Working with your sibling can be amazing—and annoying. Three successful business partners reveal what it takes to work well together.
If you're a lover of bold, unbashedly statement jewellery, you must know about Outhouse. Spearheaded by Sasha and Kaabia, the first cousins have always shared a common love for jewellery. "Our biggest advantage is that we're the same age and have been best friends for years," says Kaabia. "This made it so much easier for us to understand each other."
But that was the easy part, Kaabia agrees—it isn't a cakewalk to work with a sibling and they do have conflicts. "We tend to take each other for granted and sometimes override each others' decisions," she confesses. While Sasha admits to letting their personal and professional lives overlap. "It's inevitable since we're so close, but we agreed early on that we need to behave like professionals so work doesn't suffer."
So how do they make it work? For one, they share the same passion and vision for the brand. "We do have creative differences, but that only pushes us to think of out-of-the-box solutions," says Kaabia.
Having clearly defined roles also helps. "I take care of production while Kaabia is in charge of hiring and managing the team," shares Sasha. "But in terms of design, we brainstorm together."
The sisters like celebrating each victory, big and small, to stay motivated. "It's our way of congratulating each other on a job well done!" says Kaabia.
On Kaabia (left): vest, BCBG, Rs. 22,500; pants, DSquared at The Collective, Rs. 52,000; T-strap sandals, Steve Madden, Rs. 7,990; top, Zara, Rs. 2,499; ring, Rs. 7,950, and necklace, Rs. 12,500, both Outhouse
On Sasha (right): crop top, Forever 21, Rs. 899; suit, Huemn, Rs. 38,500; earrings, Outhouse, Rs. 13,500; pumps, Christian Louboutin, price on request
"We're practically twins," Gauri tells Cosmo (the sisters were born a year apart) "and I can't remember a single fight...in my entire life!" "Sometimes our opinions differ, but we've never fought over it," adds Nainika.
The fact that the designer duo is so close works well at work. "Gauri and I discuss every detail of our lives. Now that I'm married, as soon as we meet at work, we catch up on stuff."
At work, Nainika looks into production, while Gauri is the planner. "We kind of end up doing everything together, but those are our natural strengths. Gauri is more organised, while I execute well," says Nainika.
"I start the creative process and Nainika takes it forward. We balance each other out," adds Gauri.
Any tips for other sisters looking to work together? Nainika has some advice: "Don't do it unless you believe in the same thing. Gauri and I are lucky that we both love what we do."
"I feel like with sisters the bond is different. With us, things like money don't come in the picture. That's probably why we have such a cool working relationship."
The siblings "work hard when they have to", but otherwise like to take it easy. "We are creative so we don't have to sit in one spot...creativity strikes us anywhere. We like to enjoy life. That's probably one of the reasons we work well together, because we let things happen and don't stress too much," says Gauri.
On Nainika (left): midi dress, Gauri & Nainika, price on request; sandals, Christian Louboutin, Rs. 44,000; cuff, Maithili Kabre, Rs. 5,000
On Gauri (right): pencil dress, Gauri & Nainika, Rs. 42,750; lace-up snadals, Christian Louboutin, Rs. 73,000