If you love fun, fashion and fearlessness, it’s time you met How Two Live – the dynamic Aussie duo, Jess and Stef Dadon.
The sisters have combined their love of all things bright and beautiful into a unique and successful brand. With their blog starting in 2012, they have already released a book, had countless brand collaborations and have an impressive social media following.
We called the girls to chat to them a bit more about their work together as sisters, what it was like to emerge into the serious world of fashion and what they really think of sharing each others’ clothes…
“Fashion is so serious. The problem is, we’re not serious people but we love fashion. So, I think that is what people seem to really love about us and our blog. We bring the fun to fashion.”
Taylor Magazine: How did you get started with How Two Live? Tell us more about your blog and what you do together.
Jess: We started our blog in 2012 – we grew up in Melbourne in Australia and we had never lived apart before but Stef decided she was going to move to Paris for 6 months. It was the first time we were going to live apart and we wanted to do something together, even though we were on the other side of the world. So, we decided to start a blog which was initially a daily diary to each other. Every day one of us would post an outfit shot, which was written as a diary, so I would write something like ‘Hey Stef, I’m doing this today! I’m going to this café wearing this’ and it was kind of our way to keep in touch.
Taylor Magazine: It’s such a novel idea, which you rarely see in blogging. It makes it so personal between you two but also other people will be interested too.
Stef: Exactly! We didn’t know anything about blogging at the time but I guess people thought it was something a little bit different and a cool concept. Suddenly we had this audience following along with us and our journey – it was really cool. From there, brands started approaching us and we started to shoot campaigns. It turns out that it was a really good way to get into the fashion industry.
Taylor Magazine: One thing we noticed when we went on your blog is how fun it is. Jess, would you say it reflects both of your personalities pretty well? Was that the aim when you first started, for the blog to reflect who you both are?
Jess: Definitely! I think that fashion is so serious. The problem is, we’re not serious people but we love fashion. So, I think that is what people seem to really love about us and our blog. We bring the fun to fashion.
The whole part of fashion is that you want to get joy out of it – it’s a way to express yourself and be creative and that’s how we utilise it. It’s funny because How Two Live has become all about colour and that just happened really organically. Through photos, if we photographed really bright colours, our followers absolutely loved it.
Stef: Yeah we also share an entire wardrobe. People ask us about our style and we literally share everything. We have the exact same fashion sense! One day it could be black and white, the next it could be something completely outrageous.
Taylor Magazine: That’s a really nice way to do it – it’s really interesting to hear that you share a wardrobe because most sisters are driven crazy when they borrow each others’ clothes!
Both: Nooooo way!
Stef: Honestly, we cannot relate to that at all. I’m not sure what happened to us, but we clearly missed that part of having a sister. We absolutely love sharing everything, you get double the wardrobe!
Taylor Magazine: Exactly! So what would you say is the best thing about blogging?
Stef: What we love about blogging is all the different opportunities it has opened up for us. We get to work with all of these amazing brands in different ways. We’ve collaborated with brands who design shoe lines and clothing. We fly around the world to go to fashion weeks, we’ve styled campaigns and been in campaigns. It’s just an amazing new thing. At first, I think people were like ‘what is this? Are you guys journalists, are you models? What is going on?!’ But now, people have just embraced it for what it is. Blogging definitely isn’t going anywhere – it’s this new medium which has grown into it’s own thing.
Jess: It’s changed the way the millennials apply for jobs and get work. Now, if you’re a creative, you’re not sitting around waiting for the next job to come along. You have to go out and create a blog, create an Instagram and really make a name for yourself and then you can take that to the company you work for and say ‘look at what I just did!’
Stef: And that’s exactly what we just did. We just hired a social media coordinator for our shoe label and she has her own following of 100k on Instagram. It’s so important now. Social media is not going anywhere, everyone realises it’s here to stay.
Taylor Magazine: Talk to us a bit more about your book – why did you decide to go down this route?
Stef: Our book #HowTwoLive originated because we were approached by the publisher to do it – they basically said there was a lack of fun, teen books. They really thought our aesthetic would translate well into a book, we had so much fun creating it!
Honestly, it was the best fun ever for us! It’s basically 36 projects, all different things from nail art to sharing our social media tips. Effectively, a teen girl’s bible. We actually launched it in London at the Skinny Dip store: we had such a fun party there because their brand totally aligns with ours. There was glitter and balloons and fun everywhere! Skinny Dip actually made a limited edition phone case to go with our book – it had all of these custom emojis from our brand all over it, it was so cool!
Taylor Magazine: What is the best thing about working together as sisters?
Jess: I think the best thing is that we get to do everything together. Steff and I are best friends, so we’re not only sisters and best friends, we’re now business partners too. So it just means that everything we do for work is fun.
Stef: Yeah, sometimes we’ll rock up to an event and a lot of people in the fashion world go to these events alone. So yeah, you have a fun job, but it must get kind of lonely. Whereas for us, it’s never boring. People will ask us, so where are you going on a holiday to next? We’re like, it’s not really a holiday, but at the same time it kind of is because both of us have a really fun time.
Jess: As opposed to working with a friend, there is never going to be any bad blood between us. Even when things get hard and work gets a bit intense, because we’re sisters, nothing will ever get in the way of us.
“Even when things get hard and work gets a bit intense, because we’re sisters, nothing will ever get in the way of us.”
Taylor Magazine: That’s so true. You’re family, and very little comes in between that!
Stef: Yeah exactly. Unless you’re the kind of sisters that argue over clothes, then you maybe shouldn’t go into business together…
Taylor Magazine: Yeah, maybe a fashion business isn’t the best idea if that’s the case! On that note, do you guys come across any challenges working together?
Stef: One thing we’ve had trouble with is hiring people. We’re such a force and such a twosome that it can be quite hard to come into that. We have been battling with that lately, but it’s all about finding the right fit. We’ve recently found someone that fits really well and is totally cool and loves to be third sister. But that took us a while to find someone. When our brand grows more, it will get easier. But when it’s someone coming to work with us when it’s just us two, they have to have a big personality for it to work well.
Jess: Yeah, the dynamic has to be just right.
Stef: Yeah we were actually given the advice that we should interview people separately. Because we’re so close, if we interview them separately, it will be easier to see their personality come through. We didn’t end up doing it, because we found an awesome employee and didn’t need to, but we liked that piece of advice.
Taylor Magazine: Talking about advice – what is each of your ‘go-to’ fashion tips?
Stef: Have fun with it! Be fearless, have fun and don’t care what other people think. That is how we get up in the morning and get dressed. It helps that we have a sister who is completely confident and doesn’t care if people are stopping and staring. I mean, we’re an extreme case because we are so crazy, but if you don’t have a sibling that dresses like you, just have fun and never take fashion seriously.
Taylor Magazine: You guys must travel a lot, as well as having a really busy schedule, how do you find time to get everything done?
Jess: We’re pretty last minute with every to be completely honest. We’ll often be packing three hours before our flight and our boyfriends will be rolling their eyes like ‘you guys are completely crazy!’ Yeah I don’t think we have a secret, we just work really hard and put in crazy hours and get everything done in the little space we have.
Stef: When we started blogging, we were getting invited to all these fun events and we would just say yes to everything and it all got a bit much and now, after doing it for so many years, we know not to say yes to everything. Now, we’ll send our employees to the event instead of going ourselves, even though we would love to go and have a drink and enjoy it! You just have to work out what your priorities are. You can say no things, otherwise you would never get anything done!
Taylor Magazine: Where is the coolest place you’ve been to?
Stef: We recently went on safari in Botswana in Africa – it was absolutely incredible. We travel a lot, but we usually do the standard Paris, London and New York. Don’t get me wrong, all of that is unbelievable. But safari was super special.
Jess: On the same trip, we also went to Cape Town, which was just incredible. It was an amazing mix of the beach, restaurants, shopping. It was kind of like Sydney on steroids!
Taylor Magazine: We’re so jealous! Safari sounds amazing. Back to fashion, what is the one accessory that you each cannot live without?
Stef: Considering it’s currently 9:30pm in Melbourne and I have sunglasses on my head, I think I’m going to say sunglasses…
Jess: Yeah, Stef has recently sensitive eyes so she always has sunglasses with her!
Stef: I also love the fact that you don’t have to wear make up if you have sunglasses on. Everyone leaves you alone if you’re wearing them!
Jess: The other one for us would probably be platform shoes. Everyone actually thinks we’re really tall, but we’re not!
Taylor Magazine: And…we have to ask: Sydney or Melbourne? Which one is your favourite?
Jess: Ohhhh, I don’t know if we can choose! We’re actually massive Sydney lovers even though we’re from Melbourne. We love them both for different reasons. Melbourne is really cool and there is so many underground things going on.
Stef: Yeah, the fashion and culture here is unbeatable. You can’t compare.
Jess: But Sydney has the best weather ever.
Stef: We actually lived in Sydney for a little bit, in Bondi. So Sydney isn’t our favourite, but Bondi definitely is!
Taylor Magazine: Melbourne definitely has that edgy underground feel about it, particularly in regards to fashion!
Both: Totally. Melbourne fashion festival is coming up in a few weeks and we are super excited for it! It’s going to be amazing.