“Lately, I’ve been recognizing and honoring how challenging the world is right now, and how this can give us the opportunity to challenge convention, challenge the status quo, and give us the space to think about how we spend our time, how we design our life, how we work, what we work on. For me personally, it has helped enable me to live in my sweet spot.
As GM, I lead the brand across the U.S. and Canada. Since we’re a growing indie brand, I generally manage many things, from product management to marketing to customer service and whatever’s necessary! Being too high-level and removed from the business and the consumer doesn’t fill me up; I like this stage of growth because I get to roll up my sleeves and really understand what’s going on on the daily, but then also lift up my head and look as far as I can to the future.
I’m so inspired by the founder, Shari Creed’s story. The fact that she created these new opportunities, and how resilient she was, and how much agency she displayed. We’re all so human - and therefore, we often give up our power or fail to recognize that we have power and fail to utilize our own free will, which is the biggest gift we have. Shari’s story - having experienced bankruptcy early on, and bootstrapping the family and creating a career for herself. And then walking away from that to start not only SweetSpot Labs, but her own agency in her mid-40s. I’m not even there yet! It’s comforting because sometimes I think “If I’d done enough, if I wanted to do something new, could I start over? I’m too old, people aren’t going to want me soon professionally.” All these normal, but unhelpful thoughts we have. So it was really inspiring to hear that her journey with SweetSpot Labs only just started near my age, and I think about everything that’s been built and that excites me. She challenged conventions and realized cleaning up the feminine hygiene aisle was important, but that so much more could and should be done. Over time, the brand evolved to not just be the gentlest & safest of all the cleansers on the market, but to really solve relevant, unaddressed skin health issues. She created a new category in a way that’s super meaningful and just did it. These women had so much foresight - it wasn’t a trend, it wasn’t a marketing story. I’m inspired that there’s so much authentic intention in the brand but now the world is ready and the timing is right, and we have the opportunity to fulfill our vision and mission.
You hear so much narrative around work/life balance and I was trying so hard to do that in the ways our conditioning tells us to, which is like having these hard boundaries of when you leave work, and it’s only about ensuring that you don’t work too much. “If I could only work less I would be less stressed and I would have balance.” I found, for me, that wasn’t the case at all.
I took a total left turn in my life and left an amazing career with an amazing company. I was VP of Marketing for L’Oreal Paris in New York at the time. I moved to Atlantic Canada and got a secure, well-paying, 9-4 job and was completely miserable. I had balance from the perspective of I had more time outside of work, but in the hours I worked I was completely unfulfilled. And in the hours outside of work, I didn’t really know what to do with myself. And in some ways, it was a worse feeling because you’re like “Well, f*%#, now what?”
But changing my job didn’t bring a sense of wellbeing because even though I had less stress, I didn’t feel better because I didn’t feel fulfilled. It’s an inside job first. However you want to feel, it can’t be controlled by external factors - you can’t find it in others, or a job, or where you live if you don’t feel it inside unconditionally. Once you feel good, you’ll attract the life that helps you feel good more of the time or feel even better. You need to find ways to feel good and then the rest of it will only get accentuated.
The fundamental thing for me is starting the day with agency, on my vibration. So, I start by waking up before the children. I know there are many mothers, fathers, puppy owners, whatever who might say “Easy for you to say! But I have X.” But I would like to offer the invitation to just try it out. There were points when I was waking up at 4:30, 4:45 just so I could have 10 minutes before a baby or a toddler was awake and that changed everything for me. I think we think “Gosh, no way, I am totally sleep-deprived.” I’ve experienced postpartum depression and good old regular depression, anxiety - it can make you want to sleep as much as you can until we’re woken up. But I can tell you that my whole frequency for the day was set by someone else - I wasn’t grounded, I wasn’t stable, I didn’t set an intention. The minute I started giving myself 5-10 minutes, now it’s almost an hour, to set my own vibe, it is THE thing that helps me feel good, experience joy and get into a flow. We can’t control the things that are going to happen in the day, but we can control our response to it. Being grounded will help us experience joy even in the midst of chaos.
And whether you have children or not, just start small. For me, I started with a glass of lemon water every morning. Yes, we all need to be hydrated and drink so much water during the day, but it was more of a daily confirmation that I matter and that I’m taking care of myself for myself. It was proof that I could commit to something for myself, that I was committing to myself and that I could see something through.
Then, I run. I used to hate running. I tried it on and off for so many years, and I hated it. Then, podcasts came along. Now, running is a mental health practice. It helps me release energy. I’m a high-energy person, and I find if I leave it in my body and let it ruminate, and I don’t express it, it turns to stale, negative energy. It’s also just time for me, and the podcasts give me something to concentrate on besides my to-do list or how bored I am or whether it’s over yet. I don’t time my runs, I don’t know how far I run, I just run until I’m done or until the podcast is over. Next to the stillness I have in the morning, it’s definitely THE thing I could quantifiably measure that has an impact on my wellbeing.
Finding Your Sweet Spot
The path to finding whatever it is that you’re looking to find is deeply personal. We’re all, thankfully, unique. And therefore, I truly believe that the experience of finding what works for you is going to be unique. I’ve experienced the frustration of “trying things on” and them not working and it made me feel worse. We often in life find, whether it’s a partner or a career, you tend to find what you don’t like before you find what you like, like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, finding what’s “just right.”
I first had to ask myself “What do I want to feel?” And, “What is it I want to optimize my life for?” For me, right now, what I’m looking for is joy, flow, and feeling good. To cultivate those things, I had to define what it is I want to feel, and then allow myself to feel it. Often, the first instinct we have is to do. But I would challenge that convention and say, first feel. Be. Then think, then do. Pay attention to what feels good - write it down, take an audio note, tell someone about it, do more of it! If something feels bad, don’t dwell on it. Thank it for being one additional piece of information and bringing you closer to finding out what feels good.
For me, without radical partnership none of these things would be possible. For a long time, I lived all the conditioned beliefs of what a woman/mother should be doing and the mental load crushed me. “When do they have to see the dentist again? They have a birthday party this weekend, did I buy the gift? When do I have to sign them up for sports?” I was crushed under the weight of being the emotional caregiver and the physical demands. It was too much. Now, my husband & I operate in a different way. He’s a fundamental component in my ability to live my best life. We talk and evaluate and evolve often how we share the responsibility of living our best life together and what that looks like for each of us. I can’t take that run daily without his support. I can’t have that time in the morning without that support in case somebody wakes up. We’re both here to help each other be the best versions of ourselves because to us, a marriage isn’t just about the length of time you’re together and that celebratory aspect, it’s about the level of growth you can have together.”
- As told to SweetSpot Labs