity to fulfill their potential.
How can someone impress you in a job interview? Do they need to have a degree?
In order to apply you have to have excellent written and verbal English skills. To impress me I am looking for candidates who bring with them a good energy. Someone who knows how and why it's important to lift and empower others around them. Someone who is passionate about health and wellbeing and is able to show compassion, gratitude and empathy towards themselves and others. Someone who takes responsibility for, and prioritises, their own health and happiness and is driven to help others do the same. Someone who is willing to learn, be part of a team and ask for help when they need it. Someone who takes initiative and has demonstrated resilience during the pandemic, e.g. is able to show off a lockdown project or self development project.
Where do you envision The Wellbeing Agency to be in the next 5 years?
The Wellbeing Agency will continue to grow and adapt to any challenges we face over the next 5 years, who knows where the journey will take us. Onwards and upwards.