Watch a video of the country band Pistol Annies performing wearing ani&ari creations at www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FKaFYDQfec. Visit the company’s website at http://aniari.wordpress.com.
Steamboat Springs On Friday afternoon, the Tredway sisters — Ariel, 21, and Danielle, 25 — were confined to their Nashville, Tenn., apartment, taking cover from a massive outbreak of tornadoes and severe weather sweeping across the Midwest.
It was a far cry from the snowy skies of Steamboat, where the girls spent the first 18 years of their lives.
But while Ariel wished she was skiing powder on Mount Werner on Friday instead of hiding from a deadly storm, Nashville mostly has been a surreal dream for the Yampa Valley natives.
In January, the pair officially launched ani&ari, a fashion line for their custom, handmade corsets. Their wearable art has been thrust into the national spotlight, featured on the stage of the American Country Awards and in the pages of national magazines.
“It’s crazy,” Ariel said. “I never thought I’d see my picture on the same page as Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert.”
But there it is, on page 21 of the March 5 edition of Country Weekly: The two blonde-haired and smiling sisters modeling their own work right under a photo of country star Miranda Lambert, for whom they designed a couple of leather bustiers. The two-page spread features an interview with the girls about the process of designing and making the custom corsets.
“It’s not like we send our stuff off to a factory and have it made,” Ariel said. “To see something we’ve slaved over and loved so much onstage, on TV or in a magazine … it’s surreal.”
Four years apart, the sisters said they weren’t close growing up together in Steamboat. But they ended up sharing an apartment while they both attended colleges in Chicago.
Danielle took a corset-making class while at art school and found that the process appealed to her sculptural tendencies.
“I just fell in love with it,” she said. “It satisfies all of my needs. It’s like sculpting, to a particular woman’s body.”
The two sometimes will work for days on end in their studio, barely taking breaks to eat. Each piece takes between 12 and 15 hours to make, including taking elaborate measurements of their clients — a process they sometimes do via Skype.
Their corsets made their Steamboat debut while the girls were home for the holidays in December, gracing the runway at the Stars at Night fundraiser and appearing at a special trunk show.
“It’s really easy for us to work together,” Ariel said. “Now that we are best friends, we understand each other a lot. We’re lucky we get along so well, because we spend every waking minute of our lives together.”
But the girls don’t seem as stunned by the sudden success as they were by the tornado sirens.
“We have so much work to do still,” said Ariel.
“We’re always thinking about what’s coming next,” added Danielle.