The Interview — Dria Murphy, Founder and CEO of Alise Collective and Co-Founder of the ness
Dria Murphy is the Founder and CEO of Alise Collective. Before founding her own creative brand-building company, Dria held communications and PR roles at top fashion houses including Calvin Klein, Topshop, and Ralph Lauren. She helped establish a fashion tech startup, Keep, as a top player in the tech, home decor, and fashion industries through press, business development, brand partnerships, social media, marketing, and events. Dria launched Alise Collective in 2015 and now represents a curated network of like-minded lifestyle and wellness clients, with a strong focus on selective partnerships, event activations, influencer outreach, and effective press placements. Dria has been featured in Harper's Bazaar, WWD, W Magazine, Manhattan Magazine, and The Coveteur.
In 2019, Dria co-founded the ness, an exclusive boutique community-based fitness studio that offers beat-based trampoline cardio and muscle-sculpting classes. Currently invitation only, the small class setting is more like an effervescent private session with your friends than your average fitness class. A light-filled, airy, and elevated place to sweat, the ness has already attracted a unique community filled with models, fashion editors, and hedge fund CEOs. It has been featured in WWD, Vogue, The New York Times, Goop, Well + Good, and more.
November 25, 2019
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Walk us through your career and experience. What led you to start Alise Collective?
I founded Alise Collective four years ago. I was working in the start-up space and had to experience, as many do, a disappointment when the business didn’t succeed. Creating Alise Collective happened organically—I looked to my incredible mentors around me and really dug deep to figure out what I wanted to do. From there, I began to take on products, people, brands, and places that I truly believe in and would personally use.
Can you tell us about the ness?
The ness brings an intimate, private, elevated place to sweat. It’s invite-only, really so that we have a touchpoint with you before you walk into the door. Workout classes of only 12 people mean you receive personal training attention while engaging your body and challenging your mind. Plus, we built the space to be our vision of our favorite place, so there’s really nothing like it. The ness offers bounce, a sweaty, beat-based, low-impact trampoline workout with incredible benefits, including increasing lymph flow by up to 15 times. The ness also offers sculpt, a dynamic, beat-based, full-body workout to leave you strong, lean, balanced, and focused.
View Dria's Essentials
What’s it like balancing two businesses? Is there a typical work day for you?
I’m always working—365 days a year. Owning my own business and being a co-founder of the ness really means that there’s no off switch. Every day looks different, and that’s why I love it so much. Sometimes I start the day with a breakfast meeting or a workout with an editor or brand, and other days I’m cracking down on emails right away at Spring Place. I like to schedule calls back-to-back, so some days I’m in meeting after meeting, while other days I may be at an incredible event—either one that I helped curate or an outing that I was invited to. I truly love that my schedule is flexible, and no matter what I do, it’s always somehow connected to my career.
What’s your advice for someone looking to start their own business?
Work hard and hustle. Everything I have built I did on my own financially, and I am really proud of that. It hasn’t always been easy, and it still isn’t, but it feels good to know I am in control. I never set out to have my own businesses—it evolved over time with what I loved doing. I would say make sure you really love it, and you’re willing to constantly go the extra mile for it. If you don’t have that drive, a good idea is not enough.
How do you practice self-care?
I always find time to sweat. Working out on a trampoline is my form of meditation, and when I discovered this type of workout a few years ago, I got hooked. It allows me to shut off my mind like I never could before. You truly can’t think about anything else on a trampoline, otherwise you are lost in class, so my mind doesn’t wander like it does in some other workouts.
What does your fitness routine look like?
I try to move my body at least once a day. I’d love to say I make it to a sweat daily, but let’s be honest—sometimes I hit a double at the ness and other times, when things get crazy or I’m traveling, I go a couple of days without being able to make it to a class. I try to make sure I’m getting in some form of movement no matter what.
What’s the most treasured item in your closet?
My vintage green Chanel bag. It might sound cheesy, but it was the first designer bag I purchased when I moved to NYC, and it will always have a special place in my heart, and I'll probably never sell it.
What are your holy-grail beauty products?
La Prairie lip balm, Tata Harper highlighter, Caudalie Beauty Elixir Spray, EltaMD sunscreen, Charlotte Tilbury tinted moisturizer, Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint, and LivOn Labs Glutathione. I swear when I feel good and energized from the inside, I look so much better and less tired. Lots of water, too.
Your whole day was just canceled and your schedule is wide open. What do you do?
Assuming that I can’t reschedule any meetings or catch up on emails (realistically what I would do), I would say I’d go sweat at the ness, then grab a matcha and walk around the city. I love living in New York because no day ever feels old—there’s always something more to do. I would also spend a few hours at THE WELL, have lunch at the restaurant, stop into the dry sauna, maybe get a treatment, and end with some meditation.
What’s next for Alise Collective and the ness?
You’ll just have to wait and see. :)