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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen: It Never “Felt Like We Were Actresses,” Thought of Themselves as Businesswomen

Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen
Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen are now major fashion designers, and claim in a new interview that they never considered themselves to be "actresses," but rather "businesswomen."

After their joint role as Michelle Tanner on Full House started when they were nine months old, famed twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen began building their brand, and they haven’t stopped yet. In a new interview with Women’s Wear Daily, the former TV and film stars opened up about their long-lasting careers, which now lie primarily in the fashion industry. 

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The sisters, now 27, run Dualstar Entertainment Group — a manufacturing company that’s set to include fragrances next year — in addition to several clothing brands like The Row and Elizabeth and James. 

“We were always hard workers as kids,” Mary-Kate tells WWD. “It’s just the way we are, the way we were raised. Our work ethic was everything, and that never left us. We like to work hard, and we like to try to do everything 100 percent. In fact, it’s actually almost impossible for us not to. Sometimes you succeed and sometimes not so much, but it’s learning.”

Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in 1993’s Double, Double, Toil and Trouble.

And though they were busy acting from an early age, the Olsens never thought of themselves as actresses in the traditional sense. 

“With what we were doing in business when we were younger, I don’t think it ever felt like we were actresses — because we spent so much more of our time not in front of the cameras, building a brand,” Mary-Kate continued. 

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“I always looked at myself, even as a kid, as a businesswoman,” Ashley added.

Now the former on-screen stars are off-screen multi-millionaires with major fashion creed. They are currently building a Los Angeles store for The Row.

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“We feel so fortunate to have each other, to have a dialogue,” Ashley said. “Communication is key; it’s the most important thing in life. And Mary-Kate and I get to communicate all day long, on all sorts of subjects. It gets us to a more educated, thoughtful place, because we often come to things from different directions — although we want to get to the same space and have the same goal and vision. But that conversation is what gets us there.”

The last film the sisters performed in together was 2004’s New York Minute, and in 2011, Mary-Kate played a witch in the movie Beastly with Vanessa Hudgens and had the recurring role of Tara Lindman on Weeds

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