I first met Jess + Stef at a Round Table Talk organised by VAMFF earlier this year to discussed the Fashion Industry here in Melbourne. I had been following their journey for some time, first discovering their fabulous blog How Two Live, then watching them launch their beautiful shoes, TWOOBS (which I got to use for this seasons campaign!), and finally now listening to their insightful podcast!These girls have really done it all, and I truly admire their drive, passion and zest for a fun and colourful life! They have been so kind to answer some questions for me in between their very full and busy schedule and i'm really exited to share with you all! As always I hope this inspires you and is a great start to your week!
I would love to know what inspired you two start TWOOBS? What were some of the values you knew you both wanted to install in the brand right for the get go and why?
Before TWOOBS we had our blog How Two Live where we shared a lot about our personal style and tried to encourage others to use fashion as a way of expressing themselves and feeling really good. For us, a key to that has always been comfort, which we felt was missing from the footwear we wanted to wear - enter TWOOBS. What really excited us about starting our own label was being able to build our values into the brand, so the products are all vegan, and we support other female entrepreneurs through the TWO Grant, a grant we offer to females looking to start businesses.
What is the meaning behind the name TWOOBS?
We were on the hunt for a name, and we really wanted it to have the word Two in it because we liked the synergy with our blog How Two Live. Eventually we came up with the word TWOOBS, and loved the idea of our shoes coming in tubes. During our first season of tube packaging we figured out that shoes are in fact sold in boxes for a reason (who knew!?) so now we’re just stuck with a quirky name, which kind of suits because we’re a quirky brand.
You girls have really done it all! From blogging to running your own shoe brand and now you have launched your podcast. I find it so inspiring that you keep pushing on these different doors and make each new adventure work beautifully. What drives you both to keep going and exploring new things?
We’re constantly having new ideas that we get really excited about so sometimes the challenge for us is actually staying laser focused on one thing. We love the excitement and the challenge that comes along with starting something new, but in the past this has resulted in us spreading ourselves too thin and taking on too many things at one time. At the moment between TWOOBS and How Two Live: The Podcast it does feel like we’ve found our happy medium.
Why did you choose to create Twoobs out of animal friendly product? Is this something you both hold close to your heart?
We’re both huge animal lovers and we genuinely don’t see the point in wearing animals, so the decision to make our products vegan was a no brainer. When we launched we actually shied away from using the word vegan in our marketing as we were afraid it would put people off, but nearly four years later and it’s amazing to see what a shift in mentality there’s been. Now vegan brands are celebrated and there are so many more coming up in the market, which we just love!
Has there been any barriers for you because you wanted an animal friendly product?
We’re primarily a sandal brand, but recently we launched a sneaker and that was definitely a more difficult process in terms of construction. PU is a lot softer than leather, so it was a challenge to get it to hold its shape and required quite a lot of rounds of sampling. The end result is so worth it though because we now have a killer sneaker and the fact that it’s vegan really sets it apart from everything else out there.
What’s the best piece of advice you have every received?
Massive overnight growth seems like the goal, everyone wants to go viral in some way or another, but it’s not sustainable and can often result in disaster so take things slow and steady. This is the most common advice we receive from people who have been there done that, and while it sounds obvious it took a long time for it to really sink in. We used to be fixated on the quick wins and would get frustrated if something didn’t immediately catch fire. Now we’ve shifted our focus and see it more like building a tower with blocks, bit by bit blocks are added but the strong foundation takes time and without it the tower will come tumbling down.
Pair of TWOOBS featured in the campaign for FOLD
Speaking of advice, what advice would you give to yourselves 5 years ago and why?
It’s the journey not the destination. We used to be the kind of people that looked far into the future and fantasised about what could be rather than enjoying the present. We would look at our business and think once we get X then we’ll feel happy/successful/fulfilled etc. The key thing we were forgetting was that doing what we love every day and advocating for animals is our dream and our reality, so rather than getting caught up in the bigger and better (which we’ve done plenty of) we now try to stay grounded in the present and remember to enjoy each day.
Is there anything exciting in the works for you two amazing ladies that you can share?
Well TWOOBS just recently launched into David Jones and The Iconic which we’re still buzzing about! We also have an eyewear collaboration coming out with Pared Eyewear, and we’ll be launching a TWOOBS pop up in Melbourne hopefully at some point in December.
If you could interview anyone in the world for your podcast, who would it be and why?
Iris Apfel would be an absolute dream, we love her style and her attitude towards fashion and life is just so freaking on point.
Finally, I would love to know what your favourite piece from FOLD?