STEF AND JESS DADON / Be Yourself and Totally Own It
November 14, 2016
Stef and Jess Dadon wear what they like - even if it doesn’t fit the cultural mainstream. They were into nail art before it was cool, they practically started the twinning movement, they’ve worn Maleficent’s horns to a formal event, and have mixed red and pink on multiple occasions (you can do that?!).
By wearing their truth, Stef and Jess have made a massive impact on the fashion industry, working with some of the biggest brands in fashion, including ASOS, Westfield, Maybelline, Nasty Gal and The Zoe Report. They have travelled the world, worked as brand ambassadors, given talks, sat on panels, and have recently launched a shoe line (Twoobs).
But arguably more importantly, their confidence and honesty has inspired hundreds of thousands of young girls globally to be bold in their choices and be unafraid of expressing who they are. Stef and Jess have even gone one step further - knowing that they have a unique opportunity to speak directly with young women, they have used their platform to promote various positive messages.
Who are you?
We are sisters, designers, entrepreneurs, colour junkies, and animal lovers.
What do you believe in?
We believe in the power to make anything happen if you put your mind to it.
When did you start How Two Live?
We first started How Two Live as a daily diary to each other in 2012. We would write about what we were eating, wearing, and seeing, when Stef was living in Paris for six months and Jess was back in Melbourne.
Where has the journey taken you?
Our business went from being a blog (and barely a business at first, more of just a side project), to an online platform with a big international following, to us working with brands as ambassadors, designers, and stylists, and earlier this year we launched our shoe label, TWOOBS.
"It’s easy to forgot that what you’re seeing on social media is an edit of someone’s life, not everything that’s going on behind the scenes."
And what’s it like doing what you love in collaboration with your sister?
We can’t imagine it being any other way. We have a pretty unique sisterly relationship in that we never fight (literally, never), and we’re extremely supportive of one another. We travel a lot for work, and being able to do it together makes it seem less like work and more like a never ending adventure.
How Two Live stemmed from the success of your social media following. What do you like about the power of social media?
Being able to speak directly with our followers – we often ask them what they want to see more of, if they like a new product, or sometimes they’ll just write to us and ask for style advice. It’s pretty awesome to have a direct line to your whole fan base!
Do you believe there are any negatives of social media?
It’s easy to forgot that what you’re seeing on social media is an edit of someone’s life, not everything that’s going on behind the scenes, which obviously leaves people wondering why their own lives aren’t “perfect”.
Tell us about how you hope to impact young women
As a young woman you come across so many negative messages everyday, telling you to act a certain way or be a certain way. We aim to empower young women to not feel those pressures, and provide them with positive messaging and encouragement. How Two Live is all about expressing yourself, and not caring what others think. Our styles are so wacky and out there - and we aim to give others the confidence to be themselves and totally own it!
You’ve done so many wonderful things already. Tell us about some of them!
We recently had our first book published, called #HowTwoLive. It’s filled with how-to projects, but we also included a ‘how two make an impact’ section in each chapter, teaching you how you can use your new skills to do good in the world, or make a positive impact on someone else’s life.
Another is that through TWOOBS we have started an initiative called Two Gooders, where money from each sale going into a fund, and we use this to offer grants to females wanting to set up their own startups. We want to encourage other females to start their own businesses and take control of their own lives.
What do you hope to see change over the next 10 years?