Twin sisters and freshmen Julia Thomson and Rachel Thomson launch their own business

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Laura Thomson

Stirring resin, freshman Julia Thomson comes up with a new product idea. Thomson gets a lot of inspiration for Sunny Simone Co merchandise from social media. “I’ll go on TikTok or Instagram, and I will see someone have this really cool idea. It’ll spark something in my mind like, ‘oh, I like that color or lip gloss and that would be really cool if we did this,’” Thomson said.

After freshmen and twin sisters Rachel Thomson and Julia Thomson’s cat, Simon, passed away, they sought a way to memorialize him. With the intent of creating their own small business and addition of a feminine twist, the name Sunny Simone Co was born.

“A couple of days before we had to let him go, we gave him all of his favorite foods and made sure he was comfortable,” Julia said. “We gave him vanilla ice cream and some chicken he would always eat. We just made sure his last days were the best.”

In memory of their cat, they launched Sunny Simone Co on Etsy over the summer. In the first two months of their business opening, the Thomson sisters made a profit of about $300 to $400, and they hope to keep their business growing.

Their homemade lavender and vanilla soap. (Julia Thomson)

“I’m hoping our business gets large enough to the point where our name is kind of common. When we’re one of the first shops people have in mind when looking for different items,” Rachel said. 

Family members invested in their business and helped them make financial decisions. In order to pay for the supplies to make their products, the sisters also had to withdraw money from their savings accounts. 

“Getting the amount of support that we did just made me feel really lucky. Just being able to have family members that would support us as much as they did really helped us,” Rachel said.

Julia and Rachel post photos and videos of their products on Tiktok, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to entice customers to make purchases. Their products consist of lip gloss, lip balm, soap and earrings.

These earrings made by the sisters are inspired by the 80’s. (Julia Thomson)

“In the end, it’s just about sharing my creativity and creations with others. I like making people happy with the different things I do,” Julia said. 

The twins have to juggle their school work with their business demands. Even with school as a priority, working on the business has become a passion, and it’s something they want to continue.

“Sometimes, I’m really tired from school, and I don’t feel up to working on Sunny Simone Co, so I take breaks every once in a while,” Julia said. “But the love I have for making the products and experimenting with different variations of them motivates me to keep going.”

Rachel and Julia are accountable for making sure they have enough money to reinvest into their business and getting orders out on time.

Freshmen and twins Julia (left) and Rachel (right) Thomson. (Laura Thomson)

“The business has taught me a lot more about responsibility, which has helped me become more responsible at school and at home,” Rachel said. “I use it a lot during school. It taught me how to manage all my school work and make sure to turn in my work on time.”

The sisters’ goal is to get a booth at a farmer’s market to sell their products in-person, but because of COVID-19, they have fewer opportunities to do so. Instead, they are focusing on social media growth as part of their long-term strategy.

“We’re hoping to increase our sales and get bigger on social media. Depending on how big our business gets, we hope to keep it open for years to come,” Julia said. “At times, working on the business can be very stressful and tiring, but I’m always able to get past the challenges and move forward to grow the business.”