Getting to know … Gracie and Sophie Tyrrell, founders of Squirrel Sisters

TLL chats to the siblings behind the healthy living blog and vegan bars, and panellists at the Women’s Business Network Surrey panel discussion,to find out their recipes for business success, as well as a few secrets.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Gracie: So many things … an estate agent – I used to walk around the house in my mum’s heels (which were far too big) with a clipboard pretending I was showing people around; a shop owner – I was obsessed with cash tills and will never forget the joy I experienced when I was given an electrical receipt machine; a teacher – I had three whiteboards and a register and would sit for hours teaching my imaginary class; and an actress – which I went on to do.

Sophie: A princess … I wish that was a joke.

What makes work?

Both: Passion and honesty.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Gracie: Always trust your gut – if you have a funny feeling about something that feeling is there for a reason. Never doubt it!

Sophie: Try not to worry about things that haven’t happened, because if they do then you’ll have to live through them twice anyway, so try and remain positive and deal with any negative situations when they actually happen.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

Both: We are so proud of how far we’ve come with Squirrel Sisters. To be stocked in more stores and to have bigger budgets would be great, but considering we had no experience, haven’t had investment and have continued to grow year on year, while staying true to why we started this, we’ve not done too badly!

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Gracie: My incredible family, who make me feel so loved and supported. Our mum and dad have both achieved so much and have always encouraged us. Their love, loyalty and commitment to each other is hugely inspirational. Sophie is also such an inspiration, she’s the most thoughtful human, best sister and she inspires me every day. Also … Beyonce!

Sophie: My family. Mum and dad always followed their dreams and made us believe we could do anything and be the best at it. My sister is one of the strongest people I know and I am motivated by how she takes things in her stride and looks positively to the future. I also admire my husband’s talent and creativity, how hard-working he is and what he always strives to achieve.

What is your recipe for success in business?

Both: A great product and brand is essential. You also need a genuine story that people can connect with, as well as passion, persistence, patience and a drive to succeed.

What is your greatest business fear?

Gracie: There could always be the fear that things could go wrong, but our passion and belief in what we are doing means this isn’t an issue.

Sophie: Finding I’m doing something I don’t believe in. The day-to-day things aren’t really fears, because even when things don’t go to plan it always teaches us so much.

What is your most treasured possession?

Gracie: My family, I don’t know what I would do without them! I also love my home – I recently bought an apartment and just love it; it’s such a happy space.

Sophie: Probably my engagement ring – it’s the most valuable thing I have, but also is irreplaceable, as it’s the ring my husband had designed and pro

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