Twin sisters, best friends and business partners, Liv and Dom are a creative duo worth getting to know. After studying illustration degrees together in Bournemouth, the two set up their own brand hand-sculpting ceramics inspired by the naked form. From their mum’s kitchen table to opening their very own store in 2022, the brand has gone from strength to strength, loved for its unique, hand-crafted finishes and celebration of the human body. We were lucky enough to catch up with Liv and Dom on their journey so far, whether or not identical twins are telepathic and of course, which Pink City Prints dresses they’ll be wearing this summer.
We started ‘Liv & Dom’ as a sort of ‘pretend’ brand for our last University project. We ended up selling a lot of work at our graduate show and thought we’d just continue to sell at markets and things after that! What inspired us was seeing that people would buy things that we enjoyed making. We thought, if we can scratch a living out of this, that would be pretty amazing.
After university, in 2015, we worked on our Mum’s kitchen table just with oven bake clay for a couple of years, building up a following but not making much money. Then we did a 6 session ceramics class and set up a tiny studio area in Dom’s childhood bedroom, taking our work on a 2 hour train to London to get it fired. We saved up enough to move to Lewes in 2019 and had a studio in the spare room of our rented house with a tiny kiln. Then last year a shop space on our road opened up and we felt like we were in the right place to scale up!
This started with a University project that we worked on together that was inspired by Bournemouth. The seaside theme led us to make a lot of semi-nude and nude figures. The response we had to the nude figures was crazy, our nude incense holders are what helped our business take off, so we just ran with it. These days our approach to nudity and body image is far more relaxed than it’s ever been, possibly owing in part to the fact that we’re drawing nudes every day and it’s become so mundane now. We don’t see what the big deal is, we’re just animals, it’s just bodies. We are definitely celebrating nudity, but more than anything we want to de-objectify I think.
There are so many wonderful emotional benefits of having a best friend and sister as a business partner. Those aside, the biggest one for us is we’re so similar in our approach to work that we can replicate each other’s painting style. So, if Dom goes away and I need to paint one of ‘her’ designs, I can do that with differences that are probably only detectable to us!
No one has asked us this before! Yes, we definitely have creative disputes at work. They don’t last particularly long, I think years of ironing out minor issues as siblings do has trained us for this. We can usually let go of any disagreements, owing to the fact that a lot of the time we have our own pieces that we have creative control over. Disagreements over commissioned design work that we do together can get more heated! It’s just time that can help you see the other persons perspective really…
This is something we have been asked for sure! We don’t believe in telepathy or any deep spiritual connection existing between us – we’re quite cynical people. However, our genetics are the same, and our upbringing and lives so far have been very similar. So, we’ve ended up with very similarly wired brains, we have the same thought processes and approaches to so many things. We say the same thing at the same time and make the same choices all, the, time!
I think opening our new studio was the proudest moment. Our dream was to have the set up that we have now pretty much, so we are really proud of what we’ve built here.
Dom has taken the Maree dress to the Greek island Sifnos, she’s worn it with this cute straw bucket hat to eat at sunny beach side tavernas! I have plans to wear the beautiful red Meryl dress to a wedding later this summer. I don’t think it needs much styling as it speaks for itself, just a simple pair of hoops and probably some flat sandals will do!
Be better businesswomen, now! We very much made up everything as we went and it was an extremely slow build to get to where we are now. We got fined for not declaring our tiny ‘income’ for 2 years, we sold our work for peanuts, we took commissions that were really underpaid, we didn’t look for any external funding to help us grow. There is plenty of stuff we 100% had to learn on the job, but I’d say we could have done our research a bit more when we started out.