Seeing Double

PROVO, Utah – Sep 08, 2017 – When Aubri Robinson and Amber Corkin were students at BYU Marriott, fellow Tanner Building regulars probably thought they were seeing double. Identical twins, Robinson and Corkin both chose a management major—and that wasn’t a big surprise; the two had always shared similar interests, from swimming to crafting to business.

Though the two were in separate junior cores—Robinson’s emphasis was strategy and Corkin’s was marketing—they had classes from the same professors and often studied together. Along with having a built-in best friend, one of their favorite twin perks was sharing a room and wardrobe, which they did just about from birth until Robinson married in 2011. “We wanted to be together as much as possible,” Corkin says. “You want to room with your best friend, so it seemed like an obvious choice for us.”

Life after graduation has taken them 1,700 miles apart. But drawing on their business savvy, the sisters have found a way to stay close by running a do-it-yourself (DIY) crafting website, The DIY Lighthouse.

The business was originally Corkin’s idea. She graduated in 2013; moved to Seattle when her husband, Jake, got a job offer at Amazon; and started working as a buyer for Zulily. Soon Corkin was expecting her first child. Looking to work from home, she reached out to her sister and suggested they collaborate. Robinson, who also graduated in 2013, was living in Rochester, Minnesota, while her husband, Nathaniel, attended medical school. A certified personal trainer, Robinson had recently welcomed a daughter.

“We wanted to be able to work from home but still utilize our business background, and we decided to use our hobbies and our passion for being crafty to inspire women to create,” Corkin says. Robinson learned to use WordPress and did the initial website development, and Corkin eventually quit her job to focus on content and branding. The nautical-themed blog set sail in mid-2015. The project became a creative outlet as the sisters monetized an interest in DIY crafts while also focusing on their role as mothers.

“Creativity was essential for making our lives more fulfilling and rich,” Robinson says. Their target audience is fellow mothers—more specifically, moms who may not feel like particularly gifted crafters. “We provide inspiration and tips and a starting point from which their creativity can grow,” Robinson adds.

The DIY Lighthouse is filled with tutorials for projects that cover themes from baby showers to budget-friendly décor to holiday recipes. Their primary source for DIY inspiration? “Our brains, I guess,” laughs Corkin. “We usually blog about things that we are already doing in our lives.” They’ve recently branched into family topics such as marriage tips and bullying.

Building a blog from the ground up has not been without its growing pains; Corkin and Robinson faced a steep learning curve as they taught themselves everything from coding to attracting social media followers. “It is definitely a long-term game, and we realize that it is slow growth. But we are in it for the long haul—it is so fun and exciting to us,” Corkin says. “There’s a lot going on behind the polished page.”

To stay focused, the sisters set ninety-day goals to improve engagement and other metrics. The blog recently added a shop where fellow crafters can sell their handicrafts. “We wanted to empower other women and give them an opportunity to share their creations,” Robinson says. “Right now we have a lot of page views on our blog, and we are trying to get that same visibility on our shop.”

The two measure the blog’s success by tracking traffic flow and more, Corkin says, “but we try to keep in mind why we started, which is helping other people with their creativity.” Plus, she adds, “It’s been a really good way for us to stay connected with each other.”

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Aubri Robinson (left) and Amber Corkin

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Sara Atwood