We were lucky enough to get the chance to chat with Emma and Carla, a.k.a THE MERRYMAKER SISTERS, and we just love their vibe and the story of the amazing journey that they are on together!
You’ve been inspired and motivated by the philosophies of Joseph Campbell, most notably the one about following your ‘bliss.’ Can you tell us a bit more about that – what it means to you and what your experience has been with regards to following your own ‘bliss?’
Oh wow, Joseph Campbell and his teachings changed the whole direction of our lives! We heard the words “follow your bliss”, when we heard him talk about the “the heroes journey” and we fast realised that we were not living our bliss. We were living a path laid out by society, a path we thought we wanted but in fact, we did not.
At the time we’d started work on The Merrymaker Sisters, and the more we listened to Joseph Cambell the more we realised this was our bliss. It was simple… we had to follow it. We had to give more energy to it. We had to believe that if we gave more focus and energy to it… it would grow. And then of course this took us on our own paths, we’d enter our own heroes/heroines journey.
We wanted something more for our lives. More meaning and truth. Doing more of what we truly desired. Letting go of goals that actually were never ours to begin with, they were cast upon us from the world around us instead of within us.
Can you give some tips or advice about how to go about finding your ‘bliss,’ or how you can learn to recognise what your ‘bliss’ might be?
Bliss is the thing that lights you up, it energizes you. When you are following or working on your bliss, time disappears. You’ll also begin to notice everything flows. Opportunities may arise or you’ll meet the right person at the right time. It sounds like some kind of magic, woo, craziness… but it is real and we’ve experienced it so many times. We’ve had people enter our lives who helped at the perfect time. We had opportunities flow in when we first quit (call it beginners luck?!).
As Joseph said…
“When you follow your bliss…doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors, and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else. ”
Hearing words like this gave us the ultimate sense of belief in ourselves and also in bliss. And this is why bliss is one of our core business values… we must have a sense of bliss or joy with the work we do. This feeling is like an arrow for us… telling us to go that way. When we no longer feel that it’s time to pivot, even just a little.
Sisters who work together? And who readily admit to fighting occasionally? The Executive Assistant role is significantly defined by the particular relationship that we must have with our executives. What advice do you have for maintaining a good working relationship with someone? What do you consider to be the three most important things about working closely with another human being who has good days and bad days, strengths and not-so-strengths, just like all of us!?
Ohhh relationships are everything in life. For work and also life in general. We’re so lucky to have each other, we know what we have is special. We’ve always got along very well… our whole lives!
Looking back we started our first business when we were just 7 and 10 (or around then!). We’d make and sell friendship bracelets, we made greeting cards for a while too. Then as young teens we made jewellery and sold it at trash and treasure (thanks to Mum and Dad for buying all the equipment, not sure if we made any profit haha). We both worked as soon as we could, I (Emma) got a job at a sandwich shop at just 13, then I got Carla a job there when she turned 13. We followed each other… from The National Convention Centre to the Department of Human Serves and then finally quitting to do Merrymakers full times.
The three most important things…
- It’s got to be open communication. There is no way you’ll agree on everything (this is a good thing!), so it’s important to be open and know that if there is a difference of opinion it’s very rarely personal. Be open, talk about issues and work through it.
- Slow down your reaction speed. This is a big one for us. If you have sisters, or siblings or best friends even… you know it’s easy to snap and react poorly. Meditation and Yoga really helped us to slow this down… instead of reacting it allows you to respond with a little more understanding and thought.
- HAVE FUN! Bring joy to your working relationship! Even we forget this sometimes… because running a biz is hard! And it also takes up so much energy. It’s so important to schedule in time to do non-work stuff together and these are often the times we come up with the best ideas.
The real-life sisters are Yoga, Pilates and Meditation teachers. They quit their full time government desk jobs in July 2014 to follow their bliss. Since then it’s been a messy, magic ride of a life time (and they’re not afraid to share it).
The sister duo have created the #1 mobile recipe App Get Merry, published the best selling healthy cookbooks Make It Merry and Get Merry, and are hosts of the #1 GetMerry podcast. They are also founders of MerryBody Online Studio which gives you unlimited access to Yoga, Pilates and Meditation classes. The classes make you fit, strong and flexible. But the real difference? It’s movement driven by acceptance, respect and above all… JOY.
Every month they reach over 200 000 people through their products and platforms, with a mission to live in a world where people finally accept, love and respect their bodies and themselves.
The real life sisters and business partners love good coffee, Yoga, Pilates, real conversation, ideas that come with a sparkle in the eye, stories filled with truth and looking at the world with wonder.