Twins often share a lot of traits. Some share similar wave-lengths, or ways of looking at life. All share the same parents.
When twins share the same passion and love for creating, that can mean they have a business on their hands.
Schenectady residents and fraternal twin sisters Amber and Alicia Robinson realized this pretty early on. The 25-year-old creative duo launched their business Dizy Artisans in 2018, capitalizing on and inspiring others with their diverse set of artistic skills — from crocheting to painting to even creating their own masks in time for the pandemic.
“‘Dizy’ stands for twins, we are fraternal twins and it derives from the word ‘dizygotic,’” Amber said. “Then ‘Artisans’ meaning that we’re skilled workers and very diverse in our art, and create all handmade items.”
The Robinsons didn’t grow up surrounded by art, but they always had an attraction to it. They both remember their mother taking a photo of them drawing on a giant chalkboard in their backyard when they were in preschool, and even doodling on their notebooks all throughout preschool.
Nowadays, though, the pair — who both graduated from SUNY Buffalo in 2018, and now are grad students studying creative arts therapy and mental health counselling — don’t need to use chalk to get their points across. The brand itself, which has been an outlet for them to explore just about any medium they set their minds to, started with them making wire-and-bead jewelry, before they started taking on some paintings early on.
Now, however, there’s something for everyone. The twins host a shop on online marketplace Etsy, where they sell $25 wooden sunflower plaques, an array of colorful $8.50 masks, various key chains featuring cats or letters of the alphabet, a variety of jewelry like U-shaped earrings and just about anything else they collectively decide would be a strong fit for the brand.
“We do so much,” Amber said. “There’s not one such thing that one of us does more that we’re better than the other at.”
Some of their favorites include yarn-based wall art pieces and some crochet blankets, hats and scarves, much of which they’re starting to show off at pop-up shops at ViaPort Rotterdam to raise awareness for their brand.
The Robinsons get most of their materials from Michael’s, Walmart, JoAnne’s and Amazon, and end up making the products at their home in Schenectady.
Outside of sharing their work, the twins also said there’s an added importance in what they’re doing as two Black women in the field.
“If you think about it, there’s not that many African American artists that I’ve seen in our community, and for the most part, we’re underrepresented in terms of value,” Alicia said. “So I think when people see us at the pop up shops, they’re really intrigued, and they want to see what we’re about and what we do. And the fact that we’re multi-talented, it draws people in and they’re even more interested in what we have to offer.”
The pair said they’re starting to see some traction mainly on Twitter, where they’ve amassed over 2,000 followers, many of whom regularly share their shop updates on the app. On Instagram, they have over 1,200 followers, so things are looking up for the creative duo.
“For a long time, we didn’t feel that people would value our art,” Alicia said. “Putting it out there and seeing how that goals, it helps us encourage others to also put their art out there so that other people can see value in what they create, even if they don’t. And we also would like to inspire future generations to tap into their talents and show people what they’re made of.”