We often think the same thing
Working together as sisters? Valérie and Caroline from the Marin et Marine label – mostly – think it’s great
The sisters sit at large tables in the studio in Berlin's Kreuzberg district and work together to finish some of the duffel bags and bags that have just arrived: sew on an appliqué here, add eyelets into the fabric there. “We enjoy working on details like this before we send our pieces,” says product designer Valérie Hebel from the Marin et Marine label. “We like the workshop character of our bags.” Caroline Hebel nods. The two are twin sisters. When one person thinks something out loud, the other immediately understands what it's about. “We are different in nature,” explains Caroline, who studied graphic design. “And yet we tick the same way.” Then they start laughing.
SUMMER HOLIDAYS IN BRITTANY
Valérie and Caroline (34) are German-French, grew up in Wiesbaden. But the girls often spent their summer holidays with their grandparents in Brittany. It was an intense time, they say, life by the sea had an impact on both of them. And an old duffel bag belonging to his French grandfather, who had seen a lot of the world as a captain, ultimately brought Valérie and Caroline together professionally. Because it became the inspiration for the first product developed together: a Sac Marin made of cotton, durable and fairly produced. “It was clear to me as a child that we would do something together,” says Valérie and looks at Caroline. “Even though we never talked about it.” After studying in different cities, both of them have been living in Berlin for a few years now. And something else was clear. Caroline says: “We don’t want to produce at the expense of the environment or other people.” That’s why the cotton and vegetable-tanned leather are only processed in this country.
THE DREAMER AND THE STRUCTURED ONE
How can it be: to be different and yet have the same rhythm? Valérie tries to explain the twin sister feeling: “Of course we lead two different lives, have partners, and don't always experience the same thing. I'm also more of a dreamer, the creative chaotic one, and Carolin is the structured one who comes up with our ideas
directed in an orderly manner. But we still understand each other blindly, have the same tastes and the same values.” The creative sisters are currently working on a roll-on backpack that can also fit a laptop. Like all of the label's products, it will be sold in its own online shop and in special stores in Germany and worldwide. And although the two of them could make a living from their label, they still work on other projects as a couple and individually.
TWO BUSINESS PARTNERS
At the beginning there were often clashes between the two of them because of the label, they admit that. “You can shout at your sister if necessary, but not at your business partner,” says Caroline. “And we noticed that we get bogged down when we constantly discuss private matters in the studio,” adds Valérie. They prefer to meet at the weekend or travel together. Because they come up with new ideas along the way. But that's not the only reason: "It may sound strange," says Valérie, "but after a week in the studio I just miss my sister."