Grace De Alvaro
Marathon runner, horsewoman, triathlete and one of life’s natural disruptors, Grace De Alvaro created Sports HAI when she took on sport challenges and found there were no real performing products for high level athletes.
“Like everything in my life, when I took my sport up a gear I hurled myself into it. Competing at high level can be tough on your appearance though and I realised that I wanted to run like a dog without looking like one! I decided to use my business background and life experience, with a mindful holistic approach, to create a new concept.
“As a mother you often find your time is spent on the sidelines – spending (joyful) time leading kids on ponies, lifeguarding by the pool and beach, being a taekwondo mum, psychologist, and coach! But it was when I decided to go from the sidelines into the action itself and start competing in sports events that my life really changed.
“I now run marathons and short races, and compete in triathlons. This is where my business began and has subsequently evolved. I engage directly with my customers on the track and field. Sweating on my bike or peeling out of my wetsuit, out on the field is where I do my research, not from behind a desk or from the pages of a consultant’s report.
“Sports and fitness” is my niche and I am bringing genuine high performance products which are different to the market. I know because I have swum, sweated and swore while trialling so much product to create our line-up. It’s vital to me that it has integrity, I am rigorous in that. My customer, my community is at the centre of everything I do.
“As a start-up business, I have had to fight and I’m inspired by people who are also fighting for their dream. Sports people are my inspiration, I get them, I get how hard it is to get to the next level – it takes everything you’ve got. I am interested in people like that. There is a simple, clean, hard work to it that I admire.”