Next up in our #NotJustANevsModel series is Ross Allison, a model & business owner.
Originally from South Africa, Ross moved to London in 2006 after meeting with Nevs while travelling for modelling and was convinced to stay.
Ross was studying at university, but mostly surfing when he was first scouted and has since worked with some of the best designers & most incredible creatives around the world.
Getting into Nutritional supplements for men, started with Ross discovering marine collagen and realising how such a simple capsule in the morning can help improve our skin. He says, “…it’s not all the glitz and glam of ointments and creams…it's quick, simple and effective and that’s all I’ve got time for.”
This led Ross to experimenting and researching other herbal, root and nutritional alternative remedies, during lockdown with ‘what do men need’ in mind. A way of simplifying it down and being able to offer a concise collection - Mantra Supplements was born!✨
Mantra offers a range of supplements with something for healthier skin and hair, boosting energy levels, stress and anxiety or just a good night's sleep when you really need it. In short, there’s something for everyone.
We caught up with Ross & discussed how he navigates the modelling world & starting his own supplement business...
What made you want to start "Mantra" & specifically for men?
I started Mantra through my own discovery of supplements, realising supplements were not just for men who go to the gym and want to get buff. It started with taking marine collagen and noticing the difference it made and then researching further. As you get older you start to think - am I looking after myself well enough? at which point you realise - no, I should have started this earlier!
How long did it take to develop your products, did you work with a team of people, where do you source the ingredients...please talk us through the process?
I created the business during lockdown, I sourced suppliers all based within the UK, where I could be assured on quality of ingredients and highest industry standards. Working with a very small team of people I'd met and worked with through modelling and brought them all together.
Your supplements are broken down into 4 collections: "Marine Collagen," "Acai Berry," "Reflex" & "Combat" - please can you tell us a little bit about each & the benefits?
My collection is currently made up of 10 Supplements all tackling different aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The four you asked about are -
Marine collagen, not just collagen but a combination of vitamins, minerals, herbals and nutrients to boost your body's own collagen formation, resulting in healthier skin and thicker hair.
Acai - a superfood combination that really boosts your energy levels as well as being an incredible antioxidant.
Reflex - the benefits of turmeric and curcumin are well known for promoting healthy joints and this supplement is packed full of both.
Combat - our botanical formula of ashwagandha and other root extracts combat stress and give you a sense of calm and focus.
What's your supplement regime, do you have a favourite combo?
My morning "routine" combo is 2 capsules of marine collagen and 1 capsule of acai berry and I'm ready for anything. Even the morning school run!
You say that a lot of supplements aimed at men are based around testosterone & pumping weights, through your research & developing your products did you discover there was a big male market for the types of supplements you provide that help with stress, energy levels etc. ?
Yes, its been an interesting journey, and men need to be made more aware of the benefits of focused nutrition, for example, having low energy levels, that can quite easily start to feel like depression, not having the energy to get up and go, or the energy to benefit from healthy exercise and feel good.
Has looking and feeling good always been important to you / is this pressure amplified because you are a model?
Definitely feeling healthy to me is incredibly important, it makes you feel happy and so I think that shows through.
Aside from supplements, how else do you maintain a healthy lifestyle?
I eat well, I cook everything from scratch, and keep it as colourful as possible. I'm also very active - running, swimming, kitesurfing or juggling small children.
Are you always developing new products, do you hope to expand the collections?
I'm happy with what the collection offers at the moment, but sure we're always looking at what else we could offer or improve. I have a very inquisitive nature.
How have you found balancing being a model with being an entrepreneur?
Modelling is great but if you can, you have to be doing more, as with anything, trying new things makes life more interesting and in turn makes you more interesting.
What obstacles have you come up against whilst launching a business? Any advice for others?
You have got to get out there and talk to people - that's when great ideas are born.
What are some of the most rewarding moments of starting Mantra?
Having people buying and being interested in what I'm offering feels great, but the feedback is even better.
What's next for Mantra?
We've been looking at different gift packaging ideas, receiving a subscription from a loved one, now that would be an amazing gift!
Full article - https://www.nevsmodels.co.uk/news/ross-allison-not-just-a-nevs-model