Flash back to mid 2012, we were sick of feeling sick, fed up with counting calories, beyond tired from the guilt we felt after eating, with low self-esteem and terribly confused as to why we felt this way. We were in this obsessive whirlwind of fad diets, quick fixes and negative body image. When we looked around this seemed completely normal, everyone was spinning. This unhealthy way of living needed to stop, so we searched for something that would work. REAL FOOD was our answer and the catalyst to creating The Merrymaker Sisters. Being the food lovers we always have been, we started to share photos of our healthy foodie creations to our personal social media accounts and our followers started to grow organically. We loved it so much and wanted a place to document all of our recipes and thoughts so we googled ‘How to start a blog’ (seriously!). We both studied and worked in the Communication industry and were passionate about health and happiness and so we began The Merrymaker Sisters - it was like two passions perfectly intertwined! Our overall mission for The Merrymaker Sisters is to create a healthy, happy, more magic filled world. We do that by creating a safe and fun community where everyone is welcome to come, learn and get inspired to make positive changes to their lives. We haven’t looked back since starting our merrymaker journey in February 2013, and feel truly lucky to have found a career path that makes us happy and gives us a sense of fulfilment. We always say ‘To Merrymake, is to follow your bliss, passion, dream’ and that’s exactly what we’re doing.
What made you take the leap into entrepreneurship?
We hated the jobs we were in. Every day we went into the office it felt like our souls were getting sucked out of us. We'd already found something we loved to do. We were in our mid 20s. We didn't have any commitments except a mortgage so we thought... why the hell not! We gathered that the bigger risk was getting to age 50 something and looking back with regrets.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
You only know what you know and we didn't know much (haha). But we also believe our naivety was our advantage. The initial hurdles (and still today) were cash flow and knowing where to focus our energy. Every day there will be a new hurdle but then you kind of just get used to the hurdles and they don't really stress you out as much.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
When we both quit our jobs we lied to our parents. We told them that we got leave without pay for a year. Then Carla blasted "we quit to Merrymake full time" on Facebook and forgot she was friends with Mum. Actually hilarious now when we think about it.
We really never paid much attention to what people thought about us quitting. We could sense that old work colleagues and even some friends thought we were mad and probably going to fail. We just had this knowing, this unwavering faith that we could do it.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Watching the documentary 'Finding Joe'. It's all about the philosophies of Joseph Campbel. This was when we realised we found our bliss aka passion, the thing we loved, we found our jam! It led us to put more focus on Merrymakers to allow it to grow.
Can we have two? Haha yes, surely!
All the amazing business events and conferences we've attended. We invested money (when we had no money) to go to conferences, the stuff we learnt and the people we met were gamechanger for our business.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
That it can, and will be stressful so make sure you check in with yourself, your relationships, your health. We're lucky in that our business is within the health and wellbeing world BUT have been times when we stopped exercising or when we drank too many cocktails or when we stopped meditating (etc.). If your body, mind and spirit is healthy it will only help your biz. This doesn't mean you need to sit and meditate for 30 minutes everyday, your meditation might be a walk on the beach, surfing, hiking or lifting weights.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
We say... go for it. If you have the slightest drive to start something you owe it to yourself and the world. Share your magic! It won't be easy but it will be exciting, you'll meet amazing people, you'll learn cool stuff, you'll do awesome things.