In a room full of multitalented women, Dawn Fable was struck when her accomplished friend shared when “things are speeding wildly out of control,” she wished for a tattooed reminder on her wrist to “pause,” during their word-of-the-month club gathering.
“As we went around and we started sharing our words, all of us were really, really, really struggling–whether it was with our marriages, or finances, or issues with our kids, or climbing the corporate ladder, or starting new businesses,” she says.
“But in looking at each of these women, you would have no idea,” she says about her “career-driven, family-oriented” girlfriends who she describes as “beautiful, not only on the exterior, but such cool people on the interior.”
In that moment, Dawn realized she was not alone, after living with generalized anxiety disorder for as long as she could remember, and especially postpartum after the birth of her third child.
“There’s such a stigma around that where, as women, I think we naturally try to do it all,” she says.
“We’re ashamed of feeling anxious, and so often we’re drowning ourselves in bottles of Kim Crawford or sleeping pills,” she says, while “trying to present ourselves as these perfectly put together women.”
Once Dawn swapped her prescription for a CBD regimen, she says “I started shouting from the rooftops to a lot of my girlfriends who were struggling with similar things, and frankly, complete strangers that I would run into.”
As co-founder of the Press Pause Project, Dawn is on a mission to “share and be super transparent about my very personal struggles with anxiety and postpartum,” she says.
“That’s what’s been the most rewarding part of it, is just sharing my personal experiences,” she says. “I can’t tell you how many women have been like, ‘thank you so much, because I’ve felt so alone, and I felt ashamed.'”
While the Press Pause Project line can be found in yoga and pilates studios, clothing stores and boutique hotels, Dawn says that most of their business comes directly through online orders.
“I can always tell when people are gathered together over the holidays, or in a big group for something, because all of a sudden, we see this influx of orders,” she says.
The word-of-mouth momentum could also be attributed to quality, given that Dawn and her co-founder Torrey Benson are rigorous about “third party testing and manufacturing practices.” She adds that there are “companies out there that just aren’t doing the right thing for the industry,” as voiced by the FDA recently.
Ultimately, their goal is to give women “permission to press pause.” One of the first steps along the way is to “stop the whispering or shame around anxiety,” she says.
As a result of sharing her own experience and encouraging others to do the same, Dawn is beginning to see a shift in how open women are about what we’re struggling with.
“It’s just become this very cool time where women are feeling more vulnerable and they’re allowing themselves to not be perfect all the time.”