It's the Two Raw Sisters! Let's chat building a business, selling books creating a brand with your family.

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Show Notes

This week we have two people in the podcast chairs today, Rosa and Margo Flanagan from The Two Raw Sisters.

You may have come across their books, app or their enormous presence on social media.

Their whole thing is about making food fun again, whilst still being good for you.

They are amazing business women and have so many lessons to share about building a business, collaborating with partners and so much more.

More information:

You can find the ladies via their website: https://tworawsisters.com/recipes/

Or follow them on socials.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tworawsisters/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tworawsisters/

Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@tworawsisters

Find us online:

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Business, but Better (the FREE education hub for founders & entrepreneurs):



Brianne (intro): Kia ora and welcome to Now That's What I Call Business. I'm your host, Brianne West, and you may know me as the founder and former CEO of Ethique or That Soap Company, as some of you may know it, or hopefully my newest startup, Incrediballs. I absolutely believe that business done right, done ethically, is the way to change the world. So if you are looking to build your world-changing biz or you just want to find out how Incrediballs is going, then you have come to the right place.

Brianne: Kia ora, welcome back. We have two people in the podcast chair, well, I guess chairs today, Rosa and Margo from Two Raw Sisters. You have probably come across either their books, their app, or their massive presence on social media. They have created a business out of making food enjoyable again without any of the guilt bullshit that we've been taught by diet culture. They are prolific authors, fantastic businesswomen, and they have loads to teach us about working together as siblings, as well as some points about how to look after your physical and mental health. Welcome to the pod, thank you so much for joining us. First question, super quick, in one minute or less, tell us what it is that you do.

Margo: Oh, what do we do in one minute or less? At Two Raw Sisters, we create recipes that help all leaders feel great. Through our cookbooks, our Two Raw Sisters app, which is an iOS Android app, and various other platforms, but those are our two main things.

Brianne: Nice. How did you decide that was what you were gonna do?

Rosa: For Margot and I, we both went through quite different health journeys, and we kind of created a bit of a passion, small passion that started, which then grew into a large passion around helping educate others, helping others feel great, and showing people how you can actually do that through cooking with good ingredients. And I think there's a real lack in the educational side of how to cook those nutritious meals in a really cost-effective, healthy, nutritious, yet delicious way.

Brianne: Okay. Why does that matter to you specifically? And I know there is the personal health journeys in there and you can obviously feel comfortable sharing what you want to, but why did it matter to you guys?

Rosa: So Margo had chronic fatigue and endometriosis, which she can delve into if she wants to. And then I had an eating disorder and a training obsession. So I was an athlete for about eight years and suffered from those two main things. And I was really hard on myself, hard on my body. And I came to the realization after all of that, you don't have to do that to feel great. And it's fighting those words and those comments that come through your head and knowing how to be more aware of those comments that do come through. And then also what you can do to make yourself feel great without being hard on yourself. It's a bit of a vicious cycle. And I think it's such a big thing these days, especially with females, and males as well. And it's about educating others on, you know, you don't have to be hard on yourself to feel great and you can eat food and not have to count calories and, you know, be amongst the diet culture. It's, as I said, a really vicious cycle that a lot of people are in and it's just normalizing like, eat food, you'll feel great, eat seasonal produce.

Margo: I think for Rosa, food has been so confusing. It's made us so sad, it's made us upset, it's made us sick, it's made us all these different things. And a lot of people feel one or all of those things as well with this whole diet culture and everything like that. And for us, it's just really stripping it back and Rosa and I, we're not vegan or vegetarian ourselves. We do eat meat, but we, through Rosa being a qualified nutritionist and our health journeys, we've really come to realize the power of plants. And rather than feeling average, you can feel amazing if you simply have more plant forward and you focus on the plants first rather than the meat first. So that's why we decided to create that plant focused platform and brand for people because if they've been feeling confused, sad, angry, whatever, then we're here to help you not feel that way.

Brianne: Yeah, and a surprising amount, and I think people are really only just starting to realize this now, but a surprising amount of how we feel comes from what we eat, right? It's interesting you talk about that, Rosa, because I remember when I was, I don't know, 20-ish, and I started, I decided I wanted to get fitter, so I started going to the gym and it was fine. And then I started being like, you know what, I might be a bit more restrictive with my diet and then I thought, you know what, I'll go to the gym twice a day, but I'm probably still eating too much, so I'll just have one lettuce sandwich a day. And then I thought, and you know what I could do is I could also walk to the gym. So I was walking the five kilometers and back to the gym twice a day on a lettuce sandwich and I was like, I feel like shit. But God, I look good? I didn't. I was totally delusional and utterly miserable. And you're right, it is a vicious cycle. It's very hard to break.

Rosa: And I think people with that mentality that you have to, you know, if you want to feel great, you have to eat less and you have to exercise more. But it's, you know, taking away that perception and telling our stories and showing people how delicious food can be. And if you're hungry in the afternoon, have a snack. Like, snacking is okay, but why don't you just enjoy something that tastes delicious but also is offering your body so many amazing nutrients to, as we said, make you feel great. Because a lot of people, as you said, you know, yeah, you may look good, you may have lost 5 kgs, but you feel like absolute shit. You've got no energy. And that was one thing for me. Like, I wasn't my usual bubbly self. I didn't have any energy, but as, you know, being the person you're actually normally oblivious to that actually happening.

Brianne: Yeah, you need to, but being told also doesn't work either. It's a hard one.

Rosa: No. So yeah, that's why Margot and I are really passionate about educating others and really, you know, committing to that message that snacking's okay, make this delicious meal, it'll make you feel great. It's using good ingredients, seasonal ingredients.

Brianne: How did you take that passion and turn it into a business? What did you do first?

Margo: Yeah, it really just happened. And I feel like that's such a cop-out way of saying, how did you start your business? But it really did just happen. Rosa and I, we got back from a trip in the States and we messaged mom at the humble beginnings in mom and dad's kitchen, running workshops to friends and family. And then people enjoyed it. People liked our recipes, people liked our philosophy and found it refreshing and found our take on it really relatable. Because we're not telling you to cut out everything. We're telling you, you can eat that, but here is a mindset that you can take that'll make you feel great. So yeah, it kind of just went from there. And then we got a book contract and then the book went off. Our publisher thought we'd sell 400 copies and we sold 800 within the first day.

Brianne: That's awesome.

Margo: Yeah. So we were like, shame. And then yeah, it just went off. Now we've just about got five books under our belt and got our app and yeah, it's just kind of gone from strength to strength which has been really cool.

Brianne: It is an amazing success story. We're going to dig a little bit into how or what you attribute that success to shortly. But if you think big, big picture in five to ten years or so, what is your big pie in the sky or b-hag if that's what you want to call it? What is your goal? What do you want to achieve?

Margo: I think sticking to our ‘why’ is so important to Rosa and I and everything we do always has that motive behind it. For us, the app is probably our main thing. It's the most accessible thing to people across the globe. It's an amazing platform where we can help all eaters around the world feel great and have easy access to our recipes that's affordable. With our why in mind of helping people feel great, our app’s definitely are our long-term thing. And I think just loving what we do continuously, loving what we do and maintaining that work-life balance that we can enjoy. You know, we do preach what we say and we're really aware of that. So making it a sustainable business is really key for us.

Brianne: You talk about impact. For a lot of impact-driven businesses, we all think we're having impact, but how do you actually know?

Rosa: For us, I think a big thing is, you know, just simply getting that message on Instagram or that email, you know, with a story around, you know, one thing I've been really working on is putting my plants first and someone sharing that with you and saying, I just signed up to your app and I've changed my whole outlook on the way I eat. I used to diet all the time and now I just cook your recipes and I've never had so much energy before. Just little wee snippets like that that we get on the daily just really reiterates to you and also to Margot, sorry to myself and Margot around why we do what we do. And then that also reminds us, you know, always coming back to our why and being those role models because it is helping others out there today. We can keep moving that through, you know, spreading it across the globe through our app. So it's just those wee daily reminders and things like, you know, workshops we love because we're getting in front of people and we see people's reactions. A lot of the work we do do now is behind a screen being, you know, having the app and the online platform and the cookbooks, we don't necessarily see the thousands of people who, you know, pick up our book and take it home and cook with it. So that's where, yeah, the workshops, the speaking events are so special because we get face to face with our fans and hear their stories and see their reactions and see them taste the food and, you know, enjoying it and feeling great from it as well.

Margo: It's always those little wee comments, like the other day we were in the airport and this lady was like “oh my God, you're the sisters.” Like you've changed my snacking. You know, I didn't use to snack and now I snack and I feel so much better. And it's just those little things or someone being like, oh, my friend had your cookbook in their kitchen when I was around for dinner the other night. Like those types of little things are really cool.

Brianne: And that's possibly an unusual thing to hear and to be grateful for hearing is, oh, I didn't use the snack but now I do because it's the antithesis of what you're taught. That's really cool. I think the biggest thing for me is however you want to eat, vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, all the other ways, right? The big thing for me is regardless, you need to include plants. And we are asked backwards, right? We're all about meat first. What did you have for dinner? I had steak. Did you have anything else or did you literally have a steak? I really admire your plant first, still have meat, still have what you like. So how did you land on that? Because I don't actually, I've not been able to find anyone else who has that sort of philosophy and it's the philosophy we should all have.

Margo: I think we definitely, for us going through our health journeys and I kind of hate that word like healing but healing, from it the main thing we realized is it wasn't expensive supplements, it wasn't expensive specialists, it was simply having a plant-forward mindset with food. And like you said, you haven't seen anyone else with that approach and neither had we. It was always meat, meat, meat, or vegan, vegan, vegan. And we aren't people to kind of push a message down people's throats and be like, you've got to follow this way. For us, it's all it is a welcome. We don't care what you eat, what you start with, whatever, but if you can make our recipes and have that plant-filled mindset, then you're instantly improving your health and wellbeing in the cheapest, easiest way possible.

Rosa: You know, at the start of what many people do when they start a business is thinking about who their target audience is. And for us, we wanted to touch and make an impact on as many people as we possibly can and how could we do that? And that was through having that all leaders approach and being open-minded and still offering those suggestions. If you are vegetarian, then you can swap this out for that. Or if you're gluten-free, so obviously we've got heaps of dietaries about with gluten-free, nut-free, FODMAP, low FODMAP. So it's how our recipes can work for all those different dietaries, all those different pescetarian, as you said, vegan, vegetarian, meat lovers. And I think that's where we've really done well with our brand and our business is because we can touch so many people and have such a massive audience. Also with age group as well, we do stuff in schools. We teach 10-year-olds on how they can incorporate more plants into their everyday lives, how they can know what veggies are in season in winter and what veggies are in season in summer. And then we go to retirement villages where we educate the older generation on how they can make sure they're moving their bodies while eating all the plants so that they can have lots of nutrients. And yeah, it's pretty amazing that we can go from one end of the spectrum to the other.

Brianne: I remember watching that TV series Jamie Oliver did, I don't know, probably a decade ago now where he held up a potato and brought a bunch of school kids and asked what it was and no one knew. And that's obviously an extreme example, but it's quite jarring because we are so far removed from where our food comes from. And the idea, I read the other day that we're supposed to eat 30 different species of plants a week. And I eat a lot of veggies, but I'll be honest, they're like the same. I've probably got a rotation of like eight. I don't have a clue how to introduce more. Do beans count? Do lentils and stuff count?

Rosa: Yeah. So your nuts and your legumes, they can't count as plants as well in your grain. So yeah, a lot of people get overwhelmed by that. They're like, 30 veggies, but it's like no 30 plants. So yeah, almonds, Brazil nuts, chickpeas.

Brianne: Perfect. Okay. We might be in the 30 mark then, or at least a damn high closer. You're sisters, right? Now, I started a team with my mum, well, she joined a couple of years in, and we had a rule from day one that it's family first and work always comes a close second, and we always managed to negotiate some tricky situations. How do you guys do it, or do you just not find it an issue?

Margo: It was an issue at the start. Mum and Dad refused. They were like, there is no way you girls are starting a business together. You don't get on.

Brianne: Oh, you didn't get on?

Margo: Not really. Wow. We didn't get on very well. I think with our health issues, it was just a bit of a competitive shit show. Well, it's a success story in that right too.

Margo: Yeah, Rosa and I, we both have very different roles within the business and from day one, well not from day one, probably two years in, we really defined those roles. And that helped hugely in terms of not stepping on each other's toes, not fighting because we knew exactly what each other controlled within the business. So we've actually surprisingly worked so well together and we feel so lucky that we have got the relationship that we do. We're very good with defining business and life. But no, I couldn't think of having a business with anyone else really. I just love you, Rosa.

Rosa: If you have an argument of some sort, you can sit down and tell each other, I think as we've gone through the business, we've got a lot better around how we manage that. And if someone's pissed off at someone, say it up front. What are you pissed off about? Let's sort it out now so that it doesn't boil up and get even worse a week later. And we know each other so well.

Margo: Because we have a team now as well, we can't have those aggressive, intense fights. So we have to kind of pull our shit together. So that's also been beneficial.

Brianne: Yeah, yeah, that's true. You do have to have a level of professionalism at some point. I'm an only child and I put that down to the fact that I'm terrified of confrontation because I never had anyone to fight with. So, yeah, I can't quite imagine it. You work with your parents as well to a degree, right?

Rosa: We used to. Mum used to be involved in the business a bit through like the financial side, but I've had to step up a bit in that area and put my big boots on. So I've kind of…mum stepped out and I've learnt and had taught myself the financial side of things. That's another thing with I think starting up a business is, you know, at the start we kind of got away with not really knowing about forecasts and budgeting and all that side of things. And all of a sudden, as the business has rapidly grown in the last few years, it's like, oh my gosh, we've actually, we've got to step in and have more control around that and look further ahead than a year, than two years, than three years.

Brianne: More commercially focused.

Rosa: Yeah, exactly, exactly. So that's been a big challenge, but it's been cool as well to work through that together.

Brianne: A big part of your story is your personal health struggles and this is something I get asked quite a lot because there's so much you want to share online because it helps others and helps bolster your brand, but there's also some stuff you don't want to share. So how do you draw a line? Do you have one? Do you sometimes jump over the line? How do you manage that?

Margo: It's been funny since we've both had partners. They are very, they kind of draw the line for us. Rosa and I, we're open books. I will talk to anyone about anything and everything because I think a problem shared is a problem halved. But partners are definitely like, nope, we're not putting that online or that's too far. So I think for us, we try to be really authentic. We try to be really relatable. We don't catfish people when they see us on the street. We're exactly how we are on social media. Silly and a bit dumb. So I think with health issues, we're very open on social media. Anything food related, can't be bothered cooking or shit veggies are expensive at the moment. Here's how you can kind of hack that. But in terms of lifestyle, I would say that's more behind the scenes. If you would agree with me, Ro.

Rosa: You know, there's a point where, as Margo said, you need to draw the line and that people don't know every single thing you're doing. Like, when you see someone on the street and they're like, how was Timaru? Yes. Like, how did you know I was in Timaru?

Brianne: It's kind of creepy when that happens, right?

Rosa: Yeah. And you get that whole, like, from your partner's perspective, you know, there's a part of your life that you want to have just between you and them. You know, the whole world doesn't need to know that you have gone to this place for a holiday.

Brianne: Yeah, and if you are going to post something like that, do it after you've arrived, you know, you've got home. There's basic safety there.

Rosa: Yeah, exactly. And also, there's a point with that, you know, that work-life balance as well. Like, Margot and I don't want to be on our phones sharing what we're doing every minute of the day. Like that's definitely not us. Like we need to learn to switch off as well. So in the weekend, you know, if we do need to do something on social media, we will do that. But then after that, we put our phones down and just take our minds off work or else we're attached to work the whole time and thinking about, oh, I need to share that. Oh, I need a video of that. That's exhausting.

Margo: We don't see ourselves as influencers.

Brianne: Well, you're influential.

Rosa: Yeah, but not like, here's my blog of the day and all that stuff. So….where was I going with that? I'm not sure, but we're not.

Brianne: Yeah, you're not in it to showcase your lives and there is a difference when you're building a business. You can show a little insight into yourself, but you don't show, I was going to say, you don't show what you ate for dinner, but you might do actually.

Margo: Quality over quantity.

Brianne: Yeah, quality over quantity. But in saying that, I often feel guilty, this is a personal question to how you manage it, I will feel guilty if I don't do something on social that day or if I don't, if I'm not constantly keeping up to date with things or I haven't responded to messages instantly. I know I need to get a grip and I know that nobody expects you to be online all the time, but how do you tell your own brain? This is where I need a magic answer from you.

Rosa; Yeah, I think there's, again, there's that fine line. Like, I don't want to live my life right in front of a camera every second of the day. Like, that's just not the way I want to live. And, you know, I sometimes will be eating my breakfast and I'm like, oh shit, I should be posting this on social media, telling people that I've made something from the app and that's delicious. But then part of me is like, no, screw it. This morning's not the day for that. I just want to sit down in peace and not have to pull out my camera and I'm okay with that. I think for us, we're really stripped on scheduling a couple of months in advance so we know something's going up and we know that we've got that going out that particular day and then anything on top of that is great. But yeah, it can be a mental battle with yourself, but I think for Margo and I, it's like, if you feel like it, do it. If you don't, if you're not in the mood, then just flag it and forget about it and move on.

Brianne: Yep. If you've got something scheduled, you know something's going out.

Rosa: A really good trick is going back a few weeks or a few months of the year and picking a breakfast that you already videoed.

Margo: Yeah, that's a good one.

Brianne: Won't tell them you do that. Yeah, repurposing is perfectly fine. Yeah, way to go.

Brianne: Switching tack, tacked, tack, whatever, changing subject. You've written several books, five? Plans to write any more?

Rosa: Yep, yeah, just about finished our fifth cookbook, which is launching in September this year.

Brianne: Okay, can I do pre-orders?

Rosa: Not quite yet, it'll be about a month prior to launch in September, so around the beginning of August, mid-August, there will definitely be some pre-orders up and ready to, yeah.

We will reshare this podcast around then too, so we can get pre-orders. How does that whole process work? I'm asking this because I know a few people who want to write a book, but also because I'm being badgered to write a book by a publisher, and I'm totally overwhelmed by the idea. How did you get into it? How did you start? Walk me through the process?

Margo: Every second year Paper Plus to do a cookbook with an up-and-coming cook. And that was how we got our first deal for our first book, which was awesome. We didn't think we'd ever be doing a book. I think I was 19 and Rosa was 21 at the time. So that was a really cool achievement. And then as we went through the whole book process, we realized that we love books because I'm design, photography focused, and Rosa's recipe, control freak, perfection with words. So the books of... I'm going to speak on behalf of both of us, Rosa. They're probably our favorite part of what we do because we can both really get into the nitty gritty of our passions. So the book process takes about a year and a half. So it is quite a long process, but we probably allow ourselves about a year to write the book and then we shoot the book and have kind of two months in design and then it takes six months to get printed and then you launch it. So it is quite a long process. So by the time it goes to print, you're definitely over it. So as we're talking end of April, we're just about to go to print and we're over it. And so then by the time it comes out, it's old for you, but you've got to get amped and excited about it because it's new for everyone else.

Brianne: Yeah, that's true.

Rosa: When we say a year and a half, there are lots of ups and downs where there's a few months that are absolutely hectic and you've got deadlines to make and it's literally you receive the book, you've got to return it back to the proofreaders, change this, change that, and then there's some moments where you don't really have much to do with it for a couple of months. But definitely the beginning and the end part of the book process is hands-on. You've got to drop everything and focus on that because timelines get really tight, especially towards the printing end of things. But it's so rewarding at the same time. Like you have this physical book that you get about a month before it's printed. And knowing that you've like written this, you've designed it, you've done everything and created this amazing thing. And then it's going on the shelf. And then from there it's out. And you can keep selling it year after year after year. So it might seem like a long process, but it's out on the shelf forever now.

Margo: It's pretty cool going into the bookshop as well and seeing all the books there or going into someone's kitchen and seeing your book there. What type of a book are you writing? A kind of memoir?

Brianne: Yeah, like a business, but also they want a combination of it along almost like the timeline of rewilding the property. I've bought a lifestyle block and over the last three years, I've sort of rehabilitated it. So all of that, like how to rewild a property whilst building a business that does good and I just, yeah, it's a lot.

Margo: I think it's hard because you're like, oh, well, why do people want to listen to me? You know, probably especially on your lifestyle property. Like I don't know if I'm doing it right.

Brianne: I'm just guessing.

Margo: Yeah. And that's exactly the same as us, literally. If we don't have chef qualifications, we're like, why do people want to make our recipes or why do people trust us? But people are interested in you and what you have to say, and if you don't do it right, then that's actually kind of cool because people can learn off you and those are your ways and that's what makes it unique to you.

Brianne: That's very, very true. I didn't want to do anything until I had a unique message and then, I don't know, there's a few people and it's funny because I keep telling people this, the thing that makes your business distinct is often you and having someone say that to me a few times, your book would be different because it's you. Yeah, I just I think I'm slightly overwhelmed by deadlines frighten me.

Rosa: I think all you have to do with a book, like we're about to write our sixth book because we've got a two book contract and as you said, it is so daunting starting it. And we had a planning session yesterday and we were working on it for about, you know, half the day, four, five hours. And now we feel so much better about it and it doesn't seem as daunting as it was two days ago because we've mind mapped out what we think it should be, lots of ideas. And you just, you feel so much more motivated to get into the process of it, but just the idea of it, you're like, oh my gosh, I can't even go near that. It's way too much right now. But you just have to put a pen on paper and start. And then it's amazing how all of a sudden the ideas start and they keep flowing and it leads to a physical book.

Brianne: It's so funny that you say that because it's exactly what I tell people about starting a business. Put down a plan on a page, how do you eat an elephant one bite at a time? You know, it's how you approach every challenge. And you know what, you've inspired me. I'm going to get some of my team around sometime next week and we're going to do a book planning session. We're going to do it.

Rosa: Yeah, you should. That's one thing we did this year with our last, the book that we're just about to put into print, is we dedicated, like we went away and we planned, and then we went away again and we tested the recipes and we went away again and shot the recipes, actually dedicating a decent amount of time to just put everything else to the side and focus on the book on its own was such a game changer. With previous years, we've tried to, you know, plan here, plan there, people come in and they want something and then you have to put it down and come back to it. But yeah, really dedicating the time and putting everything else aside was so great. And I think we're so much happier with our book this time around because we know we've really put all that energy and effort into it and time.

Margo: It's taken five books to be really proud of something. It's the only book so far where we've been like, we're actually proud of it.

Brianne: And yet you sold 800 in an hour of the first, right? So I'd say people like them…

Rosa: We're being hard on ourselves.

Brianne: If you are interested in their books, I will be giving away a set of them when we launch this podcast too. So you may get your hand on them. I will think of a suitably interesting question for you to answer on social. You sold 800 in an hour, right? And you have a big social media presence, don't get me wrong, but what marketing tactics created that surge of interest? How did you get that excitement about it? Because – and I mean this for the greatest interest – there's a lot of recipe books out there and as you've pointed out, the thing that makes it different is you and your approach. So how did you get that across to people?

Margo: Well, just to correct you, I wish it was 800 in an hour, but it was 800 in a day.

Brianne: Oh, sorry, in a day.

Margo: The first book, this was way back five years ago. We had no idea what we were doing. I think people just, without sounding... I don't know, I'm not... I have imposter syndrome. Without sounding cocky, I think people just loved our personalities. People loved what Two Raw Sisters was and our approach towards food, which sold them on the brand. And they wanted our recipes. They wanted to kind of feel great like we did. And we were that role model for people to not follow diets and you can still feel great and eat whatever you want.

Brianne: And that in itself is a unique attitude in a pretty shitty industry.

Margo: Yes. Yeah. Everyone wanted a refresh, I think. Yeah.

That's a fair assessment.

Brianne: How long after you, and I appreciate you sort of fell into it with the workshops, was it immediately a business in your mind when you started those workshops or was that something you were just twiddling away with? So when did you decide that this is a business we are going to work towards creating it? And then how long did it start to show you some traction? Because that's the other aspect, is people will start something and then give up because they're like, I don't have a million followers or I don't have a million sales. Two questions in there.

Margo: Yeah. I mean, we still feel that way. We're still like, oh God, when is this going to, you know, fully go with it, with the amount of work you put into it and you're your own worst critic. You're in it every day that you don't see the level of success that some Joe blog walking on the street does. We were probably doing the workshops for about a year and a half before the opportunity came up to lease the space we were in, in Christchurch at the Welder. And we moved into that when we, the day we launched our first book. So October 2019 was when we moved into our kitchen, launched our first book. And that was kind of the point where we were like, right, we're going to try this. We're going to turn it into a business and see what happens. And that was kind of when it started. And our vision was always, we'll have this space, we'll run workshops, people come in every day, we'll have a cooking school, we'll do all this stuff. But then as we kind of got on within the business, we decided that that wasn't actually what we wanted to do. And we wanted to be more accessible globally. So it's been five years now. And I'd say we've only within the past year…would you say, Ro, like really got that traction? You know, you hear people say five years. It's how long it takes to really kind of get underway, and I feel like that can be more true, really.

Rosa: Yeah, I think with over the years, as you said, we've played around with a lot of things to really find what we love and how we can impact more people in an efficient way as well. And I think that's where, in the way with the world's gone, you know, we've had COVID and, you know, there's times where cost of living is just out the gate and it's how we can adapt to the times over the last five years when we have been within Two Raw Sisters. And I think now we've got this online platform that has been great because anyone can access it around the world. We're using cost-effective ingredients. We have a seasonal tag, so wherever you are in the world, whether it's winter, summer, you can use the recipes. And as Margo said, I feel like now that we've got that launch that's been a year on, and we're doing developments within that to make it easier to access even more people efficiently, and comparing ourselves to other food apps out there, how can we be better than them? And as a business owner, I think it's a natural thing to just always be wanting more and always be wanting to reach high goals.

Brianne: Which can be exhausting in itself.

Rosa: People obviously say to you, oh, you're doing amazing, you're such a success story. But then for us as business owners, there's so much more we want to do and achieve, which I think is a good thing as well.

Margo: We've gone through so many failures within the past five years. We had a catering company and we decided, no, that wasn't us. Fail fast, get out of it. We did so many things and we just kind of started a web app thinking, oh, we'll see how that goes. And that conveniently launched the day we went into lockdown with COVID. And that was kind of when that went off and the online thing and like Rosa was saying, the cost of living versus $150 workshop for an hour, people pay $3 a week for the app. And it was a lot more cost effective. So I think being flexible within your business and accepting the failures and learning from that is really key.

Brianne: Love all of that answer. Spot on. Talk me through building an app. How did you, you decided you were going to have an app, makes a lot of sense to do so. Who do you even go and talk to?

Rosa: It's a long daunting process. We started a web app because it was cheap. A web app costs roughly 10K to build versus an iOS app, Android app, which is, you're sitting around the 150, 200K mark. It's a lot more expensive than what you think. And we started with a web app to see how it went before we made that big investment. And it went really well and we really enjoyed it and we could see it being successful. So we decided to invest in the app. But it's a completely different language and that's what I found confusing because developers don't talk in human language, they talk in code. So you have that doubt of, oh my God, I'm signing this contract for such a big sum of money, how's it going to go? Are they the right company? But yeah, we found someone who we really got on with. But you say, oh, I want to do this. I want to add a search bar. And they're like, cool, that's an extra 25K, I think. And like we didn't launch with the search bar because we couldn't afford to. And then people were like, just put a search bar in, you know, that would be so good. And then like, yeah, it's not quite that simple.

Brianne: It's not just a search bar, it's a search functionality.

Rosa: And unless like code is not our job, it's not what we're good at. So you've got to pay for it and it's expensive. So building an app has been interesting. You can't just do exactly what you want unless you've got a lot of upfront cash.

Brianne: Yeah, but I do think it's smart to have started with a web app. And for people who don't know, how would you define the difference between a web app and a website?

Rosa: So a web app is normally, so we built ours on Squarespace. So some websites have a kind of paywall option where people pay to access exclusive content.

Brianne: So it's like a membership?

Rosa: Yeah, so that's kind of the difference I suppose. You can have a free view on your website but if you want to monetize off it then you find a platform that enables you to have that paywall and then people can see the website for free but if they want that exclusive content they've got to pay for it.

Some quickfire questions to bring it to a close. Is it true that it is expensive to eat well and healthily?

Margo and Rosa: No.

Brianne: How do you combat that?

Margo: That's one question we get all the time. Healthy eating is expensive, but it's actually so much cheaper. We always encourage people, rather than following a recipe word for word, use a recipe as a guideline substitute and swap things in and out. So go to the produce shop first and buy what's cheap and then come back, find a recipe you want to make and swap the vegetables in with what you've just bought.

Brianne: Good call, yep. What is the number one thing you love about running a business?

Rosa: You have control.

Brianne: Good, my favorite C word.

Rosa: Yeah, there's no limitations on what you wanna do, where you want to head. We've got this mentality of give it a go, fail fast if it doesn't work, enjoy the successes if it does. But yeah, I love that control of it and there's no limitations on where you can head.

Brianne: Amazing. I like that fail fast attitude. With a caveat, if something doesn't work immediately, it might not be failing, it might just take a bit of time.

Margo: Yeah, trust the process.

Rosa: Things don't happen overnight.

Brianne: No, no, they don't. They just look like they do. What is your number one tip for someone who is trying to start a mission-driven or impact-driven business?

Margo: Don't be afraid to try things. I think that whole, again, fail fast attitude, try something. If you're passionate about it and you think like, this is my why, this is what I want to do, I'm going to try this avenue and if that doesn't go well, don't be afraid of failing because all of our failures have led to us sitting back and thinking, okay, that didn't work, let's try this. And more often than not, that thing is the thing that's a success.

Brianne: Nice. What is the number one thing, if you had a megaphone to every single person on earth, well, to as many people as possible, what is the number one thing you’d want them to know about food and health?

Rosa: My number one thing is showing people how good food can make you feel great and how much energy you can have when you feel your body properly. And then obviously then leading on to showing people how you can actually do that. I think that's a big thing. You've got a message, how can they implement that in their everyday lives? And that's where I find there's a barrier a lot of the time when a message is received to someone. And I think that's where our recipes and reels and workshops are so good because people walk away with tips and tricks that they can implement in their everyday lives.

Margo: And if I'm going to add to that, I think telling them through this megaphone that healthy eating is inexpensive, it doesn't cost you anything, it actually saves you money.

Brianne: And long term it saves you money too in health costs. And you're right, being told something is wonderful, but I went on a retreat, I don't know, a few weeks ago, and I've always been caffeine addicted, like chemically addicted, horrific headaches if I tried to get off it. Probably sugar addicted, if I'm honest, and I never, ever drank water. And I always thought I'd just never be able to change those things, because I tried for like four or five hours a day, and it just hadn't worked. And I went to this retreat, and I didn't, I was trapped near Glenorchy in Queensland and I wasn't allowed anything with caffeine in it, which sucked for a while, but I got over it and I've not drank coffee since, which is good because coffee makes me anxious. There's nothing wrong with coffee. If you like coffee, that's great. I just personally find it makes me a little bit on edge. It taught me to drink water and all because of the difference I felt. I looked different. It's like I didn't have the eye bags you can currently see because I didn't drink enough water yesterday, right? It's quite remarkable and yet it's also obvious that what you put in is going to make all the difference to how you feel and yet we don't respect that, if you like.

Brianne: What is the one action you want everybody to go away and do after listening to this podcast and you can say pre-water you book if you like, but up to you.

Margo: Download our app, the seven day free trial, download the app.

What's it called?

Margo: It's just Two Raw Sisters. You can download it on App Store or Google Play and get the seven-day free trial and just make one of the day plans or make a menu or make a recipe and be intelligently lazy and do what we tell you to do and eat good food for a week and see how great you can feel.

Brianne: I love that. Seven-day challenge. I'm going to go and do that straight away. What's your favorite recipe?

Rosa: We've just released a one-pot puttanesca, tomato puttanesca, and I had it the other night with some prawns and it was delicious. Great weeknight meal, one pot, minimal dishes, so good.

Margo: Yeah, my favorite is the one-pan lasagna. We're the one-pan vibe at the moment, aren't we? Yeah. Quick, easy, cheap.

Brianne: Genius. Good. Okay. Favourite book? Not necessarily one you've written, but one you would recommend. Can be one you've written if you like.

Rosa: I love a book called The Edible Garden. I love growing my own veggies and it's something I've taught myself to do because I don't live near a supermarket and I think it's a great thing to portray to our audience and show them how easy it is. And the Edible Backyard, which is from a New Zealand author, she's really good on just simplifying how easy it is to grow your own veggies at home and just helps you. She's got a really great monthly guide on what to plant in your veggie garden, what odd jobs you should do, what seeds you can sow directly into the ground, what seeds you should grow in little wee containers and then transplant them. It's a really good monthly how-to guide.

Brianne: Handy. Okay, I'm going to have a look for that.

Margo: I've had a mind blank. I can't remember, so I'm just going to say salad by the two rules.

Brianne: You're allowed to!

Rosa: That's a great book!

Brianne: You can't have a mind blank though on my last question, which is my favorite question of all time. If you were a supreme world leader, what is the first thing you would do to make the world a better place? I would ban raisins, just FYI.

Margo: You would ban raisins? All right.

Rosa: I would do something around, because we do a lot of work in schools, some schools get provided lunches. I would do something around ensuring kids get fed. A lot of kids don't come to school with lunches because they either can't afford it, their parents are working, they're too busy. So ensuring that there's really healthy, nutritious food for kids in school that they have access to on a daily basis – lunches, snacks, fresh fruit.

Brianne: And it would have such a massive impact and it seems very bizarre that that is something we are currently debating politically. But this is not a political podcast and I won't get into it.

Rosa: Yeah, just that, and again, that flows onto the educational piece of those children. So many kids, as you said, they don't know that they can cook with a carrot by grating it and mixing it through a stir fry or whatever. So yeah, just that fruit, veggie education, lunches and schools.

Margo: Yeah, I think I would provide, there's a gap between, you know, the generation, like your generation and kids because women have been focused on careers which there's nothing wrong with at all, but they don't have time and they don't have the energy to get the kids in the kitchen. So these kids growing up haven't grown up with time in the kitchen or don't understand kind of the value of eating good food. So I think there would be the kid aspect and then the 30 to 60-year-old age group where offering workshops or whatever to show them how easy it is.

Brianne: Nice. Good answers. Better than banning raisins. I'd probably do a few other things too, just before anybody gets mad at me in the comments.

Margo: You obviously hate raisins.

BrianneL Still, raisins are on the chopping block. Sorry.

Margo: Lucky we don't use many raisins in our recipes then.

Brianne: Just the worst. They should honestly be illegal. I see no value in them at all. Anyway, man, I am really inspired to go and write my book now. So thank you both for your time and for all your work to help people eat and feel better. I absolutely love that approach to eating. I'm not going to say the D word. We all know how bad it is, but it's just such a different approach. Because we are all taught that you can't snack and you should need this and you should need that. And it's all about restriction. It's never about enjoyment. And it's never about plants first over meat. Now I have a full set of their books to give away. So if you want to enter into the draw, head over to our Instagram @nowthat'swhatIcall to enter.

Brianne (outro): Short and sweet, like all the best podcasts, right?  Thank you for learning with me. It is always an absolute blast to put these together and share these stories, some of them which are a little ridiculous, and they all come from building a business that will hopefully change the world. If you enjoyed this episode, don't keep it to yourself and feel free to drop me a rating and hit that subscribe button. Kia ora and see you next week where I will have another incredible episode for you.

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