‘There is a quote I once read which really resonates with me, “Peace of mind is attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you’re capable.’
Source: John Wooden.
Meet Hayley Dawes. Interior designer, property developer and accidental CBD innovator! In this chapter of our Phenomenal Women Series, we discuss how her own challenges with sleep led to the creation of her beautiful brand, Dreem Distillery - and a whole new life.
I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did.
First, tell us a little bit about you and your work. What motivated you to do what you do now? What principles have driven what sits at the core of your offer?
Dreem Distillery was founded after I suffered for years with crippling insomnia, finding only marginal success though the more conventional methods of sleeping aids. As a successful interior designer and property developer getting enough sleep was crucial and the real game changer came when I discovered the transformative power of broad-spectrum CBD as the perfect aid to a restful and restorative sleep. Helping others to achieve a full night’s sleep is what motivates the brand to create products that will be transformative to someone’s life, as I understand how a lack of sleep can be detrimental in many different aspects, such as impacting work and energy levels throughout the day.
We initially launched with our signature Night Drops which have been hugely popular in transforming sleep for many people, and we have since moved into “body care” with the most recent launch being a Travel Set, mini versions of our hero products, and our soon-to-be launching Moonlit Mask.
How does CBD work to support a better night sleep?
We all have an internal endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is a remarkable network of compounds and receptors in the brain. This vast grid has the capacity to influence one’s sleep – the aim of the ECS is to provide homeostasis within the body.
The majority of sleep problems relate to anxiety and stress and if you are one of these people who suffer from these issues, you may find our Night Drops transformative. When taken under the tongue, potent broad-spectrum CBD can alleviate these issues and help calm and body and mind ready for deep slumber. We have a calming neurotransmitter in our brain called GABA and taking broad-spectrum CBD with additional plant cannabinoids, helps modulate our GABA, makes our brain calmer and gives us more restful sleep. It is beneficial to blend other key plant terpenes specific to relieving stress and anxiety to a broad-spectrum CBD formulation – the additional goodness can aid sleep tenfold.
How has your own peri/menopause transition influenced your outlook towards work and life?
I have been pretty lucky so far and not experienced any major changes. Having said that, I have acted preemptively - and take MPowder Peri-Boost Daily to ensure I have the nutritional foundation I need! And, although I can control myself in the workplace I occasionally become agitated at home about the smallest of things. I can swiftly go from levelheaded to switching seconds, however, this soon passes, and I am level again so it can give everyone around me a bit of a fright!
How do you define success - both within the work you do and yourself individually?
Success in the workplace is very much about good teamwork. I have an excellent, talented team who are driven, knowledgeable and work well together.
As far as my own success is concerned, I believe success is not a public thing. It’s a private thing. It’s when you have fewer and fewer regrets. I feel success on the days I manage to have a good work-life balance.
There is a quote I once read which really resonates with me, “Peace of mind is attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you’re capable,” by John Wooden.
Has your definition of success changed over time as an entrepreneur and individual?
Absolutely. In my 20’s and 30’s success was very much marked in my mind by where I was in my career and how much money I was earning. Today in midlife, I have naturally moved the markers. I have 4 children under the age of 13 all of whom I thoroughly enjoy spending time with. They require my attention on a varying basis, and I prioritise being there for them over everything I do, as well as taking time out for those that matter most and regularly calling my parents.
What correlation, if any, do you see between age and ambition?
As I age, my wisdom in business has increased and I no longer sweat the small stuff. We have experienced so many hurdles in the CBD industry but have looked every one of them in the eye! I still have an enormous amount of ambition in my work life but just need more hours in the day.
What are your aspirations for your business over the next 24 months?
To continue growing and developing our current offering to help aid sleep. We have now branched into body care and this month will be launching our Moonlit Mask, expertly created to contain the highest broad-spectrum CBD to help hydrate, rejuvenate and soothe away irritation. We are also exploring the use of new ingredients such as a Bakuchiol in our formulations, which is the starring ingredient of our Moonlit Mask and a natural alternative to retinol.
What do you wish your younger self had known about:
Life – To take each day as it comes and tackle challenges as and when they arise, rather than sweating over the small things and worrying before they have even happened.
Love – Prioritise loved ones over and above anything else, including work.
Health – To ensure I carve time out in my day for self-care as health and looking after ourselves is key – no one else is going to do it for you, so do it for yourself.
Work – That effort is important to get you to where you want but also ensuring a good work-life balance to maintain this is important, otherwise this can quite easily lead to burnout.
What would be your key advice to women transitioning through menopause today? What practical steps could they take to better support their bodies and minds?
Anxiety and stress are the most common triggers for sleepless nights, but also hormonal fluctuations during the menopause can leave people who have previously had no problems with sleep experiencing sleep issues for the first time.
Keeping to a routine is the key to good sleep and I ensure I always wake up at the same time every day and go to bed at the same time each evening. My evening routine starts around 7pm where I dim the lights and eat a healthy meal. I am a fan of ambient lighting so light candles throughout the living room which create a subdued atmosphere and set the scene for pre-slumber. My absolute non-negotiable is creating time for myself to enjoy a relaxing bath using either our The Z’s anchoring bath soak, perfect post gym, or our Into the Deep bath concentrate, both of which smell heavenly and prepare my body and mind for deep slumber. If my mind is still busy from the day I carve out time to meditate which allows my mind to begin letting go of worry and start focusing on solely my breathing. Another way to abandon the day and prepare my body to sleep is to immerse myself in a good book and then finally take a few drops of our Night Drops, to aid me into a restful slumber.
Why can a good sleep routine be so empowering?
A good routine helps our body adjust and prepare for sleep and ensuring we go to sleep at the same time every evening is important. Incorporating things such as wind down time in the evening, meditation, reading, journalling are all little things that can help us to switch off for the day and prepare for a restful slumber - along with taking our CBD, be that in Night Drops form or a long soak before bed with our CBD Bath Salts.
Finally, we all know that stress can exacerbate menopause symptoms. What have you done to better support yourself in the last 24 months? What have you learned. And what are you carrying with you as the world once again shape shifts?
The last 24 months have been a real turning point in my career and personal life as far as stress and anxiety are concerned. I have felt stressed and anxious during this period but have felt armed with enough tools to help me through the rocky times.
I practice meditation, breathwork, journal from time to time and my number one priority is my sleep. This is a non-negotiable. I take our Night Drops religiously every night which ease me into deep slumber.
I have learnt to tackle the unexpected as they arise rather than needlessly worrying, knowing that I can make it through the toughest of times and to finally be gentle to myself when I know I am doing my best.
Thank you Hayley. For your candid reflections. And for all the work you’re doing bringing beautiful things into the world! To find out more about Dreem Distillery’s range, simply click HERE.