Interview with Hilary McCain

Interview with Hilary McCain

Meet Hilary, Founder and CEO of Sweet Reason, who works in NYC, lives in TO and finds her balance with a daily dose of pilates and, of course, CBD.

What inspired you to start Sweet Reason?

I became obsessed with cannabis beverages and wanted to create a beverage that was truly healthy (aka no sugar or sweeteners, simple ingredients) and delicious. And something that I, as a millennial woman, would actually buy. And then I discovered CBD and all of its health benefits, and the rest was history. CBD is non-psychoactive, so it’s the perfect introduction to the plant for people who might hesitate to try a cannabis beverage.

What does a typical day in the life look like for you?

I am in NYC for a couple of days most weeks. If I am going to NYC, I wake up at 5am to get on a 6:45am flight for what is usually a day of back-to-back meetings, dinner with friends, and a sleepover with my sister. If I am in Toronto, it’s a bit more normal:

  • 6:30am Wake up. Snooze until 6:50am. Stumble out of bed and somehow get to Misfit studio for the 7am class (pilates/yoga/dance fusion, with a healthy dose of mindful breathing / stretching).
  • 7:50am Home. Make tea and have a quick breakfast, hopefully with my husband. Read the NYT. Ideally Facetime my niece in the UK.
  • 8:30am Walk to work. Call friends / family or listen to The Daily.
  • 9-6:30pm I am usually in meetings most of the day. We are still very much in startup mode so everything is really collaborative. I am still involved in all facets of the business, so I spend a lot of my day working with my team on various ideas/issues/topics. If I really need to get deep work done, I have to be alone, ideally out of the office.
  • 6:30-7:30pm Walk home, walk my dog.
  • 7:30-9pm Make dinner with my husband.
  • 9-10pm Work, answer emails, life admin.
  • 10-11pm Cuddle with my dog on the floor, have a hot bath, read.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned through the process of bringing Sweet Reason to life?

Resilience is everything. Nothing will be easy. Great people make all the difference.

Why did you start using CBD?

Anxiety. CBD takes the edge off and makes me feel more in my body and less in my head.

Why do you keep using CBD? 

Anxiety. And Sweet Reason is a delicious way to consume it, so I just drink it all day instead of kombucha, tea, etc.

Lifestyle summed up in one sentence

I work hard to be present and focused in everything I do, whether I’m having dinner with friends or carving out time to focus on a specific priority at work.

What are some of your hobbies?

Cooking for friends, reading (fiction), hiking, getting out of the city.

Launching a start-up and a calm, quiet mind usually don’t go hand in hand. What were your go-to tips to handling stress? 

Drink Sweet Reason. Quit coffee. Stick to a daily routine as much as possible. Find a movement practice that you want to do everyday. Put your phone down so you can have longer, deeper conversations to take your mind off of work. Give yourself time to nurture interests / hobbies so that your work doesn’t define you, and your self-worth is not entirely tied to your nine to five.

Mantra of the Moment

At Sweet Reason, we find ourselves constantly saying that everything is a blessing in disguise.

Mindful Tip?

My husband, friends and family. Mindful movement at Misfitstudio. No coffee. Limited phone time on weekends. And there’s nothing like a good run outside if I really need to burn off some anxiety!

What are some of your favorite ways to relax or be mindful?

Having friends over for dinner gets me off of my phone for a solid 5-6 hours. Nothing takes my mind off work and life stress more than a good dinner party.

Current woman crush?

Caitlin Strandberg, at Lerer Hippeau, the venture capital fund who led our first capital raise. She is next level - brilliant, thoughtful and an all-around good human.

CBD Queen or CBD Newbie

Queeeeen! (just kidding, there is still so much to learn in CBD with new research coming out every month!)

Social Stigma or Socially Acceptable?

Completely embraced and clearly piquing everyone’s curiosity! The real stigma challenges will come with cannabis beverages.

Top of your Zen Playlist: 

Maggie Rogers and everything Spotify feeds me via Discover Weekly

Brand You Love:

Horses Atelier

Life Hack of all Life Hacks:

Put your phone away for a few hours (in another room, ringer off) for 1-2 hours everyday, so you can actually focus and prioritize!

Guilty Pleasure:

Sockerbit candy, red wine, “breakfast cookies”

Spirit Animal:

A mermaid.

If you were reincarnated who would you want to be?

Oprah. She gets to have incredible conversations for a living. What a dream!

What period of time would you live in if it wasn’t the present? The 70s


If you were an inanimate object, what would it be?


Favorite Sweet Reason Flavor:

That’s like picking a favorite child. Everyone has one (right Mom?), but I can never tell ;)

Next Post