behind the scenes at the design twins: an inside look behind the curtains
The Design Twins spill all their secrets with this behind-the-scenes look at their partnership, their blog, and their lives as identical twins.
There’s nothing we love more than spilling secrets. How did The Design Twins get started? How do you create The Design Twins several states away from one another? Who does what? How do you divide and conquer? Do we ever fight? We get lots of questions every day, so we’ve decided to spill the beans. Here is the behind the scenes scoop, all you ever wanted to know about what we do and how we do it.
Who’s the Bossy Twin?
“She is!” we both yell simultaneously while pointing and laughing at the other. Ok, so we both think the other one is the bossy twin. Why? Because you’ve never heard two people boss each other more than we boss each other. It’s true. When people spend time with us they usually are amazed at how we act toward one another. Imagine what you would do if you felt like you were talking to yourself. The thing is, we are so close that there really is no holding back. For better and for worse. It definitely creates a unique interaction. We only realize it’s unique from friends’ assessments.
If There is One Thing You Envy About Your Sister What Would It Be?
Jodie: Hmm, I think it would have to be how skinny Julie is. Oh, and how easily writing comes to her. Oops, that’s two.
Julie: Her seemingly endless motivation and creativity in her home. Where does it come from?
Do You Ever Fight?
The answer is yes, but hardly ever. Even when we were little we hardly ever fought and considering how much time we spent together it is rather miraculous. But then as now, if we ever have the slightest ill-feeling or disagreement, we clear the air very quickly. We cannot stay mad long. It’s like being mad at yourself. Imagine your best friend in the world being mad at you. It’s unbearable.
How Do You Two Create The Design Twins While Living Apart?
The truth is on any average day we call each other six to ten times, depending on the day. That doesn’t include tons of Instagram DM’s and of course text messages. When either of us gets in the car we call the other. Sometimes we are on speaker phone for so long we forget that we are still on the phone. We FaceTime when we want to show the other what’s happening in our homes, and photos are being sent via text and email pretty much non-stop.
Do you Divide and Conquer? Who Does What on The Design Twins?
Slight differences happen naturally because we are not the same person.
We absolutely divide up the tasks on our to do list. It’s surprising because the division of labor has happened very naturally and wasn’t something we predicted before we began this journey. We are both photographers, writers, decorators, and stylists. That being said, we have preferences. Jodie is more passionate about photography. She is our photo editor for the blog. Julie is the writer. She writes most of the posts and edits the posts Jodie writes.
The Design Twins Social Media Divisions
Jodie is in charge of social media accounts outside of IG like Pinterest and Twitter, while Julie handles much of the negotiations with companies for The Design Twins. Julie is so clueless regarding Pinterest she “accidentally” promoted a post which cost us several hundred dollars. Since then we keep Julie at arm’s distance from Pinterest. And together we both work together on our Facebook group.
Hands-on Crafter vs. Writer
Jodie is the crafter and DIY leader of the two and has always been more comfortable taking risks, trying things for the first time. Jodie managed to pull Julie out of her comfort zone and got her chalk painting, and Jodie is still the one who would rather be creating something or learning something totally new. This past year when Jodie was teaching herself to arm knit and to macrame for the first time, Julie was happier researching and writing our next blog post.
With The Design Twins Everything is a Collaboration
What’s interesting is that even though we each take the lead in these separate rolls we rarely do anything completely on our own. The word collaborate might as well have been created just for us because it defines how our blog is made to a tee. Even our Instagram accounts which appear separate are actually the result of a ton of back and forth advice giving and collaboration. We hardly ever post a picture that we haven’t passed by the other for approval or review. We do write our own posts (except for rare occasions, usually when there is a ton of detail involved) because this is our own “voice.”
Are Our Styles the Same?
Our styles definitely overlap, but we each have our own individual flair that makes us unique. In general, Jodie has a more casual, comfortable style, and Julie’s style is more refined and elegant. We both come together with a love of farmhouse decor, but neither of us can settle on just one style. What we have in common is that we love to combine different styles, and we adore change. Our current styles are in constant flux and meander through elements of modern, traditional, casual, farmhouse, global and cottage styles. Julie has touches of romantic and French, and Jodie has touches of cottage, global and Boho.
These same differences flow over into our fashion style. Julie is more refined and dressier while Jodie is more comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt. Julie’s make-up is always flawless, and Jodie is more of a minimalist in that department.
How Would You Define The Design Twins Differences?
Jodie | Julie
Casua | Refined
Sporty | Elegant
Risk taker | Not so much
Self-Conscious and Sensitive (socially) | Self-Confident and Brave (socially)
More confident in physical endeavors (leaving new crafts, boxing, dancing) | More confident in social situations (speaking and performing)
Note: These comparisons are for the sake of comparing. We are both sides at times, but when we compare ourselves to one another we come out on different levels of the spectrum.
To read more about twin life, read Insider’s article, “12 things that only twins will know to be true.”
How did The Design Twins get started?
It was Christmas, 2014 and Jodie came to visit me in our new house in Seattle. It felt like the beginning of a new era and in many respects it was. Jodie pronounced her brainstorm: “We should start a blog!” I looked at her with wild, disbelieving eyes and replied, “You are crazy! And what’s a blog?” We talked about the possibility, but honestly, we didn’t know what we would share or write about. We have many passions and interests. It was almost like us wondering, where would we begin?
The Design Twins began on Instagram
A blog seemed a long way off and not something we could envision. Coincidentally (or not) it was around the same time that we discovered Instagram. Originally, I joined to keep tabs on my teenagers’ postings. Meanwhile, Jodie discovered fashion and style accounts and told me how much fun it was. The first accounts we both followed featured personal style and fashion. It wasn’t long before I found the little home decor community. I was putting together my home. Since my family was completely disinterested in my decorating I decided to share with the world, and the rest, as they say, is history.
We found the home decor community on Instagram to be very friendly and more personal than other communities. Connecting with people was just as big of a draw as the inspiration aspect.
Advantages and Disadvantages of “Twinship”
Early on we realized we had it pretty good. Once we got out into the world (headed to school) we realized not everyone had a built-in buddy. This was news to us because of course we knew nothing else. People have always asked us, “What’s it like having a twin?” and our reply is, “What’s it like NOT having a twin?”
- someone to confide in, always
- having someone who really understands, often without using words
- a best friend for life
- second opinion on everything, partially biased but often brutally honest
- in blogging, we have a built-in editor for all our writing and a photo editor for all our photos
- always being compared to someone else
- growing up, we basically shared EVERYTHING. Even our birthday.
- being treated as one person, when you’re really two.
- being blamed for things your sister did. What? Um, like the time Jodie got a speeding ticket when she happened to be ‘borrowing’ Julie’s driver’s license. Oops.
Want to read more about our lives as twins? Read our blog post, “What It’s Like To Be a Twin“ where we answer questions like:
- have you ever swapped boyfriends?
- did you ever trade classes at school?
- what’s your best twin story EVER?
Why Did We Create The Design Twins?
What drives us? What is the most important reason we are here? It’s because of you.
Why did we decide to stop decorating for a minute and share a post like this? It’s because creating relationships is what we’re all about. It’s why we started and it’s what drives us. No matter how many followers we gain we are still motivated by the individual connections we make and the individual lives that we touch. Our blog is about so much more than decor. It’s about sharing who we are with all of you. We invite you to introduce yourselves to us in a comment below or leave questions. We hope to get to know all of you and bring you along on this journey with us.