Going Once, Going Twice
Sisters Carrie Frugé and Meg Earnest share the importance of doing good and giving back
by Avery Tanner
Carrie Frugé and Meg Earnest are sisters, business partners and auctioneers. Performing as the Siren Sisters, the women fundraise for nonprofit auctions and are always aiming to exceed expectations and create a memorable experience for the audience. With clients ranging from Seton Foundations to Out Youth, Frugé and Earnest are passionate about doing good to create ripples of change. In fact, in 2017, they worked all of their events at no charge. Carrie lives in Austin and Meg resides in Fort Worth, so the sisters consider their business a way to spend quality time together. We spoke to Frugé and Earnest about their passion project that has become a powerful tool for change.
Avery Tanner: Can you start by telling me a little about what y’all do?
Carrie Frugé: We are a sister auctioneering team with red carpet style. And we specialize only in charity events and galas mainly in Central Austin. We do it as a duo onstage, which is unusual. We always work together and balance the numbers between one another. It really builds upon our passion to reach everyone in the audience.
Meg Earnest: Oh, and then the most important part is that we have so much fun up there!
AT: That’s great. How did y’all get started?
ME: I was inspired when I went to a live auction for the Austin Humane Society. I was like, “You know what? There’s only so much volunteering that we can do and things we can donate.” I figured if auctioneering is so fun, let’s do it together. So I discussed it with Carrie and, after some thought, she agreed.
AT: Did you have to get certified?
ME: In Texas you have to go to school for it. It’s about 80 hours of school, so we decided to do it together. We definitely were the only two sisters in that class!
CF: It’s true. Every day we went to class, and there was a scene because they thought “woah, two sisters!” But it was so much fun. We took off from our normal day jobs to do it and had a great time because we actually learned so much about the business.
ME: And we actually went to school when I was pregnant! Now that my baby’s almost a year old, I can really get out there more.
AT: So after the class you started doing events?
ME: Yes and it felt so good to be able to give back, but in a different way than the average person, you know—with money or with their time volunteering. It’s just fun to know that you’re raising money for causes that you really believe in. And we did the first year for free.
CF: Meg and I donated 100% of our time.
AT: Wow! How did you decide to do that?
CF: I think doing this is the perfect intersection of making a big impact on one night, of everything going on, the organization’s vision, and the top people they touch. It makes such a difference for them. It’s really powerful and a beautiful thing to do, so we love to do it. And it’s just a special way to give back.
AT: Tell me about working together as sisters. I have a sister so I would love to hear how you both do it.
ME: We have that love-hate relationship.
CF: I mean, naturally. We’re sisters, right?
ME: But we also call each other out when we need to. We have strengths and we have weaknesses, and I can honestly say that. It sounds so cliché, but my strengths are Carrie’s weaknesses and vice versa.
CF: Meg was a broadcast journalism major in college. I was an engineer, so our focuses are different. And really we complement each other so well, but sometimes we can get into the big sister, little sister role.
AT: Do y’all ever feel like you’re spending too much time together?
ME: Well, it’s funny, because we’ve had some events, one right after the other, so we’re spending a lot of time together and, we think “Okay, a little break, a weekend break from each other is okay.”
CF: But, honestly, what’s really funny about it is because as sisters, when you get older and start having families and really intense careers, it gives us a purpose to get together and an allegiance to each other. And it’s around something really meaningful. We get to do something really powerful.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.