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5 Creative Sibling Duos On Balancing Business With Their Unbreakable Bond

How these siblings are navigating their relationship while in business together.

Business

The summer after my freshman year at Spelman, I was my brother's social media marketing intern. Working with my brother as my boss was OK, but having my mother as the receptionist, my sister as a bookkeeper and my sister-in-law as the VP was just #teamtoomuch. There were so many personalities in the workplace that I was all too familiar with and whatever drama happened in the house was brought to the workplace. Needless to say, I was all the f*ck set after that.

While I may not have had the run-of-the-mill-working-with-family experience, I had the opportunity to speak to some dope siblings who work together creatively and have healthy relationships. We chatted about the importance of communication, the fine line between friends and siblings, being in business together and do's and don'ts of being siblings when working together.

Ceraadi

Known for their charisma, confidence and all around cool vibes, Ceraadi is the perfect example of the sister-best friend combo package we all envy. Sisters Saiyr and Emaza collaboratively create dope concepts for YouTube videos, dance challenges and music - how can they do it all and not be bored, tired, or ready to swing on each other? For these two, it's all about positive vibes and open-mindedness. "We're both head strong and opinionated. We believe in our ideas and that can cause minor bumps," Saiyr admits, "but we always find a middle ground - fusing our great ideas together."

"I believe we have become more open-minded to each other's ideas," Emaza adds. "Let's say we don't agree, our mom will come through to help us figure it out." The dynamic duo has taken to the 'gram to show off their unbreakable bond, from exuding collective confidence in their Savage x Fenty to car covers of Ari Lennox's "BMO". Their in-sync musical abilities are just one way that they show their love and admiration for one another, and they're not shy about bouncing creative ideas off of one another to create an even stronger sisterhood - even if it means being painfully honest. "Always be honest if something doesn't sound good regardless if the other will feel a way. Be open to other ideas," says Saiyr about their creative process and rules of the studio.

As these two embark on a journey to "secure the bag", pun totally intended, they recognize each other's strengths and abilities to pick up where the other may need support. "Saiyr observes and analyzes everything in-depth. Saiyr's thoughts and style come from a genuine place, so you never know what crazy and fun element she'll bring to any project we're working on," Emaza observes about Saiyr, while Saiyr boasts about Emaza's ability to conceptualize ideas and put the pieces together.

"I feel as the oldest sibling, you can't vocally say your favorite, but I knew once Emaza was born that would be my best friend," Saiyr gushes about her younger Capricorn counterpart. When asked about what it's like to have her Taurus-born sister as a built-in bestie, Emaza responded, "Life is easier having a built-in best friend. You don't have to put them through trials and tests to prove loyalty. I know I can depend on Saiyr. Plus we live together so I don't have to wait to see her and chat it up."

"Life is easier having a built-in best friend. You don't have to put them through trials and tests to prove loyalty. I know I can depend on Saiyr."

For more of Ceraadi, follow them on Instagram @ceraadi.

Simone and Jade Kendle

As influencers, mothers and entrepreneurs, Jade and Simone Kendle have their hands full - so having a sister by your side is just what you need to handle the twists and turns of life. As CEO and advisor of Life is Content, a source of e-courses for content creation, Jade and Simone manage their business, friendship and sisterhood with grace, style and absolute boss-chick mode. "We treat business chats like any other professional obligation; shoot one another a meeting invite and correspond through our business emails. We are both super mindful of work-life balance, especially as sisters. You have to be hyper-aware of one another, especially when we are brainstorming or trying to troubleshoot a problem," Jade Kendle tells us.

"The biggest thing I appreciate about working with Simone is the amount of grace we give one another. I can literally sense when she's had a tough day and the business call we're having is being impacted by that," Jade explains about their creative process and conducting business. "It's the level of comfort and commitment that is so special and unique to how we do business together." However, when it comes to flipping the 'sister-switch', Simone admits that working beside one another can become complicated and pose some challenges. "It's super hard swapping from family mode to business mode, without some overlap," Simone Kendle, CMO of Cannection, chimes in.

Simone continues, "We struggled a bit initially because we were so close, we assumed things the other person would do or feel, without always communicating those assumptions. It became super apparent that we had to be very conscious of treating each other as business partners during business hours, and sisters outside of that - as much as we possibly could!" Though problems may have initially been present, Simone and Jade don't draw a line in the sand when it comes to dividing between their relationships as sisters and friends. "I think a sister is a friend you didn't have to search the world to find. If anything, I think it helps maintain a foundation even through our disagreements, you know I'll be here no matter what. That's the best kind of friend," Simone adds cheerfully.

"I think a sister is a friend you didn't have to search the world to find. If anything, I think it helps maintain a foundation even through our disagreements, you know I'll be here no matter what. That's the best kind of friend."

For more of Jade and Simone Kendle, follow them on Instagram @lipstickncurls and @simonekendle.

Monica and Juan Veloz

Los Angeles-based brother and sister creative duo Monica and Juan Veloz are a pair worth not only following on Instagram if you need a dope aesthetic to your feed, but a pair of siblings worth admiring for their open and honest relationship as business associates and best friends. "We share three different relationships. We are siblings, coworkers and roommates and we think it's important to know when to wear our hats accordingly," the Afro-Latina YouTuber shares with xoNecole. "So we never bring work into a heart-to-heart conversation or use it against each other."

When it comes to practicing effective communication between one another, Monica and Juan both agree that they never let their emotions get in the way. By taking accountability for their actions, they find that by doing so, their creative process becomes seamless and effortless. "My sister is a bit of a perfectionist, but I've learned to be patient and try to calm her down if she ever tends to panic. I've gotten pretty good at that," Monica's talented photographer brother jokes. "We resolve these obstacles by taking into consideration each other's suggestions and somehow, someway meeting in the middle."

Though they face great challenges together and may not always see eye-to-eye when it comes to sharing a vision, Monica and Juan bump heads about their passion for the high quality content they produce. "We are each other's hype man. We don't allow each other to speak negatively about one another," says Monica, "but we are extreme because the last thing we need is for either one of us to put out subpar work."

When asked about turning off the "brother/sister" switch, Monica acknowledges that the two find the beauty in their difference of opinions when operating as business partners. "We turn it off when we sit back and remember that we did move across the country to pursue these careers and we have no time to waste," she adds before boasting about the creative eye and talent of Juan. "I think it's important to incorporate my brother in everything I do because I value his honesty and his critical eye."

"We share three different relationships. We are siblings, coworkers and roommates and we think it's important to know when to wear our hats accordingly... We are each other's hype man. We don't allow each other to speak negatively about one another."

For more of Monica and Juan, follow them on Instagram @monicastylemuse and @jveloz.

Coco & Breezy

What's better than having one dope, super talented melanated queen with a keen sense for style and swag? Two! Corianna and Brianna Dotson, known to the world as style icons Coco & Breezy, are the epitome of fashion forward female power duo. Founded in 2009, Coco & Breezy have taken over the world of fashion and entertainment world for their work with the late singer Prince and libation brand Ciroc while taking over the music world as DJs. "Being a sibling and a twin is a whole other connection," explains Coco as she hands the mic over to Breezy, who adds that she knew that Coco has been her best friend since her moment of realization and cognizance at two years old.

"I had a sister, a twin and a best friend who can be weird with me, who could learn with me and be creative with me. I learned that from jump," gushes Breezy about their young budding friendship which would later develop into worldwide domination in the entertainment and fashion world.

"Ever since we were little kids, our parents saw how close we were and they kind of taught us about always having each other's backs," Coco says. "I think what really got us to be so close is growing up. In growing up in Minnesota where we didn't really fit in with the other kids, [it] forced us to be even more of best friends than just sisters because with us going to school and not really having a group of friends to hang out with or a group of friends to have lunch with, we would be forced to do that with each other."

On conducting business together, Breezy shares that their creative processes are indeed different and that it took a while to reach a point of understanding one another's methods. "When we first started the company, we were stuck at the hip. I didn't know what I was great at, Coco didn't know what she was great at," Breezy starts. She explains their personality differences, from her sister's motherly, "super on it" demeanor, a personality that perfectly aligns with her strategic marketing and business development efforts. Breezy, as head of design and product development, self-describes as free-spirited and creative.

"We have our own responsibilities where we can hold each other accountable, which makes us a team and we're very aware of that," she continues. "I know her strengths are my weaknesses, and visa versa. There's no ego that is involved and we both allow each other to hold down what we're responsible for as opposed to arguing about something that I know Coco is great at."

"I know her strengths are my weaknesses, and visa versa. There's no ego that is involved and we both allow each other to hold down what we're responsible for as opposed to arguing about something that I know Coco is great at."

For more of Coco & Breezy, follow them on Instagram @cocoandbreezy.

Symphani and Nydiah Soto

If you haven't seen them on your Instagram explore page, which I'm sure you have, you've likely seen these sisters on YouTube with a bomb makeup tutorial or SoundCloud dropping melodic bars. Though the Soto sisters are miles away from living with one another, they still manage to keep the Instagram followers wanting more and their relationship healthy. "Symphani lives in LA and I live in Florida, so we definitely spend enough time apart, but I try my hardest to go out there for holidays and breaks between school just to keep her company. Living by yourself can get lonely, super lonely," Nydiah Soto shares about the distance between her and Symphani.

Not only are they states and timezones away from one another, they are also separated by seven years, but their sisterhood allows them to bond on a level not hindered by age differences. "When Nydiah was around 15 or 16 [years old], that is when we really looked at each as more than sisters, but as best friends. We are seven years apart - my being 27 and her 19 - but it doesn't feel like it most days!" the I Am artist shares about her younger half. "She feels like the older sister sometimes. It's amazing to have a tight bond with someone and it's forever; she will never not be my sister."

When it comes to creating dope, shareable Instagram content for one another's channels, Nydiah and Symphani have the natural instinct to get sh*t done and put on their boss babe hats. "I feel like we both bring different perspectives to things; whether it's where to pose, how to pose, or what ideas we can do for YouTube," shares Next Management Model Nydiah. "It happens organically. I push her to not be discouraged and she pushes me to get up and create content on the daily."

Symphani concurs that when it comes down to it, as content creators, she and Nydiah have a fun, loving business relationship in which they can rightfully hold each other accountable and push one another to do their best. "Nydiah goes hard! I've seen her outstand me at some points and it's super encouraging," Symphani gloats about Nydiah. "I am not afraid to try things and Nydiah doesn't give up easily. She's super determined and I really admire that about her. She makes me feel like I can and should do anything, and I make sure I give the same in return. We are a team."

"I am not afraid to try things and Nydiah doesn't give up easily. She's super determined and I really admire that about her. She makes me feel like I can and should do anything, and I make sure I give the same in return. We are a team."

For more of Symphani and Nydiah Soto, follow them on Instagram @symphanisoto and @nydiahsoto.

Featured image via Life Is Content/Instagram

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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