We came across these lovely ladies on Instragram and fell in love with their style. We were so inspired by the amazing food platters and recipes that they put together with food from the Earth that we had to interview them for the She is Earth Series.
For more info on their platters and amazing recipes head over to their website thepoorgirlspantry.com
We have read that you two have not always been friends. Tell us about how you met and what finally brought you together.
Oh gosh, we actually didn't get along at all when we first met!
It's funny to look back on now, but at the beginning it was really awkward haha.
We met when we started working together at Spell in Byron, Elise was well established at Spell when Sarah Mae started. We were polar opposites (Elise was the funny, confident, class clown and Sarah Mae was really shy and quiet) so that obviously didn't make for a match made in heaven.
We had a few run ins, but the day that all changed was when Sarah Mae offered Elise (who forgot her lunch that day) some of her corn chips. This turned into us eating a whole packet of corn chips, tub of hommus and a litre of cocobella chocolate drink in one sitting, every day for the entire summer of 2015. These eatin sessions generally didn't involve any talking. We bonded over our love for food and spirituality and from then on realised how much we actually have in common.
We decided to be friends and since then we've been unstoppable.
You both have food allergies, was this or something else the tipping point to starting The Poor Girl's Pantry?
Food allergies have been the biggest curse yet the biggest blessing for us.
Elise is celiac and lactose intolerant and Sarah Mae can't handle preservatives or salt, is vego and is allergic to nightshade vegetables (potato, tomato, eggplant, capsicum, goji berries)
This has meant that we've both had to be really aware of what we are putting into our bodies and get super creative in the kitchen. We both were on seperate healthy journeys when we met and food has always been a huge part of our lives (we've both struggled with binge eating and an unhealthy relationship to food), we have both always been fairly broke too which we've learnt to live with.
What's your motivation behind The Poor Girl's Pantry?
We are so passionate about people not letting money ever being a reason to not make a positive change in their lives. We also love food and making really healthy meals. There's this myth that healthy = expensive and it can be, but we have learnt the art of keeping our costs down and wanted to help people do the same.
Elise started poor girls as an Instagram account but was initially really shy about it. It started gaining momentum and she freaked out because she isn't the most organised person, so she hassled Sarah Mae (who initially didn't want to take it on) until she gave in and got sh*t organised.
Elise is the creative and Sarah Mae is the brains haha, but this makes us the perfect yin yang.
You want to let people know that it's possible to eat healthy on a budget. What's your best tip to eating healthy food from the earth, without spending a fortune?
Basically go to visit your parents as often as possible and eat as much as you can while you're there so you won't have to worry about buying dinner....haha joking (but kind of serious)
We tend to shop as we need things, so we recommend not over buying and keeping your spending as low as possible. If you're stuck for recipes then head to our website for some ideas. If you don't have the ingredients we use, then swap them for what you do have and give it a go.
Tell us how you feel about eating healthy and fresh, and not wasting what you have in the pantry.
As we are broke, we don't have the luxury to waste food which is why we created poor girls. It hasn't been a choice for us but has given us the opportunity to learn and create good habits while we're young. We thrive on fresh and healthy foods, because we both have food intolerances and can barely function if we eat unhealthy foods for too long. We try to be really savy about with our money and enjoy trying to create something healthy with the leftover scraps in our pantry.
If there's one staple that you will always have in the pantry, what is it and why?
Oh gosh, we have a list of things and we kind of go through phases with foods where we will get obsessed with something and eat it all the time until we get sick of it haha!
Right now we are obsessed with smoothies, so frozen mango would have to be our staple lately.
How do you develop your delicious healthy recipes?
Elise is half Italian so she basically just channels her Nonna vibes and goes crazy. It's actually really funny to watch. She gets into a zone and then pops out the other end with something delicious.
She has never trained as a chef, she literally just makes it up and it seems to work every time. This is why we are so passionate about people trusting in themselves and their own abilities.
You live in Byron Bay.....what's one of your favourite things to do there?
We LOVE the beach! Winter is always a little bit hard for us because the days are colder and shorter which means less beach time, but come summer time you can't drag us away!
We also love running the lighthouse (or doing a lighty as it's called here lol), beach picnics, hanging out with friends, going for waterfall adventures, driving through the hills, going out for a cheeky boogie on some weekends and then back to the beach. It's a simple life here, but it's home and we love it.
We are pretty obsessed with your platters and food styling. Seriously they are amazing!! Is this something that you were always interested in and are you self-taught?
Actually no, we literally had no experience and someone asked us to make them a platter so we thought why the heck not. We went to Aldi, bought some ingredients, picked some flowers and just bluffed our way through the whole thing. Fast forward a few months and we are now making 2.5 metre platters at people's weddings. It's crazy how saying yes to an opportunity can turn into your career.
Tell us a little bit about your hopes, goals and dreams for the next year?
We literally don't plan anything, we just decide we want something and manifest it. We have become really good at manifesting exactly what we want and believe that you never know what the future holds. Circumstances change all the time, so we like to go with the flow whilst creating our lives at the same time. We have huge dreams for poor girls that involve helping as many people as possible.
Who is someone you look to for inspiration to live a wholesome and happy life….and why?
We each have one person that we look up to and get inspiration from.
For Elise it's Connor McGregor, she looks up to him because he literally came from nothing and manifested his entire reality. He was broke, had a dream and chased it.
Sarah Mae is obsessed with Oprah. She too came from nothing and has created a life that is all about helping people. She talks about the things that no one else does and makes people feel understood, related to and cared about. She is also an incredible manifester and one of the kindest people on the planet.
We are both manifesting to meet our idols x