Melbourne sister act Jess, 29, and Stef Dadon, 25, have added some much needed colour to the Melbourne fashion scene with their blog How Two Live.
Behind the millennial pink ensembles and statement sunglasses is some serious aesthetic ambition, with the talented pair launching their own shoe line, collaborating with Australian labels.
Tomorrow (Saturday, March 10) Jess and Stef will share their secrets of success as part of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, Fashion Talk series, but we got in early.
Jess and Stef Dadon showing off their fashion prowess. Image / Instagram: @howtwolive
How did things start for you?
Jess: We started our blog, How Two Live, when Stef was moving to Paris for six months in 2012. After a few months brands started to contact us to promote and style their products and from there our audience really started to grow. Pretty quickly we were working with brands globally, from Maybelline to Michael Kors.
When did you know you were connecting with people?
We have an “anything goes” attitude when it comes to fashion and we’re never bothered by stares or whispers in the street. Quite early on readers started to reach out to us.
Some were school girls but it really was women of all ages, to let us know that they found that attitude really empowering and that it had inspired them to have more confidence, in their fashion choices and even in life.
It was really touching for us and we realised that we were building this community of people who hadn’t previously felt like they belonged.
Always ready for a photo opp. Image / Instagram: @howtwolive
What was the biggest challenge?
Building our own label, TWOOBS, has been a massive challenge. We had previously worked with a lot of brands and designed collaborations for other shoe labels like Windsor Smith and Buffalo Boots, so we thought starting our own would be easy. Turns out it has been anything but…
What moment are you proudest off?
A few months ago our shoe label TWOOBS collaborated with Gorman on a couple of styles, and within three hours they’d sold out online and we got a call from Gorman to say they wanted to do a second run. That was a pretty massive moment for us and made over a year of hard work completely worth it.
Were there any mistakes along the way?
We make mistakes all the time, and we find this is the quickest way to learn.
Jess and Stef Dadon not big on blending in with the crowd / Instagram: @howtwolive
How do you keep your audience interested?
We keep it real. There’s a lot of airbrushing and “look at me” that goes on with social media these days and we often get feedback that our audience finds it refreshing that we’re the opposite of that.
Our Instagram Stories will often feature real talk on the couch while eating burritos, or us getting ready for an event in the back of our car.
What is your dream?
We really want to see more women starting their own businesses. For International Women’s Day tomorrow we’re launching Two Gooders, where budding female entrepreneurs can apply for an early stage grant from us. This will be funded through TWOOBS sales, and we’ll also be mentoring the women who receive grants. We’re passionate about sharing our profits and time to help other women get the confidence and build the resources to realise their own dreams!
What advice do you have for people getting started?
Don’t be afraid of failure, or of being judged. Both will inevitably happen at some point, it’s all part of the adventure! Also work hard -it’s the real secret behind any success.