19 May #StandTall: Sally Obermeder, CO-HOST, AUTHOR, CO-FOUNDER OF SWIISH.COM
Sally Obermeder is no doubt living her best life yet, from juggling multiple dream jobs, to having happy healthy relationships with friends and family.. and who could ignore just how damn good she looks! She shares her advice on turning a passion into a business and how saying ‘thank you’ to the universe can go a long way.
Co-host of The Daily Edition, Author of The Good Life and Super Green Smoothies, Co-founder and creative director of SWIISH.com
Home city: Bondi, Sydney
media handles / website: @sallyobermeder @swiishbysallyo / www.swiish.com
So Sally, tell us a little about Swiish?
I’ve always believed that we shouldn’t have to make the choice between living a fabulous lifestyle and saving money, so I came up with the idea of doing a blog focused on ‘luxe for less’. I just felt like it was something other people could really relate to. Keeping this motto in mind, SWIISH covers everything from fashion, beauty, family, homewares and health.
We’ve had the website now for over three years and it’s been incredible. We’ve gone from the blog to also having an online store, writing two recipe books – SUPER GREEN SMOOTHIES and THE GOOD LIFE – and launching two hugely successful 30 Day Challenges. It’s been amazing!
What is the meaning behind the name ‘Swiish’ and how did you come up with it?
SWIISH stands for Stylish Women Inspiring Inner Strength, Health and Happiness. Maha, my sister and SWIISH.com co-founder, and I just really wanted a name that would describe who we wanted to be, who we wanted our readers to be – and what we wanted to achieve all at the same time. SWIISH also made us thing of the swiish of a skirt, or a swiish of lipstick, or the swiish of an email being sent as deals got done. It was all about a strong woman, in today’s dynamic world.
What advice would you give someone who is wanting to turn their passion into a business?
Be prepared to do whatever it takes to follow your dream! Work for free if you have to (I did!) and don’t be afraid to leave other things behind. You’ve got to have a lot of patience and be okay with not making a lot of money for the first few years. Most importantly though, be persistent. Also, don’t kid yourself into thinking you’ll be able to do less hours than a “normal job”. It’s more, way more and it’s endless… but that’s why you need the passion – when you have passion you don’t care about the hours.
You’re book Super Green Smoothies is often found in the kitchens of all our girlfriends. Which is your favourite recipe from the book and why?
The Original Skinny Smoothie is the one I have a big soft spot for. It was the first one I created and that’s why I love it. It’s a vegie powerhouse and drinking that every day for a few months made the weight fall off and made me realise what a game changer green smoothies were.
Not all families can work together. How do you and Maha make your business relationship work without jeopardising your relationship as sisters?
Maha and I have always been really close so I think we knew all along that we’d work well together. But it wasn’t without its challenges, especially in the beginning – simply because we were so afraid to hurt each other’s feelings if we didn’t like the other one’s idea. Very quickly though we realised that wasn’t feasible. We had to learn to be super honest all the time, and so now we are, and we actually move on very quickly. There is too much to do to get caught up in an idea that the other person isn’t into. We also acknowledge and are quick to point out each other’s annoying habits, haha! It’s all in good fun though and we rarely get in arguments over things. We ultimately share the same vision, bounce ideas off each other, celebrate our individual and combined successes and work through our challenges together. We also make the time to hang out on weekends or go for dinner where we consciously do not discuss work – that’s important for us to do as well.
You look like you are living your best life yet. What is your secret?
Haha thank you! But just like everyone else, I have my ups and downs. That being said, I am very blessed. For me, it all comes down to creating a good balance. I have a few different jobs – co-host of The Daily Edition, CEO of SWIISH.com, author of
THE GOOD LIFE and mother, wife, daughter and friend – so I’m very lucky that I get to have such an incredible mix of experiences and people in my life. Overall I would say that I’m a very grateful person. I’m always walking around muttering “thank you” to the universe. From big things to small things, I’m a glass half-full person. My favourite quote is, “be grateful for what you have, while working for what you want.”
How do you juggle everything and keep your shit together?
I lose my shit all the time! Hahaha! You have to, to stay sane! It doesn’t matter how organised and how prepared you are, things that are out of your control happen and you know what, that’s just life.
There are a few things I do, that I find help me keep to it all under control.
For SWIISH, Maha and I have a strategy Saturday once a quarter. It’s just a day where no one else is in the office and we have no interruptions and we just ‘chew the fat’. We can sit back and look at things objectively. See what is working and more importantly what isn’t working. It’s a day where we can have those longer conversations that we don’t have time to have, during the week.
For our staff, we have a quarterly strategy breakfast, so that we can share where we are aiming to drive the business and so we can all be on the same page. We also pre-book quarterly team dinners so we can let our hair down and catch up, and hang out and have a drink and a laugh.
For my home life, organisation and systems are key there too. We go away on the first weekend of the month. It’s just down the coast, but having that scheduled in gives us all something to look forward to. For my home, I take shortcuts where I can. I’m always cooking extra when I make home cooked meals (as long as it’s food that can freeze well). That way I can stash away a few extra meals in the freezer and whip them out when I don’t feel like cooking. I also freeze in zip-lock bags fruit and vegetables so I can make my green smoothies quickly and easily.
If you had a chance to share the younger version of yourself some pearls of wisdom, what would it be?
I would tell her to always follow her intuition. This isn’t something I’ve always done, but when I did, it changed my life forever. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t followed my intuition. I would also tell her to be her own cheerleader. I’ve learnt that you shouldn’t wait for others to cheer you on and support your goals and dreams, it’s your job to do that for yourself.