Ally, 25, and her mother Beth, 56, live in New York City and Branchburg, NJ, respectively. Together they run the popular instagram account @Sharing_Genes a fashion page celebrating their shared love of style. Ally also works full time as a sales and merchandising co-ordinator for KaufmanFranco and Beth helps a friend with a new business. They also ‘side-hustle’ as virtual stylists.
Ruthie: How do you think you two are similar?
Beth: We have a lot of what we call “nonsense.” No matter what the situation is we always end up laughing about it. It all becomes nonsense.
Ally: Yeah my Dad get really mad when we start the nonsense.
Beth: We both love fashion and clothing and helping people with it.
Ally: We our style clients, but we also style each other. We hope by helping people with their wardrobe that we give them that personal confidence. The clients we work for leave happy and we love being able to give that to people. We recently styled a trans man who was looking to find his new identity and we created some looks for him and he ended up being very happy with what we came up with. That was a great boost.
Beth: I think lots of people think that it needs to be Gucci from head to toe for it to be interesting, and we love beautiful things too, but we also love Forever 21. You can go in there and find something to make the whole outfit pop and that’s what we love - the high/low combination. We shop everywhere from thrift stores, hand-me-downs to boy’s departments.
Ruthie: Have you always shared a love of style?
Ally: Yes. When I was in third grade my mom got me a pair of orange cargo pants from the boys department-
Beth: Because I loved them and I knew she could rock them
Ally: So I went to school wearing the pants and this boy in my class, Ricky Schwartz, was wearing them too. But everyone told Ricky that he was wearing girl’s pants , not that I was wearing boys pants.
Ruthie: So you ruined Ricky’s life?
Ally: Well yes basically, but actually when I bought these yellow pants I called my mom and said “Hey I bought the Ricky pants in yellow” it all comes full circle, poor guy.
Ruthie: What do you feel are your differences?
Ally: I am definitely more crazy with deadlines. I’ll call her 70 times a day with questions, I can’t stop!
Beth: Erm 75 times a day! It’s all day long, I call her my little hemorrhoid! I’m kidding but, while I think we are both ambitious, Ally is so much more confident than I was at her age. I was one of six children and my family was all “go to school and pick a sensible subject” maybe I would have gone to design school, but the arts weren’t encouraged. It was a different time.
Ruthie: Do you feel like you learn from your children?
Beth: Oh god yes,
Ally: They (my parents) are open to learning - thats the key. They are very young in spirit.
Beth: That’s true, my husband and I always go to Ally’s parties, though we usually leave early.
Ally: And my friends text my mom all the time!
Ruthie: Have you navigated any difficult times together?
Beth: When Ally was in high school she was an athlete, it was a fine line for me to know how much to push her with that, that was challenging.
Ally: We also have a family motto and it’s -
Both: DON’T SUCK!
Beth: If they had a test I’d always say “Don’t suck,” I mean, you don’t have to be the best, but please don’t suck .
Ruthie: Ally, did you feel pressure because of that?
Ally: Yeah, I guess I did.
Beth: I’m sure, I think my husband and I need a little therapy over that ourselves!
Ally: It’s a competitive household, but that’s why I’m so driven. We didn’t have the kind of family that was all crunchy and sits on the couch together.
Beth: Everyone is a Type A person.
Ruthie: Beth, what do you admire about your daughter?
Beth: Her courage, her ambition, her confidence, but I do worry that she works too hard. She doesn’t let time pass her by.
Ruthie: Ally, what do you admire about your mom?
Ally: Her kindness with everyone. From her kids to her husband, even the cashier at the grocery store, she’s always kind to everyone she meets.
Beth: From the guy who pumps the gas to the CEO, everyone has a story, everyone is going through something, the way you treat people that says a lot about you.
Ruthie: Ally, what do you wish your mother would see about herself?
Ally: I wish that my mum would realize how talented she is and that she should be known for her styling. You are too talented to be working for someone else mom.
Beth: Thank you. I always think its so important to have the right credentials, I didn’t go to FIT or NYU, I’m afraid that someone is going to think I’m a fraud. That’s why I’m grateful that Ally is dragging me along for the ride with our shared instagram account. People comment “You’d better not miss the fact that this is the greatest thing - you’re spending time with your daughter and she actually wants to spend time with you.”
Ruthie: Ally, you work with your mum and this is fairly unusual, how is that for you?
Ally: I couldn’t think of anybody I’d rather work with.
Beth: It’s completely natural, we just love it.
Ally: It’s both of our passions, we love to shop together.
Beth: She can’t shop without me. When we shop we won’t stop for lunch, we shop all day, we cross state lines…
Ally: We go to outlets…
Beth: To malls…..
Ally: It’s a sport for us really.
Beth: It’s our best time together.
Ally: Our clothes do fluctuate between closets. I can shop at Anne Taylor and make it cool, and mom can grab at shirt from Forever 21 but wear it with a tailored blazer. We can mix and match.
Beth: It’s all about keeping it age appropriate but still stylish.
Ruthie: What’s the hardest thing about being a mom?
Beth: Seeing your children unhappy. You can fix it for a while but longterm, they need to fix that within themselves.
Ruthie: And what’s the best thing?
Beth: Being proud of my kids, whether they make good decisions or bad decisions they always grow. That makes me proud.
Ally: I feel so lucky, I know people don’t have a great relationship with their mom or any relationship at all, but the fact that my mom and I can work together and spend time together is a real gift to me.
Ruthie: Do you think you two might be a little co-dependent?
Ally: Ha! Yes, definitely, but only with clothing.
Beth: All other choices she makes alone.
Ally: But I’m lost without my mum when it comes to clothes. Let’s be real, I’d be lost without her, period.