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Highs and Lows with Hayley Dineen of Sackville & Co.

Highs and Lows with Hayley Dineen of Sackville & Co.

Graydon: Hey everybody, it’s Graydon Moffat from Graydon Skincare! Welcome to our People We Love Series. My team and I love finding really amazing people, based in Toronto, and who are invented in making choices to be the best versions of themselves. Who are shifting old habits and starting new conversations.

Today we have Hayley from Sackville & Co., and in case you are not aware, it is a cannabis accessory company, doing amazing things! So happy to have you on the show today. Hayley is also a fellow East-Ender, who grew up in Cabbagetown, and is located now in South Riverdale. Welcome Haley, and I can’t wait to hear more about your story about your own health journey and how cannabis has shifted your whole perspective to mental health.

Hayley: Thanks for having me, it's so nice to be here! It's always nice to jam over this stuff. I absolutely love your skin care products they are, like, incredible for me. So a bit about Sackville & Co., we launched about a year ago, but the real instigator to me getting into the industry and starting was probably six months before that.

I've always had problems with digestion and had a hard time eating, and it's always been an ongoing struggle for me. About a year and a half ago I came down with these intense muscle spasms around my intestines, and excruciating pain. I was rushed to the hospital, they thought I had a tear in my intestines, it was horror. Once we found out that it was actually muscle spasms…

G: How did you find that out?

H: A lot of tests. The key was that heat was stopping the pain, and that was a big sign that it was spasms. So definitely a huge learning moment! That gastro–specialist that I was seeing said that only happens when there is a lot of strain, and I really had to change everything. There were six weeks where I had to lie flat, and if I sat up I would start to get spasms. Anyway, so that happened, and I was in a new phase of trying to recover. What that meant, was that I was offered a bunch of really intense opiates to try to lessen the pain. For me, that wasn't the right option. So I had a real realization with that, and started researching alternatives.

I started reading a lot about the anti-spasm capabilities of THC. There is a lot of different cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, most well-known are CBD and THC. Usually THC is what people her a little bit scared of, because it does give you that high feeling. I started looking at what strains are good for digestion, and what terpenes in the plant…

G: Can you explain that? 

H: Yeah! I will precurse this by saying I’ve learned a lot on my own journey. One of the things we try to do at Sackville is bring in experts to speak about these things, because I am not an expert. We want to create a space where you can really learn from the experts. But I will give you the basics!

So in a cannabis plant, you have over 100 different cannabinoids, and then you also have terpenes. Terpenes give you that smell or natural oil, and terpenes and themselves have a lot of natural benefits, which is why people use things like essential oils to heal different issues. Scents have a big impact on our health. The way that terpenes interact with cannabinoids is called “the entourage effect”. Went all of these different elements work together, they create different effects on your body.

So I started researching, what are the things that could work for me? One of the really interesting things I find about cannabis, is that everyone is going to experience different strains differently. It is so much based on your body, every thing within you is going to make you react to a different strain differently. 

G: Right! I was going to ask you more about that.

H: You create endocannabinoids naturally in your body, so depending on the level that you have naturally, and the ones in the plant that you’re consuming, you’re going to feel something different. It started with a bit of a trial and error process, which I think everyone goes through. Figuring out what feels good, what feels like it's actually making a difference. For me, I found a few strains that really work, and some that didn’t. I started that phase of recovery, and with that also went to physiotherapy, and was really cautious about how my body was reacting. And I wanted to talk to everyone about it! 

G: You started the conversation! 

H: Yeah! Like what are the health benefits? Why do people use it? Because really there are so many different reasons why people come to use cannabis. That can range from insomnia, wanting to quiet the mind, sex, anything. Starting to have those conversations, and realizing most people I hang out with consumed, and most people didn't talk about it. That was the instigator.

G: Letting go of that stigma, and being comfortable having that conversation. 

H: And I get it. I remember walking into dispensaries in Toronto and feeling awkward. It's not something that we're used to as a society right now. This change is happening, it feels really fast but it's been a conversation that has been ongoing for really long time. I think we're starting to talk about it more, and the more science that comes out about it the better! 

G: You seem incredibly well, so you must have shifted very dramatically over the last 6 to 12 months. 

H: It's funny, I feel like in life we rarely take time to really reflect on how we've changed, but I feel like when I look back, I'm like wow, I was at such a low point in terms of health and mental health. Being in the space that I am now, I feel great! I truly feel like cannabis has played such a huge role in that.

It's exciting to change the conversation, and start to have positive conversations. Really leave that old stigma behind, so people feel comfortable asking questions. Now that I've been more in the industry in the past year, I find that a lot of people have assumptions about most of the population. Like, everyone knows this or that, but no one knows! Everyone’s too shy to ask! It's a new space so there's a lot of learning to be done, and it's very different than alcohol. I think a lot of times people want to have an example, like what is the equivalent to one drink or one glass of wine, but it doesn't really work that way, and it takes empowering yourself to try things and then reflect on how did that make you feel. 

G: Like connecting to your feelings.

H: Yes! That's a huge, huge part of it. The real aha! moment for people is when you realize you have to empower your self to trust your feelings, and asking how did that make me feel. How did I like that experience or not like that experience? Did I like parts of it? Take those feelings in, reconsider, and go forward. 

G: I think that's a very insightful distinction between cannabis use and alcohol. I think generally speaking, alcohol tends to numb you so you're not feeling and you don't actually connect with yourself. Whereas cannabis helps you be in your body. 

H: You also get so many different experiences from it. Different strains give you different experiences, different ways of consuming give you different experiences. Smoking, edibles, and topicals are all different experiences. There's so many places this industry can grow!

G: As you know, we love plant-powered skincare! Definitely thinking about that. 

H: I can't wait to see more people coming into the space, and finding their niches. 

G: I think 2019 will be a game changer in terms of products. Fortunately we have some trailblazers doing amazing work. Let's get back to Sackville. Through this huge crisis, you were able to heal yourself, and that's also what led you to start this is wonderful accessory brand - and merge your history working in high-end fashion.

H: For me, I truly believe we collect objects as a representation of themselves. When you go into someone's home, the things they choose to surround themselves with our very much part of them and part of their journey in life. So when I was looking for products, like a grinder or a rolling tray…

G: And I must say your grinder is so beautiful, it’s like a sculpture.

H: Well you don’t feel weird it it’s out then! 

G: I’ve really gone through that whole Marie Kondo tidying up, and I take pleasure in surrounding myself with objects that spark joy, and yours is one of them!

H: I think that's so important. When you're constantly having a relationship with the object you don't like, there's just not a good feeling being created. I was looking around and all of the cannabis stuff out there and it didn't feel like it connected two anything else in my house or my lifestyle, so I wanted to try to design around that.

I've always worked in design, so that's the way I approach things in general. It started with the grinder, and we are slowly building out our product line. Now we have really beautiful pipes, we do great rolling papers, we are expanding further into more lifestyle products like trays and candles. Things that really sets the mood and make you feel in your space so you can experience the way you want! It’s really nice to share that with people. 

G: Such an inspiring story! It's funny how challenges in our life can help us feel thankful.

H: I think sometimes you reach those moments where you are forced by life to take a step back. For me, even at outside of digestion, I was stressed all of the time. Everyone hold stress in different places. I was taking time to think about that and what that means, and how I want to go forward. 

G: Of course we are interested in skin around here. The more comfortable you are in your body, the better you're also going to look. You have to deal with the inward first, but the byproduct is often the outward.

H: I remember when I was working in a past job I had a crazy rash on my face, and I went to so many different professionals, and they all said it was stress. My stress is coming out in my skin. 

G: Back to comments on cannabinoids and CBD, the science coming out about the anti-inflammatory properties are great.

H: I’ve been reading some interesting Studies about Crohn's disease and other issues and how CBD can effect it. 

G: The inflammation inside your body and your gut, hello gut and skin! Huge connection! And your skin is definitely glowing!

H: Thank you! 

G: I look forward to keeping in touch with you as Sackville & Co. expands globally.

H: Definitely, we’re probably moving to the States soon, and we’re really excited to grow our audience over there as well.

G: Would you like to share any tips about getting started?

H: I would say in terms of self-care, my biggest tip is set the mood. Sometimes we are hard on ourselves and we don’t relax in the moment we want to relax, and our environment has so much to do with that. You know, light a candle, take a bath, do something that is out of your normal environment to let yourself know this is “my time”. In terms of cannabis, I would just say trust yourself. Take it slow, try things in small doses, and reflect on how you feel - and trust that feeling! There's so many different things out there, so it’s a journey to figure out what’s best for you, and you don’t have to trust other people’s recommendations. 

G: Thank you so much for tuning in! Find Sackville & Co on Instagram at

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