Meet Michelle Dandik, the Ukrainian-Canadian co-founder of Slowing, a slow living brand that launched late last year. Based in Montréal, Slowing is a curated collection of apparel and goods that promote a slower way of life, all using local and small-scale production. We caught up with Michelle to learn about how she's using Slowing to spread her ethos on slow living, and how she winds down for a good night's sleep.
What was your inspiration for starting Slowing?
After working in a high-paced and highly stressful environment that is the fashion industry I started thinking about a project that could reflect my ideal lifestyle which prioritized my well-being and would contribute to a long-term positive social impact. Slowing is more of a state of mind than a specific product, the eventual goal is to branch out into retreats, hospitality and spas.
How would you describe Slowing in one sentence?
Slowing embraces the beauty of slow living through minimal and mindful design by making feel-good things to help individuals find their comfort zone.
What about Slowing is energizing you the most right now?
The constant learning involved in creating a wellness brand and building a community that can bring awareness to the benefits of slow living.
When it comes to productivity, would you consider yourself a morning person or a night owl?
If I had to chose I would say a morning person because I tend to be more productive in the mornings and prefer to get things done early in the day. However, ideas tend to strike in the evenings so I can appreciate a long creative night.
As a busy founder, what are some of the things you do to prevent burnout?
I do my best to have a small yoga session in the morning when I wake up, it helps me breathe and realign myself for the tasks I have to accomplish that day.
What are your go-to ways to rest and recharge?
Doing yoga and taking an evening to watch a movie to clear my mind. When possible I love to travel to various destinations to recharge, gather inspiration, indulge in local cultures and open myself to new experiences.
What does self-care mean to you?
To me it’s about being conscious about what you consume both physically and mentally, from the food I eat to the exercise I do but also to be aware of what type of news and media I let affect me.
What does your typical wind down routine look like?
I like to start with a hot shower and listen podcasts in bed before falling asleep. I am lucky to be a heavy sleeper but limiting my caffeine intake throughout the day has become a non-negotiable to make sure I get a good night sleep.
How does your routine help you?
It helps me release a bit of the anxiety and stress that may have accumulated throughout the work day.
Do you have any bedtime rituals to help you ease into sleep?
I enjoy drinking herbal tea, taking a warm shower and spending time on my skincare routine.
What’s one thing you can’t fall asleep without?
White noise, such as the sound of a fan.
What’s one item in your bedroom that you can’t live without?
A good comfortable pillow.
What do you do on nights when you’re struggling to fall asleep? Do you have any tricks that you swear by?
A white sound machine and visualizing the start of a dream.
What kind of sleeper are you?
I enjoy sleeping on my side while hugging a pillow.