She is the face behind one of my favourite snacks, and the woman behind the lens of popular food pics. You many know her as The Fit Foodie, and if you don't know her now, watch this face, because she is going places! Sally O'Neil is one of the hardest working women I know. She is passionate and and ruthlessly persistent. Her instagram page has inspired over 86k and counting! For anyone new to the business world, Sally is an incredible inspiration having turned her passion for wellness into an incredible business.
Name: Sally O'Neil aka @thefitfoodieblog
What is your motto or mantra you live or work by?
Ever tried? Ever Failed? No Matter. Try Again, Fail again, Fail better.
What sparked your passion for the health and wellness industry?
How good i felt when I started eating real food! I lost 14 kilos from cutting out processed food.
Tell me about The Fit Foodie Blog and what inspired you to start it?
The blog is a hub of all things healthy and aspirational. It’s packed with health tips, interviews, nourishing recipes and the latest cool things on the health and wellness radar. It started out as a way of electronically sharing recipes with my mum back home in the UK. I learnt to cook here in Australia, so when I created something successfully I sent it to mum to show her I was managing to survive on my own. interestingly, more than just my mum looked at the site. The rest as they say is history!
Was it hard getting started?
It was a total accident, but the work that ensued was definitely a lot of hours, sweat and tears.
You’re a photographer/stylist and a nutritional med student… how do you manage to find time for it all?
I have to admit time management isn’t my forte. I just do what I can with the time I have - and have started being really ruthless with emails. I used to write long-prose responses to people, but now I’m adept at shorthand!
You’re also the face behind my favourite (and best selling) Fit Mixes, what inspired you to create that?
I started off by selling protein balls at Bondi Farmers Market, but I kept selling out and couldn’t scale the product the way I wanted to. So I decided to sell the mix - the dry yummy stuff before I added liquids and rolled. I figured it would be the best way to help more people in the kitchen with tasty wholesome treats!
How hands on is that part of the business?
The mixes are blended with love and packed in a local facility, so I no longer have to spend hours grinding and mixing myself. However, there’s still heaps to be done. The marketing, accountancy, orders etc. is all down to me.
Do you have a large team behind you?
It’s just me, myself and I. I have an awesome social media manager behind Fit Mixes who works remotely from LA. Other than that, I do everything from picking and packing, to penning and photographing my next cookbook.
What/who helped you make your dreams come true?
My partner started the website and suggested I put my recipes online. I’ll never be able to repay him for that!
What does a typical working day look like for you?
Every single day is different. I don't think i have a typical day! For example, two days ago I was in the snow, hiking Australia’s highest mountain. Today I’m packing Fit Mixes orders, attending a book launch, photographing food and packing a bag for a bloggers weekend in the Blue Mountains!
How do you know that things are a little our of balance?
I’m very lucky - my skin doesn’t tend to break out, but it can look dull and tired. I also gain weight quite easily when I’m stressed.
How do you take care of yourself when this happens?
Lots of lean protein, salad, veggies, water and weight training. A few extra hours sleep also work wonders for me.
What has been the best business advice you have ever received?
Never, ever, ever, give up.
Did you follow it?
Every damn day!!
Have you ever faced a point in your business when you thought it wouldn’t work?
Yes, so many times. Profit margins, distribution networks, sales funnels - everything about business was totally new to me. I literally had to google everything and learn fast.
Persistence. Trying things, failing, trying again the next day. My product still isn't perfect, the blog needs more work, more posts, and there’s always recipes to be developed. This job is my dream, there’s no way I’m going to let it slip by without giving it everything I have.
What advice can you offer to other women starting out in business.
Connect with other female entrepreneurs. Some of my closest friends have come from reaching out to other businesses for advice. When you work closely, you’ll find yourself more empowered and equipped with knowledge to tackle the hard tasks.
When you’re not working, people will find you…
At the gym, doing yoga or weights. It’s my every day release.
What’s your favourite recipe?
The simpler ones are my fave. Probably Crispy Skinned Salmon with steamed greens, followed by homemade Raw Chocolate.
Top 5 instagram accounts that you follow and why…
@cookrepublic - Sneh shoots the most amazing food photographs. I’m in love with her style.
@tastefullytash - my social media guru and all-round fabulous gal - Tash is from NZ but currently lives in LA. She has an eye for beautiful food shots and is a skilled artist too!
@local_milk - for the mix of food and travel inspiration. Adore!
@hannahblackmore - she shot the lifestyle images in my book Love Move Eat. She shoots amazing interiors and lust-worthy weddings.