This essay was written as part of an empowerment campaign, “Wear Yourself In,” led by eco-luxe skin care company Kari Gran. In response to the beauty industry pushing an impossible idea of flawless youth for years, the campaign encourages women to be kind to themselves, and their skin, as they reflect on beauty, aging, wisdom and self-acceptance.
Madeline Haydon is the Founder & CEO of the fast-growing brand nutpods, a dairy-free creamer made from a blend of almonds and coconuts. Launched with a successful Kickstarter campaign in late 2013, Madeline perfected the commercial recipe and then brought the product to market in Seattle-area retailers and on Amazon.com in mid-2015.
As the founder and CEO of a fast growing beverage company, nutpods, I am, literally, the face of our brand. On behalf of our company, I attend numerous events such as industry and consumer facing tradeshows, sales meetings as well as being featured in some of the marketing materials whether they are in print or digital format. This puts pressure on me as the founder and CEO, running a company that produces a truly healthy product, to feel like I should really “look” the part of an uber-health-conscious business owner who walks the walk such as Jessica Alba of The Honest Company or Jillian Michaels of the Biggest Loser.
I’m in my 40s and you would think that I would be settling into myself at this stage in my life; especially when it comes to my physical appearance. I’ve been thinking recently on this topic of “Wearing Myself In” and I think the root of it all is being able to answer for yourself: When are you good enough to be comfortable with yourself?
I don’t have the enviable gap between my thighs. But these thighs have worked in concert with my calves and my feet that carried me up to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro where I celebrated the new year under a set of stars I had never seen before. They’ve also carried me 26.2 miles for my first marathon and countless triathlons and 5K fun runs. Are my thighs perfect? Far from it. But they are good enough for me that I don’t lose out on an experience while wondering what others are thinking of my non-gappy thighs.
I don’t wear bare midriffs because I might have a teensy weensy muffin top with me. And not the edible, delicious blueberry kind. Being an older mom who married later in life, my husband and I struggled with infertility. I think back to the countless injections my tummy took, how swollen my stomach looked before the egg retrieval process, and I don’t mind that it isn’t flat and taunt. It bears the battle scars of my struggle to become a mom. The gratitude I have gained from birthing my two girls, now aged 3 and 8, allows me to love myself a little more and be softer and easier on myself because I know what I (and my tummy) have endured. It is good enough for me.
Like every woman, I take pride in “Good Hair Days” (isn’t it amazing how much of a BETTER morning you have when your hair cooperates?) and I enjoy fashion and makeup. Do I wish I had a few less wrinkles or magically gained several inches to my petite 5’1” frame? Absolutely. I’d love longer eye lashes, too. But while I am not 100% satisfied, I am at peace with how I look because I am very comfortable with who I am inside. I’m kind. I’m fiercely loyal. I can laugh at myself. I’m a good friend. And these days, I’m choosing to focus on those kinds of traits – not as visible, but much more important.
nutpods was awarded “Editor’s Pick” at the Natural Products Expo in 2015 and Madeline’s success online resulted in a panelist position for her at the 2016 Specialty Food Association Conference on Ecommerce Strategy. nutpods continues to be a Best-Seller and Amazon’s Choice in its category on Amazon.com.