Jo & Tracey
SISTERS ON A MISSION
A new way to look at food
‘We feel like we’ve flourished since that happened to us, and we are now stronger and more focused than ever before. This worst case scenario ended up being the best things that’s ever happened to us.’
It started as a WordPress site, just Jo, sharing her recipe creations and additive free lifestyle with likeminded people. Then her sister Tracey noticed the positive impact of the additive free lifestyle, and the food blog Sistermixin’ was born. Since then the business has grown, with Jo and Tracey simply two sisters on a mission to change how people look at food.
We’re two sisters on a mission to change the way people look at food. We both have children, husbands that work long hours and life is crazy, but we love it and live and breathe being ‘busy’.
Sistermixin’ initially started as a food blog, just sharing a few recipes here and there, but as we grew, we soon realised we were actually helping people’s lives which is amazing and so humbling.
What drove you to start up Sistermixin’ as a business?
(Jo) Initially I started a free little WordPress site. I was having major behavioural issues with my daughter, who was just 3 at the time, so decided to go completely additive and preservative free as a way of helping her. I didn’t really have anyone to reach out to, I felt all alone and was made to feel a little ‘weird’ by my closest friends and family, so I decided to start a Facebook page, and a blog and share my recipe creations in the hope that I’d meet a few like-minded people. I was seeing the positive impact it was having on my daughter and thought that if I could help just one other family then why wouldn’t I.
Tracey then noticed the positive impact eating additive and preservative free was having on us so decided to cook a little cleaner too. She started sharing a few recipes on the blog and that’s when we decided to make this a business and call it Sistermixin’.
What’s been your proudest moment in business?
In January of 2016 our (now ex) web host deleted our entire database. Yep, our ENTIRE database. We were unable to perform a back-up as their system kept timing out so to cut a long story short we were left with nothing. We had lost a website which then consisted of over 200 recipes, hundreds of blog posts, an online store, an e-course and lots of other invaluable content.
The proudest moment was to come back from that. We had our Additive Free Made E-Couse back up and running within 10 days and our Sistermixin’ website was back up and running within 6 weeks.
We feel like we’ve flourished since that happened to us, and we are now stronger and more focused than ever before. This worst case scenario ended up being the best things that’s ever happened to us.
What mistake have you learned most from?
Our biggest mistake is that we didn’t start building our email list straight away. We wasted this opportunity for 2 years, which, when we look back was a big mistake!
What would you say is the recipe for success in your sector?
To be successful you need to be passionate about what you do. There’s no point doing something you don’t love, it needs to be something you live and breathe. If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.
You also need to stay focused, work on one thing, finish that one thing and then smash the daylights out of it. Don’t move onto your next project until that one is totally exhausted.
What have you learned about yourself?
We’ve learned that being true to ourselves is what makes us tick. We are never fake, or do what we think ‘should’ be done. We have realised that as mum’s we come first sometimes too, our cup needs to be full in order to keep everyone else’s cups full. Self-care is something we both work on daily. It’s a job in progress, but the more we practise it the easier it’s becoming. Loving yourself and taking care of yourself is so important and that’s what we’ve learned the most.
What has been your biggest sacrifice for the business?
Family. Although working for yourself and from home gives us lots of flexibility, it’s also at its own detriment. There’s been countless times when the kids will yell at us and say “Mum, listen!” because we’ve been off with the fairies thinking about ‘work’. Your business, your last baby never leaves your mind. We’re always thinking about that next project, that email we have to reply to, all the social media comments building up etc.
Our TV time is now the front of our laptops, as soon as the kids are in bed we’re on the computer working which means our husbands have had to do some big adjustments. Our husbands often look at us over the front of a laptop screen.
Given what you know now, what would you do differently?
Ummmm, good question. Geez I don’t know, we try not to live with any regrets and to be honest, we’ve loved the ride so much we’re not sure we’d do much differently at all.
Who would you most like to employ in your business – famous or otherwise?
We love Jaimie Oliver. He advocates for clean eating just like us and keeps it so real. Yep, we’d have to say him.
Best piece of advice to other business owners?
Stay true to yourself. Be passionate about what you do and the goods will come. Also, keep going, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going!
We use the hashtag #dontstressit – it’s our motto because life’s too short to stress the small stuff. 90% of the stuff that happens never happens anyway so #dontstressit