The Olsen Twins on Taking Charge

Celebrity twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have been famous since they were 9-months-old, when they took turns playing Michelle Tanner on Full House. From there, they starred in numerous TV shows and movies together, becoming stars in the process.

At 18, the Olsen sisters decided to retire the teen-focused retail clothing and perfume brands they were attached to, and launch their own clothing line titled “The Row” — this time, being at the forefront of all branding and business-related decisions.

Now, at the age of 28, the Olsen sisters are the founders and owners of an estimated 1.5 billion dollar business empire. In order to make a name for themselves in the fashion industry, however, they were going to fully earn their status and reputation.

“We’d learned so much (throughout our career) about building brands and talking to a specific customer. We did it with our faces at the beginning, and we knew we didn’t want to do that anymore.” – Ashley Olsen in an interview with London’s  The Telegraph

“It’s not about making a statement or the look of the week,” Ashley later told The L.A. Times. “It’s about offering smart, honest product.”

Instead of expecting others to create their vision for them, the Olsen twins are firm believers of putting in the work and earning the credit they deserve. Mary-Kate interned with photographer Annie Leibovitz and Ashley interned with fashion designer Zac Posen.

“We were always hard workers as kids. It’s just the way we are, the way we were raised. Our work ethic was everything, and that never left us. We like to work hard, and we like to try to do everything 100 percent,” Ashley Olsen tells WWD.

Although you and I may not have the same network as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, it’s important to utilize the people around you without taking advantage of them. Just because you know a solid group of talented individuals, your next new venture will not be handed to you simply because of all the connections you have.

In many industries, your reputation is defined by the hard work you put in before expecting to reap rewards – while no one could doubt the twins’ commitment to acting, branching out into a new niche might be met with apprehension. We’ve all seen Paris Hilton’s DJ career: be authentic, be genuine, and earn those stripes.

If you ever feel silly about the choices you made in the past, take solace that the Olsens will never be able to escape this pizza song. Own that junk. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for insight, wisdom and notices for when our posts go live.
Image Credit: David Shankbone (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Adjusted for cropping.