Episode 109: Dawn and Wayne Nix Of D5W


Dawn and Wayne Nix

Dawn and Wayne Nix of D5W

What’s the story behind the company?


As you know Stress is rampant through our field.  We started the tea and coffee at a farmers market just to do something different and feel more appreciated.

However we soon noticed the repetitive nature of co-workers and persons from the hospital nearby, often stopping by to talk shop, often discussing  their frustrations and continuation of what I call my free “bed-side or curbside counseling”.

As fate would have it, Dawn started to have Gastro-intestinal issues.  I think its directly related to this stress.  They couldn’t pin point the issue after running a plethora of test and the discharge instructions included switching to a Paleo diet, drink some tree bark, start exercising more and try not to work too much.

But this event, coupled with personal tragedies gave further emphasis that Employee Assistance Programs and H.R. programs are limited in resources and even if funded well, are typically sought out after a need or crisis occurs.

Why coffee and tea?

Because it fit well with our need to open up discussions amongst our peers.  Often times this is when the ranting occurs so we figured why not bring people back to the table and wouldn’t it be nice to have some tips for relieving stress, free of charge, given right on the packaging?

So we created an Emergency Dose of Self-Care.  The products and the company are created from our own crisis, from our own stressors and experience of working in the field of health. But being true to our Louisiana spirit, we thought we should have teas in our area with a little local flair.  So finding an importer willing to change some flavoring was a bit of challenge, but we are definitely satisfied with our products.

How does this benefit nurses and healthcare professionals?

The goal of the products are to get people to laugh and to take time out for self-care.  The packaging design was literally conceptualized from the emergency drugs we use at the bedside.

 We thought if we could capture attention using relatable imagery, without being dangerously close to cause risk management to lose their mind, we could show: we understand your pain, your frustration, we understand.  But we also understand there are always other options.

Who are you partnering with?

We are also very thankful to be assisted by Pat Bemis and Andrew Lopez with the National Nurses Business Association.

We’ve also touched base with a list of others, but most recently  we have partnered with Sarah Mott of Nurse Born and her company of caring products created for nurses, by nurses.  We think she has a great concept and want to support her. Not to mention because of Sarah as well as Gary Bronga, we’ve dusted off the file on a little tool we’d like to patent.

Did you ever think you would become nurse entrepreneurs?

Dawn never did, but I’ve always had a burning desire to bring some of my ideas to light and make the move to self-employment

What three pieces of advice would you give to nurses who want to become nurse entrepreneurs?

1.      Start.  Fear is nothing more than our tendency to try and be perfect.  Well there is no six sigma here.  There is never a perfect time for anything. Just look in the mirror.  As a nurse, you’ve already faced challenges before and this is no different.

2.     Gather resources: Follow your show to meet key industry players, join local organizations that can benefit.

3.     Research your industry.  Find a true support system.