Balancing the Grind with Kameese Davis, Founder of Nylah’s Naturals

Kam Davis, is the founder and CEO of Nylah’s Naturals, a vegan-friendly, all-natural afro haircare brand. The brand started out as a way to help her daughter who had sensitive skin and has taken her to winning Dragon’s Den.

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Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to? 

I began my career in the field of employability where I have over 20 years of experience. In doing this, I’m happy to say that I have been able to positively impact countless individuals seeking to advance their careers. My passion for education and desire to be my own boss led me to launch a business as a consultant where I was a commissioned writer and of annual careers strategies for schools. 

After having my daughter my desire to alleviate her eczema, led me to launch Nylahs Naturals in 2018. Through this venture, we have successfully listed our products in major retailers like Superdrug and Boots.

My entrepreneurial journey has also led me to be a keynote speaker, through which I regularly share my insights on topics such as motherhood, anti-racism, and cultural competency. Thus far, my journey has been one of hard work, passion, and dedication to making a positive impact on the world around me.

We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?

Oh man, my day starts early! I wake up at 6 am to prepare breakfast for my two little ones and get them ready for school. After dropping them off, I’m off to my office! Meetings, calls, emails, creating content, planning, you name it – I do it all. Juggling a business and motherhood all at the same time is a non-stop rollercoaster that keeps me on my toes, but it’s also incredibly rewarding! 

After finishing work at 3 pm, it’s a desperate race to get across town and collect my children. Once I’m back home by 4 pm, it’s time to whip up dinner, help with homework and continue working. I clean up the dishes, try to squeeze in a gym session, and around three nights a week I make sure I’m in bed by 8 – 8:30 pm. On other nights ill work until midnight, but I try not to make it later than this. Once I collapse into bed, I’m ready to do it all over again the next day!

Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?

That’s a good question because I actually don’t believe that I can balance my work and personal life. I’ve spent years trying to and it left me feeling more incompetent. It didn’t matter which area of my life was thriving – if, for example, my business was doing well I felt like I was failing as a mother. I felt that I wasn’t giving my children what they needed to succeed. This led me to finally accept the fact that the elusive work-life “balance” is just a myth, at least for me! 

I’ve actually found a mantra that worked better for me: the work-life blend! This means sometimes one side gets more attention than the other, but that’s okay. Both work and my personal life are major parts of who I am, so why not let them blend? It’s like Akee and Saltfish, bun and cheese, rice and peas(if you haven’t guessed it I’m a Proud Jamaican) – they’re great separate, but even better together!

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Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?

Taking care of myself is essential and is a change I’ve made for myself. It meant focusing more on my vitality by paying attention to the foods and supplements that could help elevate my energy, optimism, and mood. I have also made it a priority to get better sleep, so now, at least three times a week I’ll be in bed by 8 pm. I used to believe that working long hours and getting up early was the key to success.

However, after realizing the toll it was taking on my health, I knew I had to make some changes. As an introvert, it was challenging to be in the spotlight constantly, but I wanted to maintain the appearance of a high-performing entrepreneur. However, I quickly burned out, and it happened multiple times a week. Now, I’ve learned the importance of taking care of myself, and it has made me more productive in the long run.

We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?

I highly recommend the book Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker to any entrepreneur who is looking to optimize their productivity and well-being. This book provides a comprehensive understanding of the science of sleep and highlights the crucial role that sleep plays in our physical and cognitive health.

Reading this book helped me to prioritise the fundamentals of sleep. In the book, Walker emphasises that being tired can have the same negative impact on our cognitive functions as being drunk, which is why it’s so important to prioritise sleep.

So, if you’re tired of hearing the same old advice such as “sleep when you’re dead,” I would highly recommend this book to learn about the real benefits of a good night’s rest. It had such a positive impact on my creativity and productivity!

Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

From my own experiences, I would say that It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race of entrepreneurship and forget what truly matters in life. The messages we receive from society often prioritize work, commitment, and prosperity above all else.

However, it’s important to remember that our happiness, well-being, and sense of purpose should be our top priorities. We shouldn’t sacrifice our mental and physical health or neglect our relationships in the pursuit of success.

Instead, we should strive to build a business that aligns with our values and brings us fulfilment and prioritize taking care of ourselves along the way. I think that it’s important to embrace a new paradigm of entrepreneurship that values learning, growth, connection, and purpose as metrics for success too.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.