Friends of STELLAR On Why The Bond With Their Sister Is Like No Other

Denise Curtin caught up with some lovely Irish siblings to discuss all things sisterhood!

Izzy and Ailbhe Keane (Izzy Wheels)


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“We’ve always been very close. Izzy is the person I usually go to for that (sometimes brutally) honest advice that only a sister can give you. We shared a bedroom when we were little until I was about eight years old and I just remember us staying up late telling stories and laughing our heads off. We are the two youngest in our family of six, so we were always getting up to devilment. Izzy was born with a condition called spina bifida and is paralyzed from her waist down. She always had lots of cool gadgets to help her get around when she was little (which I was super jealous of) and she would always let me decorate them for special occasions – which I really enjoyed. Going forward, me and Izzy have shared aspirations for the future of Izzy Wheels. We want to build an inclusive fashion brand for people with disabilities.

I studied visual communications at NCAD, so I’d love to continue on the art and design path. I’m also really interested in clothes and how they make you feel, so I recently set up a Depop (@ailbhekeane) over lockdown as a little hobby. It’s brought me a lot of joy, so I could definitely see myself getting more into that side of things too. Izzy is in her final year in NUIG studying politics and French, she really wants to live in France and experience life over there at some stage. If I had to describe my sister in one word, it would be cheerful.

Erika and Kaelin Fox (Retro Flame)

“Erika and I have always been quite close, but working and living away from home together for the last four years has definitely strengthened our bond. Although there’s four years between us, we have a lot in common and have a good friendship,” explains Kaelin. “Growing up it was very fun. We had a typical sister relationship, best friends one minute and fighting over clothes the next.

There was only the two of us so we did a lot together growing up.” Both living in New York and working together for Erika’s brand Retro Flame, Erika adds that the pair spend “90 percent” of their time together. “We share some similar dreams and we hope to always live close by to each other. Our boyfriends are great friends too which is amazing,” she adds. Describing each other in one word, Erika praises Kaelin as “creative”, while Kaelin adds that Erika is “hard-working”.

Denise Curtin (Digital Editor) and her sister, Katie 


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While interviewing this fabulous bunch about their equally fabulous sisters, I suppose it’s only right that I also interview and speak about my own. My incredible little sister Katie Curtin (who is not so little anymore at 5ft 9!) My bond with Katie is truly like no other. We’re so similar, right down to our niche sense of humour and ability to quote random movie lines on demand. I’m very blessed that Katie and I have always got on so well. Even though there’s four years between us, growing up we’ve always felt pretty similar in age (and I’m not saying that just to make myself feel younger – promise!) “I think we have such a similar sense of humour and love of adventure,” explains Katie. “Denise brought me to New York in 2018 and we still discuss that holiday at least once a month, we hope to get back there soon.” I think as Katie and I have got older, we’ve started to really see how similar we are – even the way we fight. Anytime we ever have an argument, we both want to resolve it as soon as possible or as Katie says, “we end up laughing at the awkwardness of the fighting tension and just come to a compromise.” Like many siblings, our fights are always trivial and usually over clothing, tardiness or not agreeing on something to watch. Thankfully, they’re a rare occurrence.

“Looking forward, I think both Denise and I want success in whatever we do and just happiness really – which I guess is what everyone wants,” explains Katie. “Since we both ended up in the multimedia world, we definitely want to continue working in roles that allow us to be creative and have fun.” Katie is definitely the more creative sister, she’s incredible at drawing and creating prints, she would spend hours coming up with different concepts and ideas, before bringing them to life. It’s lovely to see someone passionate about what they do. I also adore my job – so I hope we both continue to do what we love going forward. If I was to describe Katie in one word I would say she’s “radiant”, being around her would make you happy. “If I had to pick a word to describe Denise it would be remarkable, I have always looked up to Denise growing up.”

Rachel and Roz Purcell


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“Roz is my best friend! I’d actually be lost without her. She’s always been there for me through everything. The three of us (Bec, our older sister, Roz, and I) get along so well, we’re so lucky to have each other. Growing up we were very close, there’s only three years between us, and our parents used to dress us in the same outfits – which, as we got older, we weren’t a fan of. Of course we’d also go through phases like most sisters of finding each really annoying but also being stuck to each other. We used to kill each other when we’d fight over such silly things like tan! Now, we rarely fight to be honest. We might get mad over something, but we’d be over it 10 minutes later and laughing about something else. When I got diagnosed with CML (chronic myeloid leukaemia), I think it helped us to put everything into perspective and appreciate each other even more than before. It had such a positive effect on my family, we’re all so much closer now.

“Roz and I are also obsessed with animals. I think if we weren’t doing what we’re doing now, we’d have opened an animal sanctuary. We both have two rescue dogs, Roz has Willay and Myla, while I have Toff and Nell. As for our goals and aspirations for the future, professionally, our goals would be different but personally, we both aspire to continue to live a happy life. Life is short and it’s so important to enjoy it! Being content and grateful for what you have is a wonderful thing. Lastly, if I had to describe my sister in one word – although it’s hard to pick one, one of her key traits is her generosity. People don’t realise just how generous she is and what she does for others.”

Patrick Kavanagh (Commercial & Brand Manager) and his sisters, Mary and Aobh


“Whether it’s career advice, relationship drama or just sending each other stupid memes, my sisters are always there for me. I think as we’ve grown up we’ve actually learned to appreciate each other more, especially now that we’re all living under different roofs. Growing up we always got along, but there were a lot more stupid fights and disagreements – even though they’d be forgotten pretty quickly. Aobh usually ended up being the peacekeeper, while Mary would try to wind me up – and most of the time succeeded! Now, we luckily we get on 99% of the time and even if we annoy each other, we’ll be laughing a few hours later. I think my sisters and I also share the same sense of humour. There’s random jokes or quotes that we’ll remember out of the blue from years ago that wouldn’t make sense to anyone else but crack us up. If I had to describe my sisters in one word it would definitely be supportive.”

Lisa and Vanessa Creavan (Spotlight Teeth Whitening)

“I am 6 years younger than Lisa so as younger children, that age gap meant we didn’t really play together but our family is very close with lots of cousins nearby so we were one big gang really. Lisa was definitely someone I looked up to as a child, I was always trying on her clothes, watching her get ready and most likely the reason I followed her into dentistry, explains Vanessa.

Speaking about their close bond now, working and living near each other, Lisa adds “we are unsurprisingly very close! Vanessa is godmother of my daughter and lives close by. We also have another brother and sister which we’re close to too –  it’s very much a family affair! I think we really inherently just get each other. The most important thing is that we have great fun, have the same sense of humour and we enjoy working together.” Explaining what it’s like to work so closely with her sister, Vanessa explained that she’s fortunate the pair rarely argue. “We both have different personalities and skill sets, so we tend to work on different aspects of the business. We are very open to discussions and we always hash out any problems. There are so few things that we have really disagreed on because we trust each other’s instinct on what the other is working on. We also have an amazing team which is crucial as the company is growing so fast. Continuing, Lisa adds “Vanessa and I are so aligned in what we want for Spotlight Oral Care. We are also very focused on family at the moment with Vanessa due her first baby early 2021 and I have 3 small children so that takes up a lot of headspace.”

“Describing each other in one word, Lisa explains that her sister is “authentic – she is extremely true to herself at all times. She is perhaps the most self-aware person I know and her ability to read a room and bring everyone together is second to none.” Finding it hard to capture her sister in one word, Vanessa gave a few words to summarise her sister, explaining that she is “dynamic, hardworking, very determined and hilarious.”

Megan Fox (Fashion Editor) and her sister, Rebecca 


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“We had so much fun growing up even though our different personalities definitely stood out more so back then,” explains Megan. “Rebecca was the wild child who was always at the centre of attention in the best possible way and I was very quiet, shy and didn’t mind letting her take the wheel. My mam once told me it took me so long to start speaking as a baby because Rebecca usually did all the talking for me. We definitely fought like sisters do, I remember turning her room upside down once or twice and vice versa, but it never lasted long.” Agreeing with Megan, Rebecca adds that having such different personalities is what actually brings them closer. “Myself are Megan are almost complete opposites and strangely that is where the strong bond lies. We’re very honest and tell each other how it is – while also understanding how the other one would think.” Speaking about their close bond, Megan adds that the pair rarely argue, and try to focus on maintaining a healthy and strong relationship. “I feel as though we have both realised that life is too short to hold onto grudges, especially with family. Losing our dad to suicide a few years ago definitely made us realise how important it is for us to stick together, look out for each other and fight for what’s right.”

Both working in the media world, the girls also share similar goals for the future, working hard and striving to be the best they can be. “I can see Rebecca going really far in this realm as she is currently studying media law alongside working as a full time producer. She is the real life Elle Woods,” explains Megan. Describing each other in one work, Rebecca calls Megan “magic”, while Megan notes Rebecca as “unstoppable” – our hearts!


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