#HappyMonday: Meet the Squirrel Sisters
I absolutely love Mondays. Monday is the first day of the working week, and when you're running your own business it's a new week, new motivations appear and you're happy to sit down at your desk and get going.
As part of the new Sassy Bites Happy Monday series, we're asking inspiring business women about building their brands, doing what they love and asking for any wisdom they can give to aspiring business owners. Why Happy Monday? Well, every Monday is brilliant when you're doing what you love.
To kick start the series, I'm delighted to have the lovely Squirrel Sisters, Sophie and Gracie, here to speak about business, work/life balance, and what tunes they blast out on a Monday to kick start their week!
Sophie and Gracie developed the healthy dairy, gluten and refined sugar free 'Squirrel Sisters' snack bars, which are now stocked in Boots, Holland & Barrett, Planet Organic, Wholefoods, Sourced Market, Amazon and more. Every woman on the go knows you have to keep a snack in your bag - especially when you're hopping between meetings. They're the perfect on the go snack to keep in your bag, or have at your desk. To find your nearest stockist visit their website.
When did you know you wanted to start your own business?
We always knew that we wanted to do something we were passionate about and make success of it but we never set out to make Squirrel Sisters a full time business, it happened very organically. We originally started Squirrel Sisters as a blog back in 2014 because we were passionate about good, nutritious and delicious food. We were living on different sides of the world (Sophie was in Singapore, Gracie was in London) so we thought it would be a fun thing to do together while living in different countries.
Have you always been into wellness and health foods?
Yes! Our mum is a yoga teacher and both our mum and dad are very health conscious so we have always been surrounded by ‘wellness’ and good, quality food.
We all have ideas for businesses, but how did you know that this was the one that you needed to pursue?
It’s all we ever talked and thought about. We love food and feeling good and love how food can make you feel eg. when you have something fresh and nutritious you can feel energised and amazing vs when you have something processed and full of sugar you can feel lethargic and unmotivated. One thing we noticed was that health foods have in the past been very boring and uninspiring or have mixed messages (you think they are healthy when in fact they are packed full of sugar). We saw a gap in the market for a health product that was healthy but tasted indulgent and satisfied your tastebuds. Gracie used to make the bars at home when we lived together because Sophie has a gluten-intolerance so we already had the recipes for the bars before we ever knew that we would turn them into a business.
Would you say social media has helped you grow the Squirrel Sisters brand?
Social media has enabled us to spread our message and create a buzz around our products and brand for no cost. It’s enabled us to connect with our customers on a personal level and get genuine feedback about our products.
When you run your own business, a lot of people find it difficult to get that work/life balance. How do you both balance your work with doing the things that you love doing outside of the office?
We are all about balance and being a wellness company means we have to take it seriously. We eat really well because we know that it helps us feel good and keeps us energised even when we feel tired. We both have ways we like to wind down, Sophie enjoys yoga and meditation and Gracie enjoys going to the gym and having a bath with bath salts and candles. A glass of wine always goes down well too.
When did you know it was time to get help and employ someone?
We decided we needed to hire someone when we started getting our bars stocked in more places. We felt that in order to maintain the best relationship with our stockists and give them our full attention we needed another pair of hands. It’s still currently just the two of us in the office but we are always on the look out for the next Squirrel Sister.
What's your favourite motivational tune to blast out on a Monday?
What's the best piece of advice you've been given, and who gave it to you?
Always trust your gut! If there is any doubt don’t do it. Our mum gave us this advice and it’s been pretty invaluable for growing our business and making decisions.
Do you have any tips for other young women looking to start their own business?
Passion, persistence and patience! If you are starting a business make sure you are doing it because it’s something you love. Whatever you do needs to be a genuine passion and something you 100% believe in. If you truly believe in your business idea then go for it – you’ve got nothing to lose and the passion will keep you going. You’ll experience a lot of knock backs on your business journey, things won’t always run smoothly and you will experience times when you just want to give up. Know that these feelings will pass and it takes a huge amount of persistence, hard work and commitment so keep going and don’t give up!
Sophie and Gracie have built a truly iconic brand, and one of things you can take away from speaking with them is that they are so passionate about their product (and I am passionate about eating them...they're so delicious!)
Visit their website for more Girl Power, recipe and travel inspiration!