Kayla Nicole’s Fitness Brand, Tribe Therepe, Focuses on More Than Just Physical Well-Being

Kayla Nicole.<p>Frazer Harrison/Getty Images</p>
Kayla Nicole.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Fitness influencer Kayla Nicole knows the online world of healthy living and exercise is a saturated market. She makes her mark and stands out with her brand, Tribe Therepe, by focusing on both physical and mental wellness. Working out has always been a form of therapy for the 32-year-old, and her goal is to make therapy and science-backed fitness advice more accessible for all.

Launching Tribe Therepe

Nicole created her brand in 2020, originally named “Strong Is Sexy,” or SIS, for short. After almost three years of building community, gaining followers and navigating the content creation space, the Corona, Calif. native transitioned the brand to its current name due to issues with acquiring a trademark. Her mission remains the same.

“I would always start out each workout with a list of affirmations within the caption, and would just encourage girls: ‘While we’re doing this workout, let’s set these intentions and if you feel your mind drifting or when you’re feeling discouraged, let’s revert back to these affirmations and these intentions within this caption.’ That’s something that I do personally while I’m working out or just on a day-to-day basis,” she shares. “I think affirmations are just such powerful tools that people don’t use enough. It serves as such a simple reminder that you are in control of your thoughts, you’re in control of the narrative. Whatever it is that you choose to tell yourself is the most powerful conversation that you could be having. If anyone has the capability or the power to tell me that I’m beautiful, or I’m strong, or I’m capable, it’s me. I’m in charge and I find so much peace in that.”

Nicole, an Alo Moves ambassador, never planned on becoming an influencer or having such a large platform. However, when she started to notice her community growth, she made it her mission to have a greater purpose than just sharing workout content and began to supplement all of her posts with positive and encouraging messages.

Her all-time favorite affirmations are “I’m capable of doing hard things,” and “I’m not what I eat, I’m what I think.”

Brand longevity

Nicole, who calls herself the “CEO of feel-good fitness” adds that while she does go to therapy regularly, fitness was her form of therapy long beforehand (that’s where the name Tribe Therepe came from). She knows that therapy is a “luxury” in life, and feels passionately about making it more accessible in any way she can.

“What people don’t understand is if your mind is in a healthy, solid, safe space, the likelihood that your body will follow is just almost guaranteed,” Nicole says. “So I think, yeah, I can tell people how to do a 30-minute EMOM workout, or [how to] lose 10 pounds in six weeks, or I could give you the tools to make you a more mentally sound, secure, confident person who is excited about life, who wants to move their body, who falls in love with the idea of taking time for themselves every day to be a better person. I feel like there’s more longevity in [the latter].”

Her approach to fitness

Nicole encourages people to “focus on the step in front of you instead of the whole staircase.” She adds that the idea of fitting into a tiny dress or losing a certain amount of weight is far more intimidating than incorporating movement for 30 minutes, three days a week into your routine.

“Focus on taking that first step in front of you and just watch how addicted you become to simply achieving that small goal,” she says. “Then before you know it, you’ll work your way halfway up that staircase.”

One way you can incorporate regular movement into your routine, Nicole says, is simply by walking. She was on the hot girl walk train before it even had a name.

“I know it’s a trend, but it is so legit,” Nicole says. “Going for a walk 30 minutes a day has so many benefits, besides losing weight. That’s cool, but the mental benefits, the endorphins that you release, the mood boost ... It’s literally science, too. I think if I had to give one fitness training tip for people that want to just be active is go outside, touch grass, and walk for 30 minutes. That’s it.”

She also gives an honorable mention to planking, a move that truly builds core strength and stability, which Nicole says are “imperative” to having a solid and effective fitness routine.

What’s next

The model, who has starred in campaigns for Fabletics and True Religion, is currently working on securing her personal training and nutrition certifications. She doesn’t take having a large following lightly, and never wants to “mishandle” her platform, which she hopes to eventually turn into an app.

“If I’m going to be influencing people in the fitness space, I want it to come from a place of education and not just personal experience and trial and error. I really want it to be rooted in fact and science do my due diligence,” the 2013 Pepperdine University graduate says. “I’m not a stranger to studying. I went to college when that was the thing to do. I have a degree in broadcast journalism. So I’m not afraid to put my head in the books. And honestly, I have really been enjoying the process of learning the facts behind fitness.”

Until recently, Nicole has been releasing her fitness programs with the help of a licensed trainer, but she’s super “excited” to start doing so on her own.

“I’m excited that I did this brand change because I feel like it’s more all-encompassing of what I really hope to do within the fitness space, which is not to just focus on the physical aesthetic, but also really lead with the importance of mental health,” she explains. “Hopefully this brand will be a mental health resource for people that need it most.”

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