BY: Lively Staff

August 3, 2017

Sisters’ Day: How These Sister Acts Built a Better Bond

August 3 is Sisters’ Day and we are celebrating special sisterly bonds from fitness to lifestyle and everything in between!

Sisters’ Day is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate that with inspiring stories of sisters whose bond goes beyond similar DNA. Meet two sets of sisters who are taking the world by storm by working together on blogs, books, and more.

Heather Patterson and Vanessa Hunt, sisters who took the need for a way to keep in touch with one another and started At The Picket Fence, a blog and lifestyle company that offers creative ideas for home and family. They’ve even authored Life in Season, a book on holiday ideas, recipes, and creating beautiful events.

Joanna and Grace Park are the faces behind Exercise with Extra Fries, a fitness and lifestyle blog that offers insights to their favorite fitness and food tips. With tens of thousands of Instagram followers, Joanna an Grace share their lighthearted humor while talking about the latest in health and wellness.

In honor of Sisters’ Day, we talked to these two sets of sister acts to hear how they’ve built their bond through business and fitness.

Joanna and Grace

sisters' day

What inspired Exercise with Extra Fries?

We had our own separate, personal Instagram accounts initially. But we would workout together and attend events together. It became a race of who could post the same (or practically the same) photo first! So we decided to finally combine our photos and create one account. We’re sure our friends appreciated it too so they wouldn’t have to see the same photos repeatedly. After we created our Instagram account, we launched our blog, and now we have our YouTube channel as well!

We came up with the name “Exercise with Extra Fries” because while we love to workout, we also love to eat, and our favorite junk food is definitely french fries! We wanted to show how we add a fun twist to fitness and life. We don’t think fitness should be about restricting yourself, and it’s okay to have fun.

What’s your favorite thing about working with your sister?

The best thing is that we understand each other’s weird and crazy ideas. We definitely feed off each other, which makes for great brainstorming. We can take a fleeting thought or joke and turn it into a much bigger concept. We took a joke about wearing a t-shirt with a bikini printed on it into so much more and had a full-blown photo shoot and video shoot for our YouTube channel.

sisters' day

What’s a typical day like for the two of you as your business grows?

We both work on weekdays, so we try tackle everything on weekends. We usually spend all of Sunday together to work. We usually start with a workout, then meal prep while shooting, brainstorming new ideas, responding to emails, and managing our partnerships.

In a perfect world, what would look like with your sister?

Ideally, we would be doing this full-time with a team behind us for support, so we can create more and better content! We have so many ideas but not enough time to execute everything!

How are you celebrating Sisters’ Day?

As our name says, exercise with extra fries!


Heather and Vanessa

sisters' day

What inspired At The Picket Fence?

Heather and Vanessa: When we launched At the Picket Fence in 2010, we were both stay-at-home moms with young children. We felt the need in our lives for a creative outlet and a way to connect with other women who were longing for community as much as we were.  We had this vision of women coming to meet us at a virtual picket fence where we would share stories about our lives and our children, recipes, home decorating tips and tricks and just do life together. Since then we have been so blessed by the friendships that have blossomed and the way this community supports and encourages each other in all areas of life.

Even though you live far away from one another, how do you stay in touch?

sisters' day

Heather Patterson

Heather: Well, this can be a bit tricky considering the fact that we are in different time zones. We text each other almost daily and since we share an email account and a business calendar we are both able to stay up to speed on everything.  We place the highest value on our relationship as sisters so while our conversations often start out talking about something related to our website or the book we are currently writing, they will often turn to just talking about all of those sister-y kind of things.

What’s your favorite thing about working with your sister?

Vanessa: One of the greatest things about working together as sisters is that only the two of us really understand just how much we’ve poured into this online community and into the writing of our books. Of everything we’ve done so far, getting to experience the tremendous honor of seeing our names together on our first book, ‘Life in Season: Celebrating the Moments That Fill Your Heart and Home’, was truly amazing and sharing in the joy of it with each other is something we will always treasure. First and foremost, we’re sisters and the bond we have supercedes websites, social media and books. We always want the best for each other.

What’s a typical day like for the two of you as your business grows?

Heather: There are a lot of moving parts in our business right now so it really doesn’t feel like there is such a thing as a ‘typical’ day. There could be a day where one of us is doing a live television show demonstrating a craft or recipe and another day where we are completely engulfed in working on the manuscript for our second book. The things that always remain consistent are keeping fresh content on our website, sharing ideas and inspiration on our social media channels and trying to dig ourselves out from under the massive amounts of emails in our inbox!

In a perfect world, what would your business look like with your sister?

sisters' day

Vanessa Hunt

Vanessa: We both have such a heart for encouraging women and building community that I think in our perfect world we would get to not only do that online but continue to have opportunities to do that on a more personal level. Speaking at conferences and other special events both locally and around the country allows us the chance to connect in a different way and we really love it. And we’re working on another book, a follow-up to Life in Season. We hope that it really resonates with people who are looking for more peace in their heart, health, and home.

How are you celebrating Sisters’ Day?

Heather and Vanessa: We honestly feel like every day is Sisters’ Day! Not all sisters can say that they are also the best of friends but we can, and we definitely don’t take that for granted. Celebrating one day out of the year is one thing, but being there for each other, day in and day out, through all of the messy but beautiful parts of life is the true testament of sisterhood. We honor all of the things we’ve been through together in big and small ways and on Sisters’ Day we will definitely be taking a moment to reflect on how grateful we are for one another.


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