Twin sisters about being the same but not
The twin bond is truly something of the strongest force we know. Through ups and downs, us twins tend to have each other's back and stick together. Twin sisters Annette Schreyer and Birgit Schreyer Duarte have been together a lot together.
We had the honor of interviewing the twins about their work and story. Read on to learn more about the twin bond, their story and if there is an evil twin.
Who are you and what do you do?
Annette is a portrait and editorial photographer, and recently, she has also taken up jewelry making. Birgit is a theatre director and translator. We are from Germany, but Annette lives in Rome, Italy, and Birgit lives in Toronto, Canada.
How did you get started?
We started out in the exact same fields; we went to university for theatre studies together in our home town of Munich, and we both loved experimenting in photography since high school. After graduating, Annette wanted to explore Italy, and Birgit started to travel in Canada—this was the very first time we traveled separately.
Soon after, Annette took the opportunity of a photo assistantship in Rome, and Birgit received a scholarship to work and research in Canada for a year. From here, our careers developed in these two different countries and professions. Birgit completed a Ph.D. degree in Toronto and began work in the theatre, while Annette studied voice and music while establishing herself as a photographer.
In 2018, Annette was recovering from breast cancer when she was introduced to silversmithing during a therapeutic retreat. A few months later, she launched her jewelry label Zefiro Jewels. A special collection of her jewelry is dedicated to our experience with twinhood—for “Same but Not” she designs pieces that mirror and complete each other like twins and are meant to be worn by twins and best friends.
Do you see being a twin as a strength or weakness in getting to where you are today?
Definitely a strength, now that we are adults! It’s more than that, it’s a privilege. But as kids, we didn’t enjoy all aspects of twinhood, even though we always loved being together non-stop.
We didn’t like being compared at all stages of growing up; we thought people should make more of an effort to tell us apart, and we were very focused on each other as pre-schoolers and didn’t make friends easily at first. But none of that really mattered in contrast to the special connection we always felt with each other.
What's your favorite twin moment?
Oh, there are so many! For example, we frequently experience these strange parallel events in our lives, even while we are physically apart: We tell each other about a momentous experience one of us had and it turns out, something significant also happened on or around that same day for the other twin.
We also love it when we get introduced to someone from the circle of friends or colleagues of the other one and we immediately feel close and familiar with that person, as if we knew them already.
One highlight was certainly the evening in Rome when Annette launched her book project on adolescent twins, Same But Not, and together we spoke publically about our experience of twinhood.
When you argue, how long does it take for you to become friends?
A few seconds?
What do you think everyone should know about being twins?
Nothing will ever come between twins—sounds cheezy, but it’s true. And: “Identical” doesn’t mean actually identical, if you make a little effort, you can tell the differences in even the most similar twins!
Rapid Fire Questions:
Who is the bossiest? “You”, says Annette. “Neither?”, says Birgit.
Who is the messiest? Annette
Who is most active on social media? Annette, since she started selling Zefiro Jewels online.
Who is the more shy twin? Annette: “It’s not arrogance; it’s shyness.” Birgit: “It’s not shyness, it’s arrogance…”
Who is the more adventurous twin? Both!
Lastly, is there an evil twin? Evil?—no!! ; )
Thank you so much for sharing your story with Annette and Birgit. We are in awe of your strength and love that you find ways to celebrate the twin bond through your work. To learn more, check out www.birgitschreyerduarte.com and www.annetteschreyer.com.
Twinning Store was established by twin sisters K & E in Los Angeles in July 2017. We sell clothing for twins, because twins rule! We have quickly become a favorite for twins worldwide and have shipped to over 30 countries in 5 continents. (P.S. We have also made a collection for twin dad and twin mom).