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As two sisters growing up best friends, we know how close the sister bond can be! Just like us, Sally and Maha from SWIISH share this incredible (and sometimes frustrating!) closeness. From owning a business together, writing a best-selling book and overcoming Sal’s breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, these sisters have been through it all. Sal and Maha give Xueller a sneak peak into their personal lives and what they love about our products.
Tell us about SWIISH and where the inspiration came from to start your business?
Sally: I was part of the way through my chemotherapy when I decided I wanted to do a blog that focused on luxe for less. I’ve always believed that we shouldn’t have to make the choice between living a fabulous lifestyle and saving money. I knew there was a way to have both and I felt like it was something other people could really relate to.
At the time, Maha was going through her own thing – she had always wanted to do a blog and didn’t because she already had a secure job in the corporate world. In many ways, my cancer was also her wake up call to pursue her dream and not stagnate in a career she no longer enjoyed. So, I called her from hospital where I was recovering from surgery and that’s when SWIISH.com came to life!
We both love writing, we both love connecting with an audience, and we are passionate about fashion, beauty, health and lifestyle. We’ve had SWIISH now for over 3 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!
How do you find working together? Is it everything you expected it would be?
Maha: For the most part, it’s amazing. We’ve always been really close so I think we knew all along that we’d work well together. We ultimately share the same vision, bounce ideas off each other, celebrate our individual and combined successes and work through our challenges together. The tough parts have been learning that just because we enjoy doing things together, doesn’t mean we should – it isn’t always efficient. We’ve had to learn that it’s best for the business if we divide and conquer. Also in the beginning, we were afraid to hurt each other’s feelings if one of us were to knock back the other’s ideas… but now we’re super honest all the time, and also hold the mirror up to the other’s annoying habits – haha!
We love the Super Green Smoothie recipes! What prompted the book idea?
Sally: It was actually during my cancer recovery that I discovered green smoothies. I was still carrying a large amount of baby weight and I had also put on a lot of weight during chemo, plus of course my body had been really battered by the toxicity of the chemo, so I wanted to get my health and vitality back. I had heard that green smoothies were good for you but thought that they must taste pretty bad. When I finally gave them a go, I was surprised to find they were actually delicious! It wasn’t long until I had Maha drinking them too. Soon we were creating new recipes and swapping them with each other. We both lost weight, felt really lean, my hair and nails grew back stronger and my skin got its glow back. We both had way more energy and Maha was sleeping better too. People kept asking us – what are you guys doing? We started to scribble down our recipes onto post it notes and that’s when we eventually decided to share what we know in our book, Super Green Smoothies.
How do you both stay fit and active?
Maha: We like to mix it up a bit when it comes to exercise. I normally go for a long walk first thing in the morning although recently Sal has gotten me into F45 Training with her. We live walking distance from each other and we’re super close so we like to work out together whenever we can. Plus, when you exercise with someone else, you’re less likely to hit the snooze button and make excuses as to why you can’t do it. We’ve started adding in a bit of Tabata style training as well. This is the same type of training we include in our Summer Body Challenge because it’s quick, easy to follow and burns a ton of calories.
Summer has come to an end (nooo!), what have been some of your favourite and most memorable trends this season?
Sally: This summer definitely had some memorable fashion moments. Maha and I were both obsessed with the whole gypsie/boho trend that really seemed to blow up in the first few months of Summer. With flowing fabrics, layered lace and chunky jewellery, it’s one of those trends that can really take you away to another time and place. The off-the-shoulder look was another big one – everyone was wearing it!
When you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, where is your favourite, salty getaway destination?
Maha: We love heading down to Kiama if we ever really need to get away for a bit. It’s far enough away that you feel like you’re on holiday but not too far to go for just a night or two. There are some gorgeous beaches down there, plus the eating scene has absolutely exploded lately with some of the best cafes and restaurants that we’ve seen. We love The Hungry Monkey, Penny Whistlers and The Brooding Italian. If you’re down that way, they are worth a try!
We love having Xueller’s products stocked with SWIISH! What do you love most about the Xueller round beach towel range?
Sally: We’re always looking to stock gorgeous products and new trends that we know our readers and customers will love, and I think it’s safe to say Xueller fits into that category! Aside from being round we love that the towels are incredibly soft and SO comfy to lie on. I think the thing we were most impressed by though was their size – they’re huge! This is a major plus if you don’t like to get sandy, or if like us, you take half of your house to the beach with you. Haha!
The other reason we wanted to stock Xueller is because we are passionate about supporting other young businesses and entrepreneurs who are chasing their dreams. Nothing makes us happier than watching hardworking, passionate people flourish and succeed.
What’s next on the bucket list for SWIISH?
Maha: SWIISH has come so far over the last few years, it’s hard to think about what more we could possibly ask for. I remember in the very beginning working until 4am, writing blog posts, taking photos with a dodgy old camera and learning about this Instagram thing that had just hit the market. Haha! Now we’ve got a successful website, an online store, two 30-Day Challenges, one bestselling book and another recipe book on the way. It’s been a whirlwind! So while Sal and I are always looking to the future and seeking new opportunities, we’re also pretty content with the way things are at the moment. This year, we’re focusing on updating and refining our website and expanding the online store. That being said, there are a few new exciting projects in the works as well, so stay tuned!
To find out more about SWIISH, Co-Directors Sal and Maha or to shop some of the girls’ fave finds online, click here or follow the SWIISH team on Instagram @swiishbysallyo