Kanndiss Riley is the founder of NBE FITNESS CIC, a wellbeing space providing inclusive sessions for those living with chronic illnesses and disabilities. NBE FITNESS; Notorious Big Energy CIC is a community platform that encompasses online and in-person sessions.
Our forum is built around delivering community inclusion helping those living with chronic illness, disabilities, carers and seeking affordable whole life wellness sessions; this includes regular programmes and webinars to learn more about health conditions and look after Mental Health.
We speak to Kanndiss Riley about her business journey, what she has learned along the way and the best industry advice she’s been given.
What inspired you to start your brand?
I listened to my previous client feedback asking me if I would open up a space for my classes, and at first, I went looking for industry leaders in sport and wellbeing who were creating spaces like mine to work for them and build up experience. However, through my research, I kept seeing the gap of intersections in society that were missing from the spaces I found.
The lack of exposure of people like me reaffirmed that I should create the space and work with those in the industry so that someone one day who is looking for a leader in the industry can find NBE FITNESS CIC and want to work for us.
What’s your competitive advantage? What makes you unique?
I’ve had the pleasure of participating in many in-person events during Covid, NBE FITNESS organisation birthed bringing regular services from 1:1 sessions, webinars and 30-minute Chair fitness sessions to help people keep fit, support mental wellbeing and give designated space for people living with chronic illness and disabilities to enjoy improving their wellbeing.
All my years of community work has made me a great active listener and inclusion worker.
Wanting inclusion is one thing but working hard to learn from your environment is a huge part of my work, to provide safe space as well as help people with their health.
Developing my active listening over the years to understand the right questions to ask and give quality feedback. I worked in education, IT and Project management, dance and sport; all these industries all had the same problem when it came to representation, but all gave me immense insight into how to use my communication and people skills to gain new qualifications to build NBE FITNESS CIC.
The work I’ve done since 2012 is so valuable, and I’m very thankful for those opportunities to learn.
What skills did you add to your toolkit by starting your brand?
Learning about finance and data collection gave me great insight into how to push my programmes to an audience who I may not be the person who meets the first. What I mean by this is the impact of word of mouth, learning about how to build up donations to the community, and investment into technology that makes the experience on our website/social media better for the viewer, so they build a bond with the NBE FITNESS CIC platform.
What’s the most rewarding part of running your own brand?
Knowing I’m making a difference, I love collaborating with other people and building a wider pool of resources for those on my platform.
What one failure or challenge are you glad you experienced, and what have you learned from it?
I’ve had so many failures. I always say that these are the lessons that help you succeed; some people always succeed doesn’t mean it wasn’t tough, but for someone like me, I love that It’s always been a graft. I failed my levels, and this really helped me refocus my attitude towards education, and self-starting became a huge focus for me.
Finding out I’m dyslexic, meeting CEO like Pip Jamieson, who inspired me hugely, getting mentors to keep me guided and finally learning how to teach myself so I could go to university. I made it through my studies still studying to this day.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting their brand?
Always go out of your way to meet new people you. Your biggest supporter is someone you haven’t met yet. Friends and Family will always be there, but you need people who will see your work with fresh eyes, help you grow because they are in love with your journey and always be open to networking and starting conversations about your brand to improve your pitch.
Self-care is a big part of being able to show up for others. But, you only have 5 minutes to yourself. What do you do?
As it’s only 5 mins, it’ll have to be meditation taking some time to zone out and focus on breathing. I like to put some music on and close my eyes to take myself through some breathing work.
What is your favourite thing about being part of the Creative Impact family?
I first found Creative Impact when they were Health Bloggers Community. I was a newly trained journalist wanting to find space for my blogging as an avid foodie who created a food magazine: Riley’s Cuisine, Digital & Systems Officer and trainer. I enjoyed learning from the platform and kept up with everything produced from resources, events and awards.
Creative Impact helped me learn more about the industry and improve my social media and meet new people through the community.