New Irish brand Unwind just launched their snack bar range and we are delighted to be stocking two of their evening snacks in our new parent gift boxes. Deirdre Hynds joins us for the latest Behind The Brand to chat about her journey to founding the brand, the benefits and challenges of running her own business with a young baba, and shares some advice for budding startups!

How did you come up with the business idea for Unwind? 

I am a life long night owl, that's a nice way of saying that I have historically had a somewhat less than perfect relationship with sleep. I have always thought (i.e obsessed over!) about how my lifestyle, habits, diet, etc impact the quality and quantity of sleep that I get. I wanted to create a snack that was suitable for evening time using some of the natural ingredients that I already use in my day to day life, like chamomile, Montmorency cherry and l-theanine, and so Unwind was born (after a fairly lengthy three year gestation period!)


What is important to Unwind as a brand?

The tagline of unwind is 'take your time', and it really does infuse everything we do! I want to create a (really gentle) tidal wave to reclaim the evening space as a time for rest and relaxation. For me, sitting down with a natural, wholesome and tasty Unwind bar, coupled with a nice cup of tea, is one of my favourite ways to relax in the evening. But I know that's not for everyone, so I have also spent time working on our 'relax hacks', which include things like slow nightime movement sequences (gentle yoga and sleepy stretches), bedtime stories for adults, and guided meditations, which I am really looking forward to sharing with everyone.


What is the best thing about running your own business?

I am not good with people telling me what to do, so I would say having (more or less) complete autonomy. I don't like having to do pointless things (like giving people your business card in a meeting, even though you were emailing each other earlier that day!?) so I like to strip that sort of thing out of my own working practices. I like setting my own work schedule too.


What do you find the hardest thing about running your own business?

Definitely time management with a new baby. I had a little boy during Lockdown 1.0, and the days of indulging flights of fancy like looking at photoshop tutorials on Youtube are well and truly OVER! Although it certainly does compel me to prioritise my workload way more efficiently than I have ever managed to before (thank you Callum!).


Working for yourself can be challenging, particularly at the moment, what do you prioritize for self-care?

A daily walk, nighttime yoga, and meditation.


Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of starting their own business? 

Tap into your own network as much as possible, give support to others, and allow yourself to be supported too! And always, always, celebrate the small wins, each and every one! That’s what will keep you going!

On a practical level, I think the LEO Start Your Own Business courses are fantastic especially if you are at the stage where you are toying with the idea of starting out on your own, the courses are very affordable, comprehensive and are run regularly.