You might be new to us or maybe you’ve been journeying along with us for several years. Either way, here’s what you might not know: We met 13 years ago today (January 11th) on a tiny island off the coast of Massachusetts called Martha’s Vineyard. You might be thinking, 13 years?!? You were only 10 when you met? Thank you. You’re very kind. That’s right. ;)
We were in college and we both decided to spend a semester of our junior years studying music at The Contemporary Music Center. Green as can be, we each stepped off the boat (you have to take a ferry to get there) and showed up in our new digs, a rustic cabin, where we were randomly placed together as roommates. Jill, a shy basketball player from a small New Hampshire town, and Kate, an outgoing California girl who loved makeup, matching outfits and had grown up all over the world. We were as different as could be, but something clicked.
The first time we sang together was for a class assignment for which we had to co-write a song. When we started singing, we felt like Joey from F-R-I-E-N-D-S when he finds his identical hand twin. We had a musical chemistry that just worked and we formed a duo pretty much right away.
Thinking back on that time, it feels like a million years ago and sometimes we wonder what the heck we were thinking, going out into the world trying to make it in the music industry. But you never know the dreams you will find in your heart and how God will direct you towards them. We spent 4 months writing, harmonizing, recording, and planning our big jump into the world of music. Then off we went to chase the dream.
We’ve learned a heck of a lot in those 13 years and we are learning more today than ever. One of the greatest pieces of advice we ever received when we started out was to “Be teachable.” Always be willing to learn new things and never think you’re too good, too smart, too famous, too experienced, too rich, too old to learn from anyone, anything or any situation. So we wanted to share with you 3 things we’ve learned along the way. Here we go:
Be thankful for small beginnings.
After we recorded our first album (which we did mostly ourselves to save money) we decided to move to LA to try to get our foot into the pop world. We had no idea what that meant, but it sounded good to us at the time. We drove from New Hampshire to LA with two of our other best friends. On the way out, we stopped by Jill’s great aunt and uncle’s house to say goodbye. They gave us an envelope with $100 and sent us on our way (thanks Callie + Bill.) It felt like 1 million dollars to us. We got to LA and shared an apartment with another friend we knew there. We shared a room and a bathroom, living in very close quarters. We worked tons of weird, boring, odd jobs to pay the bills and we learned how to live off of very little (and a couple credit cards...thanks Amex...#sorryDaveRamsey.)
The first shows we played when we started out were coffeehouse open mics or hole-in-the-wall bars where no one listened and we were paid in beer, which we hate. (Give us some wine and now we’re talking.) But we were getting experience by playing in public. Testing out our songs, working on our show.
There were times down the road where we had much more. We eventually got bigger apartments where we didn’t have to share a room or a bathroom. We booked shows that actually paid us in money, not beer. We got to have jobs that were the opposite of boring and mundane. Dream jobs. We had more than we needed. (We paid it off, Dave Ramsey!)
We have also had times where things have been slow again, where we’ve had to go back to saving money and living off of very little. But guess what? We knew how to do that because that’s how we started out. We didn’t even mind it because we learned how to appreciate both extremes. Thankfulness is everything. Learn how to find it in whatever you are experiencing because it will change you. Small beginnings are the best beginnings.
Tomorrow we'll tell you a second thing we've learned in this 13 year journey...it's something that has drastically changed the way we navigate opportunities. Tune in tomorrow.
Jill and Kate
PS. If you need us for the rest of the day we'll just be partying -jumping up and down cause t's our Friend-A-Versary! A-wooo-hooo!
PPS: In honor of 13 years, we are offering 10 EXCLUSIVE packages, for a limited time only. This package is our ENTIRE catalog of physical albums (all autographed) including Finding My Own Way which will only be available digitally from this point forward. The package also includes a t-shirt, a journal and pen set, and a handwritten note from us. Get yours here!