What would it take for you to start a business…with your mother? For Markea Dickinson, the answer was simple: a good idea with a strong mission. When her mother Debbie saw how little there was on the market for menopausal women dealing with heat sensitivities, she was shocked. “This is 2020,” she proclaimed. “Women don’t have to just put up with it. Physicians actually have information and solutions that allow my daughters and grandchildren and other women not to have to deal with this.” So Debbie (a former Johnson & Johnson executive) joined by her daughter (a logistical and operational genius who previously spent five years at Unilever) set out to create the solution: The Thermaband Zone device, launching next summer.“Markea, and I are working together on building a smart tech wearable, which is really a personal thermostat. It’s addressing issues of thermal discomforts, focusing on women and their families.” Markea, tired of the bureaucracy of the corporate world, couldn’t have been more excited to join her mother’s new venture, as she entered her second year as an MBA graduate at Yale. “I was trying to figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life and my mom called with this idea,” she says. “I’ve always been passionate about women’s health and democratizing access to resources. [This venture] seemed like a really cool opportunity for huge market, but it was more the social impact lens that was super exciting to me.” Here, in our very first mother/daughter edition, take a look at what’s next to the beds of Markea and Debbie Dickinson.
What side of the bed do you sleep on?
Debbie: Left side of the bed. Not sure why that is, but fairly consistent throughout childhood and now adulthood. Not sure if my husband preferred the right side, but that was the side available.
Markea: Right side for me!
What can you not sleep without?
Debbie: A glass of cold water. I keep a coaster there to remind me to get water at bedtime. The ceiling fan is usually on at night; otherwise, I’d need a fan on the bedside table too.
Markea: There’s a smaller pillow that I have next to me. I actually roll a lot when I’m sleeping. My significant other absolutely hates it because I’m rolling around in the sheets or I end up diagonal in the bed. But, when I have this pillow that’s on my side, I’m less likely to roll over and cause all this commotion. It’s also just comfortable. I like having some support on my back.
What’s next to your bed?
Debbie: I have a basked on the floor and a bedside table with a lamp, my devotion book, candles and aromatherapy lotions, a special card from my husband and kids, my phone at night and a glass of cold water in case of hot flashes.
Markea: I shouldn’t, but I keep my phone right next to my bed. I’m trying to get better with putting it across the room. I also have a candle next to my bed. It’s a magnolia scent that’s super therapeutic. I have my journal next my bed, too, and a pen that I have I my prayer list in…these days with COVID I keep adding to it, unfortunately. Also, a devotional that I haven’t opened in a while. I probably should open it.
What’s your nighttime routine in five steps or less.
Debbie: Shower. Cleanse and moisturize face. Brush teeth. Put hair in a ponytail and slip on a satin sleep cap. Lights out!
Markea: I braid my hair—usually in two braids lately—and then I put on a satin scarf or a do-rag to protect the hair. I usually try to do my gratitude. journal at that point. I always try to end the day or start the day with thinking about what I’m grateful for—and then I meditate. I use Peloton’s app—the meditation section. I tried non-guided meditation, but it’s not for me. So, I use the app. I only do five minutes. I can’t sit still for more than that. And this is an example of what I do in the best-case scenario.