Witness: Fenntessa

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It’s refreshing to catch the Rush sisters in the early stages of their success. Robyn and Cami don’t have a competitive analysis, they don’t have balance sheets and financial projections. They have a vision that is changing and morphing and evolving purely through the act of feeding their work each time they sit down to mold on their craft.

Robyn laughs when we ask how it all began, “Cami just came to me and said, ‘Hey do you wanna do this?’ And I didn’t even have a doubt – Immediately, I was like, ok! – AND we get to go to Colombia!” With a little help from their parents for their plane tickets to visit a textile factory in Colombia, the Rush sisters set off to create Fenntessa.

It’s difficult to describe the duo to anyone who hasn’t met them. They’re bubbly, bright, blonde, blue-eyed infectious humans. There’s excitement in every sentence and they’re genuinely interested in every topic, those that surround them and in each other. With no clear picture of what it is that keeps them driving this forward and not worried about what might or might not happen, Cami and Robyn remind us of the joy of simply being a part of the process and the power of just doing it.

As I listen to the audio clips from the evening I smile to myself, knowing each sister’s voice from the other but knowing a stranger would be unable to tell them apart. They speak in half sentences, if Cami starts a sentence, Robyn finishes it. Always supportive and affording each other utmost respect, they are always sure to mention the people in their lives that have helped out along the way.

With so many similarities, Cami and Robyn are are also very different. Each one is very unique in demeanor, personality and style. Robyn is in her signature high wasted jeans, a loose, bright tank and combat boots – she’s the hipster rocker chic from a music video. Cami is a bit more reserved, soft-spoken and gentle – in an oversized sweater and dark green maxi dress, she’s mastered trendy meets classy.

Cami and Robyn are incredible hosts. They offer up everything in their fridge, pour you a warm cup of tea while Robyn’s boyfriend Billie puts on some killer tunes. We ask them about how their relationship has changed and what it’s like working with your best friend, sister, business party and ex-roommate. We discuss friendships, life, relationships, music and explore unexpected miscellaneous tangents. Time passes quickly and four hours feel like thirty minutes. Their energy and passion is infectious.

WT: How has starting a bathing suit line influenced your personal life?
Robyn:My butt is on the tag. It’s definitely keeping me in shape.” [She giggles infectiously] “No- but it’s been a lot of work! I’ve really made the effort to be more social this summer and we’re both putting in a lot of time but it’s fun!”

WT: “Why do you think that this stuff is working?”
Cami: “I think the formula is really about making the effort to be artists just going with it. And then balancing the business. Robyn is SO good at the phone. Robyn’s speedy and-
Robyn: “Cami’s focused. I just don’t have the patience! I’m working on it, Cami is teaching me to be more patient..we just move at different speeds.”

WT: “What is it that is driving this for the both of you?”
Cami: “ I like fashion. I’ve always liked fashion. And I’m fairly good at fashion.
Robyn:“Cami’s really good at fashion.”
Cami: “And I can draw. I understand the body and I can draw. It’s hard to make a living as a painter so I have to find other ways to be creative.”

WT: “How do you think your relationship has changed?
Robyn: “It’s better! We are able to meet and hang out and it’s much more positive. We used to get together and talk about our day and it was great but it wasn’t always super positive but not we’re able to focus on something together and it’s so much more fun.”

“How serious are you about this in your life?”
Both: “Very serious.” [We then go on to discuss their schedules, how much time they’re putting in and ten minutes later we smile as we piece it together – it is clear they intend on making this a full-time time gig.] “It’s a great because it’s only one season because it’s a really good starting point. We’re learning, a LOT, just as we go…

All images courtesy of Billie Danger.

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