by Jill and Jan Dudensing
The cool thing about Jill and Jan Dudensing is that they have managed to live their childhood dream. Creators of Valentine Gallery clothing, Jill and Jan are best friends, identical twin sisters and business partners. “I do the designing, and she does the business aspect of it,” Jill said.
Jill has always loved fashion and design. “It’s just something that I was born with, and it really felt like that was what I was supposed to do,” Jill said simply. “My mother sewed and we had a sewing room, and as children, we would put together whatever she had us put together.”
Today, inspiration for Valentine Gallery comes from traveling the world, books and various other art interactions. “We’ll have an idea from traveling or artworks, and inspiration could come from one of anything or any country. I’m into Italian furniture right now, and so I’ll gravitate toward Italian-style elements or colors,” Jill said.
Their simple, sophisticated clothing with a retro edge has been accepted into the respected Coterie in New York City. But Jan and Jill do not take their success for granted. “People constantly say ‘How fun! Fashion design!’ It’s a really, really complicated, full-on business. It takes a lot of brain power, will power, passion and energy. I think it says a lot that we’re still here a decade later,” Jill said proudly. But through all the hardships, Jill still wouldn’t have things any other way. “If someone were to try to take away fashion or the Valentine Gallery away from me, it’d be like taking away an arm.”