Many people think of going into business with a friend or colleague. Others, however, team up with their siblings — and that may come with extra advantages. Siblings know and trust each other well, and growing up in the same house can instill similar values.
At the same time, siblings can be like night and day when it comes to individual interests and skills, which can lead to tensions. In a best-case scenario, siblings are able to make a killing without killing each other. And that can be a formula for great success in business.
For National Siblings Day, we have compiled a list of eight sibling duos making strides in their industries. Because at the end of the day, no one has your back like family.
Ann and Jenny Siner opened a consignment store in Scottsdale, Arizona that looks like less of a thrift store and more of a department store. The company — opened in 1991 — is now a $25 million firm and has branch locations in Arizona and California, as well as an online store.
Cassie and Jacklyn Collier grew up playing board games together. After teaming up to create a personalized board game for their mom’s birthday, the sisters decided they could make money off of their idea. The Colliers say they live by the motto recited to them by their 86-year-old grandmother: “Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” With Bundle, they say they have achieved that.
Brother-and-sister duo Sukhsagar Singh and Harleen Kaur launched the beta of their app, uCiC, in 2015. After a cyber-security scare for Singh’s apartment, the siblings searched for legitimate real-time security apps. Coming up empty, they combined their previous experiences and knowledge as a NASA engineer and executive for Rolls-Royce to create an app that allows users to search for real-time photos or videos from any location in the world taken by other users. “Nothing prepares you to be a business owner. It’s harder than people make it out to be — it’s a very difficult thing,” Kaur told The Story Exchange.
Miko and Titi Branch, two sisters from Queens, New York, launched their hair care company, Miss Jessie’s Originals, in 2004. After noticing the lack of existing products for curly hair, they decided to develop their own. Miko had previous experience in the salon world, while Titi had studied consumer economics at the University of Maryland. Their different skills complemented each other, helping their company succeed. The company name is a family name, taken from their paternal grandmother — Jessie Branch — who used to make natural hair products in her kitchen to tame the two girls’ curls.
Shortly after graduating from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor’s in food studies, Amy Rothstein began diving deep into the local coffee shop scene. She realized that while these shops were using coffee beans from small roasters, their chai syrups came from large companies. She partnered with her brother, Peter Rothstein, to open Dona Chai, a small chai brewery in Brooklyn, New York. While Rothstein takes care of the creative recipes and brewing, her brother — who is pursuing his MBA at NYU — handles the books. The siblings were featured in Forbes’ Food & Drink 30 under 30 list this year.
Sasha Plavsic and brother Zachary Ilia launched their company — Ilia — for natural beauty products out of Vancouver in 2011. The siblings saw the benefits of natural living as young children when doctors told Ilia he would never be able to play sports due to asthma. Through the plant-based diet prescribed by their mother, Ilia was healed and competed in sailing at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. After being shocked by the ingredients in her favorite lip balm, Plavsic and Ilia a healthier natural lip balm. Because the inspiration of natural plant based formulas came from their childhood, Plavsic chose to name the company after her brother.
Sisters Nadia Abramcyk and Jaclyn Ferber partnered together to create Tenoverten when they couldn’t find a New York City salon with natural nail care products. Together — with the help of Abramcyk’s friend, Adair Ilyinsky — they developed eight high-quality nail polish colors, each named after a street in Manhattan. The sisters told Forbes that, 10 years later, the success of their business has been thanks to their sense of trust in one another.
Alli Webb and her brother, Michael Landau, originally went into business together to open a Nicole Miller marketing firm franchise in Miami. It wasn’t a great start. “We nearly killed each other.” Landau told Fast Company. A decade later, Webb approached Landau with a new business proposal — a salon that only offered hair blowouts. Seven years after their launch date, the company now boasts 3,000 employees working out of 60 locations nationwide. When asked about working with her brother, Alli told Fast Company, “It was great coming together—being very respectful of the other’s strengths.”