A cup of Chai with Melisa + Romana from The Wild

The Wild is the cereal creation of business partners and best friends Melisa and Romana. The idea was born out of a 6 month round the world adventure, as the girls took inspiration from the various cuisines and cultures they encountered along the way. The word “cereal” just doesn’t seem adequate to describe the delicious creations the girls come up with in their taste lab, and their “food with purpose” philosophy ensures everything not only tastes amazing, but is also good for you. We caught up with the girls to get their advice on running a small business and what impact their mums have had on their lives.

You were originally working in communications, before starting The Wild after an exciting trip around the world. What advice do you have for those wanting to get out and do something on their own like you girls have done?

(MEL) I would say to plan ahead for savings so that you lessen the stress during the development process, as you can’t rush it and it is likely to take longer than you might expect. Secondly, it helps to work in partnership or group, as it forces you to step up to the plate while also lessening the load on small business owners who have to wear many hats in the course of a day. And thirdly, try to do something you love, as it can get very tricky to pour love into something, day in and day out, if your heart isn’t in it. 

(ROMANA) I guess my biggest learning that is resonating with me at the moment is to be kind to yourself and to trust your inner self. You’re going to go through ups and downs in any business as an owner. I’ve learnt recently that you go from a place of fun to frustration and back and forth for a few years before you reach that place of satisfaction. You have to be clear and sure about why you’re doing what you’re doing, own that and do everything you need to do to make it work. If you’re doing that than you can’t really do much more, so just enjoy the ride and keep learning. Also yeah what Mel said, have deep pockets full of cash to support your lifestyle and the business because everything definitely takes longer than you expect unless it’s pot luck, so start saving for it now. 

You must be really busy handling all the aspects of running your own business, yet health and well-being is such an important part of the The Wild philosophy. How do you make time to practice what you preach and take care of your mind and body, while also looking after The Wild? 

(MEL) I add small and simple things into my daily routine - like taking time to enjoy a superfood latte in the morning while sitting on my couch before getting into any work. I also love oil pulling in the morning as it quietens my house, my mood and therefore my mind. Also weekly yoga and light resistance training are a part of my routine. Walking is also something that clears my head and keeps me grounded during busy times. And I love to learn about health so I’m studying at the moment which is feeding my soul so much.

(ROMANA) I also start my day on the couch cuddling my pooch with a delicious prana chai latte…jokes…..caffeine. I start my day with caffeine (Mel’s a little more advanced on the health front than me). After that I take my dog out for a walk. I find starting my day with a walk clears my head and sets me up for the day. I’m always very mindful when I’m out walking too so I definitely take the time to enjoy my surroundings, whether it be the autumn leaves falling, the breeze or the sun on my skin, or my crazy, silly dog and what he gets up to. I also make time to go to the gym 3 times a week to work out free weights or HIT work-outs. I like a good sweat session, and the feeling you get afterwards. 

What was the best advice your mother ever gave you?

(ROMANA) My mum is a very wise woman! She always told me that if I was shopping and I really liked something to walk away, if you’re still thinking about it after an hour, go back and get it ;) 

To be honest it’s not so much the advice that my mum has given us as her kids that sticks with me. She has given us kids so much unconditional love and support throughout our lives and so much of herself that we innately know that we are strong individuals, capable of doing whatever we want to life, and that no matter what, everything would always be ok. She is a strong woman, tough on the outside but soft like a marshmallow at her core. 

How has your mother influenced your life?

(MEL) My mother passed away over 2 years ago but her influence on my life is only getting stronger. It has lead me to question what happens when we die. And from there I have discovered so many amazing teachings that have helped me and inspired my own path. I really admired the love my mother had for my brother and I, so I remind myself often how it felt to be loved by her, and everything feels a lot easier when I remember. 

Where do you take your mum for Mother's Day?

(ROMANA) I spoil my mum and myself to a pampering day of massages and facials. Last year we went to Sakura Lounge and Spa which is a Japanese day spa in the city, it was lovely. This year I’m thinking we’ll go to Red Hill Spa and I think my sister will come to this time. To me it’s not just about giving her a present, I like to spend time with my mum on Mothers Day so we do it together.

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