I chose to start my own CBD business when my second daughter was 3 months old.
Guest blog post by Esther Downton, Founder Eliza & Wyld, @elizaandwyld
Nearly four years ago I became a mother. Two years ago I became a full-time mother of two. Six months ago I became a business owner. Working has always been part of my life, I’ve always got a huge buzz out of being creative, working with others, and earning money! A job opportunity for my husband brought us from London to Manhattan in 2012 and I continued my career as a Production Director at a branding agency. My job was my passion and focus. Driving forward boundary pushing work for incredible global clients was fulfilling in a way I never imagined. Then I had a baby. In fact I didn’t just have a baby, I became a mother. There is a huge distinction between these two things, having a baby isn’t something that happens to you, you change, you become someone else. Your life and its focus shifts and will never be the same again. I say this as I believe that the perception in the workplace can often be that when you return to work things will go back to how they were before you left. I would say this is possibly never the case, and shouldn’t be.
I met Claire in 2016, she then asked me to be a panelist on her Ladies Get Paid ‘Boundaries & Burnout’ town hall in New York, discussing how you manage the careful balance of parenthood and your profession. We had a conversation that I recount to people so often, as I think it was the first time I had expressed the impact motherhood was having on me. The feeling of suffocation, but alongside intense love, the vulnerability alongside the new found empowerment and confidence of the birth experience.
Motherhood changes you – but not in the way I feel the common perceptions are. I became much more empathic than I had been before (and I was pretty empathic), I became much more productive (and I was pretty productive), I became much more rational, and practical, and resilient. But I also gained the overwhelming emotion of pure unadulterated love, a love I had never felt before, and with that love came intense fear. Fear of losing it… and fear of fucking it up. This newfound love and fear are the two things that I feel place us in the most jeopardy as working women in corporate America. There is no place for this vulnerability in most workplaces and you are left needing to push those emotions down and get on with the job at hand. My approach was to embrace my vulnerability and be transparent about this, but I don’t think the industry was ready to understand that yet. Suffice to say my experience of working in New York City ended as I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter and as a family we decided to move upstate to Woodstock and bring up our children.
In June 2018, Eliza joined our family and with this second child came a solid dose of more love and fear but alongside it – the darkness and isolation of postpartum depression. Looking back it was a familiar feeling, a feeling I’m sure I had after my first daughter Wylder was born – but while working full time had no opportunity to recognize it. I often wonder if postpartum depression is where the freight train impact of the love/fear adjustment just becomes too overwhelming to manage. Where you just can’t rationalize the irrational weight of the emotional luggage you are now carrying. I know it’s more complex than that, but I believe there is a connection.
Leaving the city for the quiet life of rural Woodstock, NY – I went into zero waste mode, well I’ve not managed to be zero waste, this is a very hard thing to achieve with young children, but I had started to make my own home remedies and toiletries. And after having the natural experience of pregnancy and childbirth I was not happy seeking a traditional medicine approach of taking antidepressants to combat my depression, so I turned to CBD. I started to take it daily and really felt like it was lifting me out. Learning more and more about how CBD worked I started to develop topical formulations for my skin, I have terrible eczema and psoriasis and found my homemade salves and oils made a huge difference. I was able to replace my potent steroid creams with a homemade high strength CBD salve, now our Comfort Cream product. So when Eliza was 3 months old I started my company. I chose to call my company Eliza & Wyld as I feel this all came to be through my experience of having them.
Starting a CBD company is not easy but I was so energized and driven by the positive results I was having that I forged on through nap-times and bed-times to push the business forward. CBD not only pulled me out of the fog of postpartum depression, it also gave me the ability to focus. I found a partner who produces high-grade, organic, non GMO, pesticide free full spectrum Hemp Extract CBD for us in Colorado and have been working with them to produce our flagship oil DAILY CBD+MCT 600mg oil. We chose to create a 600mg oil as our flagship product as it is perfect as an entry level product that people can dose up and down easily to find their perfect level of CBD support. As I mentioned, we also created Comfort Cream, the 500mg CBD salve that has become our other best seller for joint and muscle pain sufferers as well as those who like me suffer from debilitating skin conditions. We also have a 250mg Stress Less Rollerball in our range which helps provide relief from stress and anxiety, headaches and migraines and can be rolled over the back and belly to ease menstrual cramps. Finally, Happy Lips, a 40mg moisturizing lip balm that comes in three flavors, Herbal, Rosa Mint and Citrus in a 100% compostable tube that has quickly become one of our hero products. All these things have one clear thing in common, they are not frivolous, they have been developed for a need, a very specific and important need, and that is the practice of self care.
Now with the new found focus I have from starting my own company, building out a value proposition, shaping and developing products with my own experience in mind, I think back to that conversation I had with Claire all those years ago, I think what I was trying to articulate to her was the concept of self care. Something I needed to give to myself in order to give to my children. Keeping my engine running was critical to the family running smoothly. Self care is not about pampering yourself, not just about treating yourself to the hot bubble-bath once in a blue moon, it’s about giving to yourself every day, honoring your body and mind as a priority. For me that’s the key, and that keeps my love and fear freight train firmly on the rails.
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