We speak to Dria Murphy, the New York City-based wellness expert, and founder of both The Ness and Alise Collective
Dria is the founder and CEO of Alise Collective, a creative marketing company that takes a 360 approach to building brands, and Co-Founder of The Ness, a digital fitness platform specialising in beat-based trampoline cardio and muscle-sculpting classes. We find out more about her day to day schedule of juggling two companies and transitioning from brick and mortar to digital.
Where are you working from at the moment?
I’m currently working from my West Village apartment or Spring Place in Tribeca.
Do you have any morning routines? Is there an app that you lean on to start your day?
My morning (and sometimes afternoon) matcha is definitely a ritual I rely on when working from home. I also find bookending my days with The Ness’ 'Bounce Class' and then a walk by the Hudson River or through the West Village helps me focus and relieve stress. Bounce is the only workout I’ve ever found that truly clears my mind and acts as a form of meditation.
I can’t think about anything else when I’m on the trampoline so my mind doesn’t wander to my to-do list. I feel so fortunate to be able to do it from home with our digital platform. I am also not afraid to look to my favourite wellness brands for some help. Right now my favourites are Well Told Health Stress Fighter, Prima Brain Fuel and The Well Superpowder.
What was the idea behind your companies?
In terms of Alise Collective, I wanted to take a 360 approach to building brands that I wholeheartedly stand behind. All my clients are things I actually use, wear, visit, take, etc. The industry has changed so much and is so oversaturated, the reality is that a traditional PR approach is just not enough. We provide everything from brand partnerships, events and retail inclusion to digital content creation, social management, analytics tracking, etc.
My partners and I founded The Ness because we truly love trampoline bounce and wanted to create an incredible community in a beautiful space to feel like an oasis amidst the busy city. At the start of the pandemic, we immediately launched The Ness Digital to provide that same quality sweat with our community from home.
How do you feel about both the fitness world and marketing of brands making the transition to digital?
With studios closing, I think the fitness world is undergoing the biggest change we’ve seen since boutique took over. Brands have no choice but to lean on tech and, in our case, we’re up for the challenge. We love that you can take the ness anywhere with you beyond just the studio walls. We quickly launched an app to make it even easier to access our workout videos on the go.
Marketing in our world goes well beyond any one action. It takes a 360-degree ecosystem to create a lasting brand and, as I always say, it’s about playing the long game. Immediate results will never be sustainable; you need to be in front of your customers’ eyes repeatedly, building trust and communicating your USP. Of course, tech is a huge part of that, which has broken down the barrier to entry for so many smaller names. I love it.
What motivates you to be a pioneer in these now digital fields?
Tech has broken down so many barriers to entry, making so much possible for me. I have been connected to so many different clients through Instagram. Without it, they wouldn’t have gotten to see a continuous update on my portfolio and have trust in my vision. With The Ness, we’re able to move outside the walls of our NYC studio and connect with clients in completely different countries or continents. These innovations motivate me to keep going - to do things that would never have otherwise been possible.
What is the best career advice you’ve received?
Lean on your mentors and have confidence.
What are your five favourite apps on your phone?
Instagram, Ness digital, Evernote, NY Times app and HeadSpace
What products do you consistently rely on?
Inner Beauty Cosmetics lip oil, Well Told Health energy booster, Prima instant zen elixir, La Di Da matcha, The Well hand sanitizer, water, Caudalie vinoperfect hand cream, and Sunday Forever air detox.
How can companies give back in these difficult and stressful times?
At The Ness, we’ve committed to giving back as much as we can. We have several reset programs within our digital subscription that give back to different causes my partners and I believe in. At Alise Collective, we work with so many incredible female-founders and small businesses. I think it’s our duty to do what we can to uplift other women and create sustainable and meaningful growth for them.
I am also on the board of Commit2Change, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing education to orphaned teenage girls. The organization was founded by two first-generation Indian American women, Sumana Setty and Sejal Gehani, and C2C's origin began in India, as both Sumana and Sejal's families would return, always finding time to volunteer and dedicate full days solely to service. Sumana and Sejal channeled this dedication into the creation of an organization unique in its education-focused mission for girls, inspired by their own experiences. Today, C2C paves paths for young girls to achieve their true potential regardless of their background. They believe secondary education uncovers options for a brighter future because it's where they see the most drop off. An education provides orphaned girls with the necessary tools to reclaim their worth and will have a better chance of tackling the outside world.
Have you found a certain demographic is more open to your fitness app and digital branding?
Gen-Z for sure but I am finding that the mom demographic has also been more open to online fitness and discovering new brands through Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
What is next for the ness and Alise Collective?
So much! We can’t say too much but there are so many huge projects coming.
What is next for you?
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