Carla and Emma Papas are two of the most delightful and uplifting women you could meet. Don’t let their cheerful and endlessly positive vibe fool you – they work incredibly hard and have a deep motivation to help women accept and appreciate themselves and their bodies. Their Merrybody online yoga/Pilates/meditation studio emphasis a body-positive message, and encourages women to exercise for joy and health, not as a punishment.
How did your business come about?
Merrymaker means: to bring joy to. When we first started our blog themerrymakersisters.com it was out of pure joy for finding a lifestyle that created just that. We just wanted to write and share… we didn’t think you could make a business from that! This was in February 2013. Since then we’ve been on a path of following our bliss(es), following the joy and trying all kinds of things! Ebooks, programs, influencer work, events, apps, books, podcasts, blogging, videos… you name it!
Fast forward to March 2019 (yes 6 years!) when we launched MerryBody Online Studio, our Yoga, Pilates and Meditation Membership, we’ve created something that we absolutely LOVE. Helping 1000s of people learn to accept, respect and feel love toward their bodies.
Moral of the story? Your first idea is definitely not your last idea.
What is your why?
Our mission is to encourage people to finally accept, respect, and feel love toward themselves and their bodies. Our motivation comes from our own positive experiences with Yoga, Pilates and Meditation.
What is your motivation?
The changes to our lives were so impactful we can’t NOT share this magic with the world.
Tell us your background story …
We’re real-life sisters (and sister best friends) so we have aloooooot of background! Ever since we were young(er) we knew we wanted to do something together. We were always interested in business. We made jewelry and cards when we were in our teens and would sell them at the local markets!
As we got older, we both worked in. hospitality, which we LOVED. We always say, if we weren’t doing MerryBody, we’d probably own a cafe!
We both studied communication.
We both worked in events.
We then worked in government desk jobs.
We called them soul-sucking jobs.
The thing is, we are so forever grateful for these jobs as they showed us everything we didn’t want. It was at this same time that we started Merrymaker Sisters. It was the sheer difference in joy when comparing the government desk job to the blog writing that we knew we had found something to pursue and follow. (Also if you haven’t watched Finding Joe, do yourself a favour and watch it… )
What challenges have you overcome to reach this point in your life and biz?
How many hours do you have? SO MANY. Challenges are guaranteed. If we all knew what we were doing, life and business would be boring. It’s been in the WTAF moments that our best outcomes and ideas have come to life.
Two things come to mind when thinking of challenging times: knowing when to stop and create space, and knowing when to keep going.
One key moment was when we made a business pivot from food to yoga/Pilates/meditation.
We weren’t loving the healthy recipes any more. On paper it was a huge success, any accountant would have said you’re crazy! Keep going! Don’t stop! But it didn’t feel aligned anymore. So we decided to take a 3 month break. We stopped creating, we stopped promoting recipes. We created space to surrender to the next idea …
And oh gosh did the new idea come! This space allowed us to come up our idea for MerryBody! When this new idea this new rush of creativity and motivation followed, the bliss was back!
What does being a Visible Woman mean to you?
Having a space to be heard and seen, sharing our opinions and ideas, and what matters most to us. Making a positive impact on the lives of others and seeing that ripple out far and wide.