My Sister My Sidekick: Alison and Andrea

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We’ve got another my sister my sidekick post for you today and I’m so excited about this one! Happy to introduce you today to Alison and Andrea. They’re ambitious business owners that have always been best friends. Even though they don’t live close anymore, they still talk on the phone multiple times a day. Do you have a sister like that?. They are easily the life of the party and you can see more of their relationship here, in their sister minute series video series (which I’m obsessed with and keep bugging them for more episodes). But first, some introductions…
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Alison lives in Utah and hosts her very own show, The Alison Show!, where she does things like dance, lay on tables, decorate sugar cookies and help you feel amazing (usually all at the same time). She is married to music producer Eric Robertson and they have two children, Gigi (4) and Rad (almost 2). She loves Diet Coke like it’s going out of style and can host a mean party.
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Andrea lives in San Diego with her husband Brian and their two babies, Jo (4 years old) and Walker (1.5 years old).   She is also the owner of Tubby Todd Bath Co. They make all natural bath products for little ones (which I’ve used and LOVE). Last year she also published a book! She likes to cook, hike with her family, and talk on the phone (mainly to Alison.)
Keep reading to hear all about their special bond…
Photos by Emily Taplin, produced by Ashley Aikele.

Alison, what kinds of things did you like to do together growing up? Did you always play together?
Hahaha I think mostly it was me bossing her around? Andrea was such a sweet easy-going little girl, and I was like overly aware and sensitive. But we’ve always been best friends.

Andrea, what kinds of things do you like to do together now?

Our family is unique in that we really enjoy talking about each other’s professions. My parents have always run a business together, and when we get together we spend a lot of time brainstorming business ideas,  discussing branding and talking about upcoming events. This could have something to do with the fact that none of us were ever that good at sports. So, we kill it at Monopoly and like to start businesses. Also, we have always talked a lot about our hair. Like, we spend an embarrassing amount of time discussing our hair. For reals. What color we should die it, should we cut it, telling the other one their hair looks good. When we get together now we usually try and hide from our kids and watch a few episodes of our current favorite show on Netflix. As we keep having more children, it’s getting harder to hide. When we aren’t together, we call one another at night and talk about all of the cute things our kids said that day. You know, just typical crazy mom things.


What is one way you are completely different than your sister and one way you are the same?

Alison: Huh! Well we are super different when you get to know us, but when you meet us socially we are pretty much the same. Though Andrea is actually more of a true extrovert. In that she can chat and be with people way more than I can. I actually like a lot of alone time and Andrea is better about having people around her. She’s SO SO good at remembering connections. Andrea will remember what your dad does for a living, what high school your brother went to and if she meets a cousin of yours she will be able to realize you must be related and make the connection. She’s amazing like that. She’s such a good conversationalist and can get you telling her things you can’t even believe you’re saying. She’d be a really good tabloid journalist! Haha. But it’s because she takes such a genuine interest in everyone she meets.
Andrea: It has taken me years to come to grips with the fact that I really don’t like crafting. But I don’t! It stresses me out and I am happier when I support other people who craft opposed to attempting to create myself. So I’d say Alison and I are pretty different that way. One way we  are the same is our voice. Sometimes when I hear Alison talking I think it’s me! Not just the way she sounds but what she says too. Do you think she’s been copying me this whole time? 
Alison, what is one of your favorite childhood memories together?
I think I might be braindead I can’t remember much from childhood. Haha! But I do remember us in high school, driving together in our Volvo. We’d dance in the car and share hairspray in the parking lot. We have some really good car dance moves. We’d blast Ricky Martin and make fools of ourselves. Though I think we thought we were preeeetty cool.
Andrea, what did you fight about growing up? Did you ever have a period where you didn’t get along?
Growing up we fought about clothes, and sometimes we still fight, but not about clothes, but just because I am more needy then Alison is. Like in junior high we had our own rooms but I still wanted to sleep in her bed at night. She acted like she didn’t want me to, but I know she secretly did. So at night, I would go sneak in her room and get in her bed after she was asleep. 
There has never been a time when Ali and I haven’t fought here and there, but there has also never been a time when we haven’t been close. Like we still talk one-two times a day on the phone and always text. She has been the constant in my life through every single era. I think if we stopped fighting I would be sad that we had distanced ourselves from one another. So, let’s fight forever- okay sis?

Alison, a lot of sisters struggle with jealousy growing up, is this something that the two of you dealt with?

I’m always jealous of Andrea. I still am. Hahaha. It’s hard because we are so close in age and so people compare us even if we don’t want them to. She’s always been better at being more moderate, more easy going, she was better at flirting with boys, she was better at not freaking out (I freak out a lot.) Andrea is just way cooler at heart than I am.

It was hard because I was heavy when I was little, and Andrea has a smaller frame. Still does. She’s so beautiful and no one wants to be the ugly sister! Haha, but as we get older and have our own lives, and our own families, it’s a lot easier to focus on the friendship and not worry about the petty comparisons. We are each beautiful in our own way. Even though she loses her baby weight way way way better than me…and have you seen her mermaid hair? HAHAH see what I mean? I don’t think it ever ends.

Andrea, describe Alison in three words:

Strong, beautiful, kind

Alison, describe Andrea in three words:

Selfless, industrious, hysterical (in the sense that she’s funny)
Alison, what’s a quality or skill you admire in Andrea?
Andrea is so good at feeling what other people are feeling. When you have a trial, she adopts that trial as her own. I get mad at her for doing it with other people, because that’s a lot to take on and I want her to think about herself more! But it’s pretty great to be on the receiving end of someone who cares about you that much. She puts others first and I admire her ability to always think about other people.
Andrea, what’s a quality or skill you admire in Alison?
Alison has all of the toughness of a baller business woman but all of the softness of a kind nurturer. As a female, I think it is an almost impossible balance to strike. It’s a goal of mine to be tough enough to roll with the punches in the business world and then to come home and be gentle enough to take care of my little ones.
What is your favorite piece of clothing that your sister owns that you might steal if you get the chance?
Alison: Andrea has a leather jacket I’d steal, but mostly if I want something she has I just go get it for myself, or we try to get our mom to buy it for us! Because I’m 31 and I still let my mom buy me clothes if she will! Haha. I remember coming home from college (we were only one grade apart in school so we had never been away from each other) and I was so impressed with how cute Andrea’s style was. I still feel that way when I see her. Like, “WAIT what are you wearing? Why didn’t I think of that!? Give it to me.”
Andrea: Alison has a talent for finding the coziest pajamas. She always has a new pair of sweatpants, slippers or cozy socks that I take home with me. She’s nice because she always pretends she doesn’t notice. 
Andrea, what’s something you’ve learned from Alison?
That it is always better to be honest and upfront about how you feel. She doesn’t believe in being passive aggressive.

Alison, what’s something you’ve learned from Andrea?

I don’t feel like I could boil it down to one thing! But if I had to I think it would be Andrea has taught me how to be a friend.
Because really, I learn everything from Andrea. We talk to each other like 3 times a day. I run almost everything by her. She’s my sounding board, my other half. We learned how to be moms and wives together. I honestly am not a complete person without her. And our husband’s know that. Haha. It’s not some dysfunctional relationship, our families come first, but Andrea and I have existed before everything and anything else.
There’s a movie I love (it’s also a book) called, “In Her Shoes” and the older sister says, “I don’t make sense without my sister.” It’s how I feel about Andrea. 
She’s literally calling me right now while I type this. If I don’t answer she will call back in 10 minutes. We fight, we laugh, we cry. Our relationship lasts through everything and she is and was my first and forever friend. She reminds me of who I am, who I want to be, and what it is to be a great woman. She is the ultimate example.

 You two seem so supportive of each other’s work, have you always been supportive of each other, or have you had moments of competitiveness?

Alison: I don’t really feel competitive with Andrea with work. We just do things super differently. She has so many strengths and talents that I can’t even pretend to have, so I don’t. I want her to be successful as badly as I want success for myself. 
And I don’t ever remember feeling too competitive in general, we both are pretty crappy at sports, we’re both only mildly coordinated. We liked different boys. Well we liked the same boy ONCE and he didn’t like either of us. He was an idiot obviously. Like I said before, I have been and I’m sure will always be somewhat jealous about certain things. But in work I don’t feel competitive. It’s The Alison Show, and I’m my own worst enemy. Hahaha. I’m so competitive with myself and hard on myself. And that pretty much sums it up. I think about myself way more than she does. I get tunnel vision, which is why I envy her ability to balance things better than me. Again, she’s a much more balanced person in general. I think things only feel competitive when other people get involved and try to make comparisons. When it’s just the two of us we do ok.
Andrea: The other day someone at church found out I was related to Alison. They said, “You are SO LUCKY to be related to her! What’s it like to be around her? Is it just amazing to have conversations with her?!” I get this almost every single day. And I totally agree. When you are ‘”The Alison Show’s” little sister it is hard to not feel like you are in her shadow. And it has always been that way, she has always been a total party. But, what’s amazing about the whole thing is that Alison makes me feel like I am the one she is trying to keep up with. She started her blog at a time in her life when she felt lost and wanted to share love with others. Almost ten years later that is the way she still lives her professional and personal life, looking to build others up. She is always looking for ways to help support and encourage me so it creates this feeling of a partnership opposed to a competition. It’s the best.
Alison and Andrea were easily the first and biggest fans of Jason Mraz before he really made it big. Don’t believe me? See it here (pay close attention to 1:14-1:20). Also, Andrea told me that they were sure they had dressed differently that day but if you look at the clip they are in fact wearing the exact same thing and look like twins! I love it!


Andrea, this is so sweet! I have three sisters and I wish I had a relationship like this with even just one of them.

OK the thing I’m most jealous about? Their relationship. Lucky ducks. And that clip was amazing.

Such a sweet interview! Also, the clip at the end? I died. So funny!

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