Massages, HIIT and soothing candles and sleep spray are a priority for Roccabox’s Tia Roqaa
I’m 30 and CEO of Roccabox , a beauty subscription box. Before setting up Roccabox I worked in fashion and beauty PR, but I have always been entrepreneurial. I've had many different jobs from working on yachts to having market stalls. I set up Roccabox because I saw a gap in the market for a way to discover new beauty products without being pressured to buy in stores.
I live in Leeds, where I grew up, with my boyfriend. I spent many years living in Marylebone in London where wellness was more accessible: there were juice bars, healthy food and a wide variety of gyms and classes on every corner. Leeds hasn’t quite caught up yet, so I am excited for it to do so. In 2015, moved back home because I'd had enough of the hustle and bustle of the city life. Plus, life is so much cheaper up here. I wouldn't have been able to set up my business with the London cost of living.
My business is completely digital so I’m able to work from home or wherever I please, but even with this flexibility I struggle to fit everything into my day and wellness does tend to fall by the wayside. All the Roccabox team work remotely, and did so before the pandemic, with most of the team in Yorkshire and one down in Brighton. Everyone works hours to suit them and we catch up every day via a Whatsapp group and then weekly with a video call. We don't have an office but I have a huge kitchen table, where we sit when we can all get together.
I don't have set work times; I work whenever I am awake. I wake up at 8am and have coffee and do emails from bed, it's always then a mad dash to leave the house for the gym at 9.30am, which starts my day with a blast of endorphins and gets me pumped for whatever the day throws at me. I used to hate the gym because I was so tired from working and couldn't face it at the end of the day but now I've switched to the mornings, I can’t imagine my life without it.
The time I finish totally varies but after work, I usually do household jobs or take my elderly grandma shopping. I'll cook dinner at 6pm, followed by watching Netflix with my boyfriend. My current go-to shows are Ratched, Emily in Paris and The Fall.
Because I’m so busy, wellness is not something I prioritise as much as I should - I feel like I’m always juggling 100 things at once! Having said that, I definitely spend more on wellness than beauty. A perk of my job is I am able to try new products all the time, but the products I always go back to are Mario Badescu's Acne Facial Cleanser , £13.50, and Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm , £25.
One thing I don't compromise on is sleep. It throws off my whole day if I don't get a good night’s rest. I usually go to sleep about 10.30pm or 11 and sleep until 8am. If I have less than that, I may also be guilty of an afternoon nap... no judgement please!
I don’t take any supplements. I always forget and I don’t know how much I believe in them. My view is that surely we should be able to get everything we need from a healthy diet?
My monthly wellness spend
Gym membership: £100 a month
I go to the David Lloyd gym five times per week and do a mix of barre, spin and personal training sessions. I also like to play tennis with my boyfriend at the gym, which usually involves a lot more running around for him than me as I am rubbish.
Monthly massages: £50 a month
My days are so hectic sometimes and sometimes I push myself really hard in the gym, so I look at a massage as a reward. I have an hour where no one can call me, contact me or ask me anything. The aromatherapy oils that help me relax both mentally and psychically. I mostly have massages at home, usually Swedish or Balinese but I also love a Spa day at Grantley Hall , which is about an hour from Leeds, for a special treat.
Aromatherapy candle: £23 per month
One Neom Scent to De Stress candle, £46, lasts me two months, so this is a bi-monthly expense. For me, these are hands down the best candles in the world. They fill the room with essential oils which not only help to de-stress but give you that feeling of luxury. I would have one of these lit constantly in every room of the house if I could afford it! They are worth every penny.
Sleep spray: £12.50 per month
To help me get a good night's sleep I love a good pillow spray, Feather and Down, £12.50 is a consistent one I have as it's super affordable and smells amazing with a lavender and chamomile scent.
Wellness for free
I walk with my friends at least once or twice a week; we walk around Roundhay or the grounds of Harewood house which is a stately home I have on my doorstep. I love this walk-in particular as it's not only beautiful with all the animals (highland cattle, sheep and deer), it feels like a workout and in the hour and a half it takes we have usually put the world to rights a few times over so it's good for the soul too.