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A Day in the Working Life of Dr Vanessa Creaven, dentist and co-founder of Spotlight Oral Care


By Erin Lindsay
09th Mar 2020
A Day in the Working Life of Dr Vanessa Creaven, dentist and co-founder of Spotlight Oral Care

Along with her sister Dr. Lisa Creaven, Dr. Vanessa Creaven is a co-founder of Spotlight Oral Care, a teeth-whitening business that focuses on safe, effective and non-toxic products (with minimal waste). Here, Dr. Creaven takes us through a typical working day


I wake at… 6 am

The first thing I do every morning is… COFFEE! I have incorporated some celery juicing also into my morning routine since January and am finding it great. I try to get to the gym before my working day starts, otherwise, it gets lost down the list of priorities.

Breakfast is usually… A protein shake of some kind, normally made the night before.

I can’t go to work without… Checking my emails.

Deciding what to wear each morning is… Very straight forward. I have a “uniform” of some description for work. At the start of the year, I buy five black skirts and 15 blouses and rotate — not very exciting but during the week, it’s a huge time saver.

The best investment I ever made in my work wardrobe was… Probably a Moncler coat for my lunchtime walks in rainy Galway weather.

I travel to work by… Car

I start my working day at… 7.30 am

I usually spend the first portion of the day… Going through my inbox, as many emails will have come in overnight from overseas. At the moment, we are gearing up to launch in the United States in a couple of weeks so emails are often coming in into the early hours of the morning. I like to reply and keep things moving as soon as possible in the morning.

I break for lunch at… 1 pm. Lisa (my sister and business partner) and I try and get out for a walk at lunch. We normally have a lot to discuss by 1 pm so we try and “walk and talk” — that’s if it’s not raining in Galway!

I think meetings are… Essential but I always try to keep a time limit on them to some extent. I think face-to-face meetings are really the best way to really catch up on anything. I always try and have a goal list written before any meetings I take so they are structured. I also try to send this around ahead of the meeting so people can add to it and we are all getting what we need from each and every meeting.

The most useful business tool I use every day is… My phone. These days, I am doing a huge amount of travelling between the UK and the US. I am averaging a flight to the States every second week at this stage so I have everything linked to my phone so I can keep up to date on the go.

I save time by… Living so close to work. I am fortunate that I live 10 minutes from the office and dental practice which means I am not spending hours travelling in the car. I also really try limit the number of small decisions I have to make daily.

I rarely get through my working day without… Some chocolate and tea.

The best part of my day is… I have three little nieces who live about five minutes from me. When I’m home, I try to pop over a couple of times a week to chat with them and play. They are my best pals and the best tonic for a busy life.

The most challenging part of my day is… Multi-tasking. I still work some days as a practising dentist which makes those days a little more challenging, juggling the day-to-day practice with patients and our growing business, Spotlight Oral Care. I adore both and love having the variety — just not at the same time!

I know it’s been a good day if I… Every day is a good day. I really love what I do: I am passionate about Spotlight and everything we are doing currently. Of course, we have constant challenges but at the end of the day, I really like the people I work with and any challenge always gets sorted.

I usually end my day at… I try not to check any emails after 8.30 pm. It is hard because I can hear them pinging as they come through on my phone but if I continue past my cut off point, my sleep is really affected.

I switch off from work by… Watching terrible TV and online shopping.

Before I go to bed, I’ll always… Meditate. I started this process about two years ago and I find it amazing for processing the day and setting myself up for a really good night’s sleep.

I often prepare for tomorrow by… Getting my gym gear ready for the morning, making my protein shake for first thing and having my car keys out and ready by the kitchen table. I have a severe habit of losing my car keys and there is nothing like the stress of lost car keys in the morning.