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Two Of A Kind

“Love seeing African ladies killing it in the world of entrepreneurship! Can’t wait to see more from you.” “I can’t even begin to say how inspired I am by you two! Your dedication and hardwork as black women is magical.” “You two are amazing, post more and be seen! Everyone needs to see this level [...]
Jeni Ruisch



“Love seeing African ladies killing it in the world of entrepreneurship! Can’t wait to see more from you.”

“I can’t even begin to say how inspired I am by you two! Your dedication and hardwork as black women is magical.”

“You two are amazing, post more and be seen! Everyone needs to see this level of style, sophistication, and elegance!”

“You guys are really showing the world that women can climb the ranks of success too. Keep up the good work!”

These are some of the hundreds of comments that flood the Yusuf’s Instagram page daily. Many of them are from young girls who have become inspired by Nasteha and Nuni Yusuf’s hard work and dedication to their love of fashion. With nearly 30,000 followers on their instagram page alone, the Yusuf’s lifestyle and love for fashion is making an impact not only on the fashion scene of the capital city, but on their followers worldwide.

Through Columbus-based eyes, we can recognize enough familiar scenes in their daily posts to know that they’re locals. But with the way they’ve converted their Instagram presence into a sophisticated globally-conscious fashion and lifestyle brand, it’d be hard to tell that their address isn’t outside the 614.

And technically, born in Somalia and raised in and Canada, their passports have been stamped more than a few times.

Not twins, but certainly a package deal, the sisters answer questions frequently in a collective “we.” The two youngest of eight children now have created a multi-tiered presence in the style and beauty arena, sharing their own collections of jewelry (modeled after their mother, who was a gold dealer), as well as their travels, trend suggestions, and adventures via fun, fast-paced YouTube videos that go beyond just the standard brand-by-numbers fare you see in the modern blogosphere.

They style. They model. They shop. They sell.

But they haven’t always led a charmed existence. The Yusuf family escaped Somalia during the civil war when the sisters were four and seven. Their father, in danger because of his position in the government, fled alone to Canada, thinking the conflict would blow over and he could soon return to his family. But as war broke out, the remaining family members fled to a refugee camp in Kenya, where they stayed for two years. Their father was finally able
to bring them to Toronto, where the family was reunited.

“To say we feel grateful is an under-statement. We went through a lot during our escape and we’re just happy to be alive to talk about it.”

They settled in Columbus, where their husbands are from, and are taking the city by colorful storm. Their fashion and lifestyle blog developed as a way to chronicle their creativity and growth as women while sharing their global perspective on personal style, beauty and travels. YCollections is an ecommerce site that offers everyday jewelry for the bold woman. Their vivid fashion choices resound with people of all ages and from all backgrounds. They see fashion as a means of self-expression, with Nasteha describing her style as “bold, edgy, and borderline boyish.” Nuni says hers is “fun, feminine, and classic.” They speak to a large audience and range of fashionistas betwixt the two.

With all their world traveling, the two have opened their hearts to the heart of it all.

“Out of every other city we’ve visited and lived in the past, Columbus not only provides the best cost of living but it also has the most opportunities. We feel like since this city is growing, we have the potential to grow personally as well as professionally.”

And grow, they do. The Yusuf’s brand continues to spread out across social media, their online store continues to grow, and now with their brick-and-mortar location on the south side, they are making their talents available as content producers and consultants for other
local businesses.

Through the turmoil they have withstood in their lives, the Yusuf sisters have harnessed their momentum, and together, built a brand that seems poised to become an empire. Never fearing evolution, the sisters look forward to a future bright as the patterns they wear.

“The biggest thing is change. We love that fashion changes from season to season. We love that with each era comes a new look. We always saw this as a new opportunity to reinvent yourself. Change is good. Especially when it comes to fashion.”

Fashion Secrets


A good tailor can do wonders for you.


Don’t be restricted to buying a specific size. You can make any size work for you with a little bit of imagination.

Bolder is Better


Developing your own style. It’s great to draw inspiration from others. But it’s super important to make it your own by focusing on elements like what works for your body type.


The easiest way to implement a little bit of boldness is to mix prints and patterns. We find that by doing this you instantly exude confidence and stand out at all times.

Fashion Icons


I appreciate timeless and classic pieces. I like to collect pieces that I can picture myself wearing at any age. When I am 90 years old, I want to look back at my style evolution, and I want to still be excited about the outfits from my past. I admire Coco Chanel because her style is truly timeless. Her clothes are still modern today.


I don’t really have a fashion icon but I do have a type of woman I aspire to be. It’s usually an older woman. A confident, colorful woman such as Iris Apfel, Daphne Selfe, and Giovanna Battaglia.

Life Motto


“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” -Maya Angelou


“I can, and I will.”

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Short North shop offers convenient ways for men to boost wardrobes

Mitch Hooper



Fashion trends come in waves, and at the moment in men’s fashion, it seems no wave is bigger than streetwear. It’s a combination of sleekly-designed hoodies and shirts with versatile bottoms. Graphic t-shirts—both long sleeve and short—have found new life with unlikely brands collaborating such as Supreme and Carhartt. It’s no longer a crime to walk out of the house wearing a groutfit (an all-gray outfit) and earth tones provide unique color options. And shoes? It seems shoes show no sign of slowing down as the “rare” value of finding a high end pair of Jordans or Yeezys is a race to the top. If there were a male version of Carrie Bradshaw, he’d be wearing streetwear.

This trend is no secret to our city either. Right in the heart of the Short North is Madison USA, a men’s fashion store with everything from your next favorite crew neck to a pair of shoes that might cost you upwards of $650. It’s all worth it in the end if you get that clout. Our photographer, Zane Osler, hooked us up with a few looks for men this season to get a leg up on the competition. Four Pins, if you’re reading this, put us on your fit watch 2019 list.

Brand: Darryl Brown. Top: White painter coat, $750. Pants: Paint Trouser, $308.
Brand: Aime Leon Dore. Top: Kanga Hoodie Sweatshirt, $137. Hat: Waffle Stitch beanie, $60.
Brand: Aime Leon Dore. Top: Crewneck sweatshirt w/pocket, $112. Pants: Camper pants, $112.

Madison USA is located at 1219 N. High St. For more information and to see what's new, visit

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Local vintage stores offering old school duds for Buckeye fans

Mitch Hooper



In the modern age of sports, your fanhood is often defined by your fashion. The variations of ways to support the Buckeyes range from shirtseys—a newcomers go-to for getting a player’s number on their back without shelling out $200 for a jersey—all the way to customized jerseys with your very own last name on the back. And somewhere in between lies a world that Homage has inspired: throwback styles of sporting apparel.

90's SweatShirt: $43 (Photos: Brian Kaiser)

What’s not to love about vintage gear? Compared to an authentic jersey from Nike, you’re saving loads of money without sacrificing style. They often represent an older time of Buckeye athletics that you can wear as a badge of honor which states, “I watched the Woody Hayes days, and I remember John Cooper all too well.” The aforementioned Homage is a great entry point for anyone looking to get in the game, but thrift stores and vintage clothing stores like Smartypants Vintage in the Short North offer even more unique ways to show you bleed scarlet and gray—or at least fit the part.

Left to Right: "Columbuth" t-shirt: $36, 80s Spirograph: $40, Champion t-shirt: $40

We linked up with Smartypants Vintage to snag some throwback gear to boost your Buckeye fashion and not have to worry if someone else is rocking the same shirt as you. From t-shirts that more than likely were a freshman’s big buy at the bookstore on their first year on campus to crewnecks that are perfect for those cool fall days, here are a few looks to keep on your radar this season.

Poppin’ Tags

Have you caught the Buckeye thrifting bug? Here’s a few other spots in the city to fill your needs.



Smartypants Vintage is located on 815 N High St. For hours and more vintage options, check out @smartypantsvintage on Instagram.

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Buy Local: Unique finds at One Six Five Jewelry




In Clintonville, there’s a tiny pink shop that boasts a minimal lashed-eye logo and quirky adornments for everyday wear. The shop is One Six Five, owned by Kaleigh Shrigley and Claire Lowe, a budding pair who bonded after working at a boutique in the Short North during their time in college. Blending their studies of jewelry and textiles, One Six Five was named after the home address of Kaleigh’s mother, not straying too far from her childhood origins. 

Adding exclusivity to each piece, a one-of-a-kind emphasis on crafts that are rare to find, Shrigley and Lowe still have the ability to adjust jewelry for their uniquely-luxe clientele. On their Instagram for fans of “offbeat classics” (or anyone who happens to stumble on their page), viewers can scroll through intricately clever posts, from the duo’s spur-of-the-moment travels, to promotional spots featuring their newest, charming statement pieces. 

With a keen eye for shape, Shrigley and Lowe experiment with innovative jewelry that keeps their followers returning to refine their own personal collections. Now in their fifth year of creating tiny wonders, Shrigley and Lowe speak with (614) about their humble beginnings and how being a Columbus-based business has taken One Six Five far and wide.

(614): Is this your primary gig, side gig or hobby? How did it come to be?

CL:One Six Five is our primary hustle. When we started the business in 2014, we worked out of Kaleigh’s attic and we both had other part-time jobs. Over the past five years, we have opened a shop-slash-studio and work here full time.

Photos by Brian Kaiser

What was the leap in your work from “this thing I do” versus “the thing to do”? How do you promote your work?

CL:Opening the shop on High Street definitely took us to the next level. Having a physical presence in Columbus allows the exposure of our jewelry to a wider audience. The outside of our shop is painted pink, which often brings people through the door wondering about our business. Instagram is also huge for us in promoting our jewelry to people around the world. The majority of our online sales come from Instagram. Participating in markets in Ohio and elsewhere helps expose our work to more people. We love being able to meet our customers in person. There are a lot of jewelry makers out there, so we really appreciate when someone loves our work!

What ingredients come together to make Columbus fertile ground for makers, designers, and creatives?

Columbus loves to support local. The creative community is also very supportive of each other. One of our favorite events is the Columbus Flea, which gives makers the chance to sell their products to a huge amount of shoppers. We love having the opportunity to sell our jewelry there, as well as being able to see the work of other designers. For now, Columbus also has reasonably priced retail spaces, which is not always the case in other cities.

What’s your six word creative story?

KS:Offbeat classic jewelry handmade in Columbus.

Your products exude a zaniness that crafters often shy away from. Do you have a certain audience that you want to appeal to?

KS: We always create jewelry that we personally would love to wear. I think the line is an extension of our personal styles. We love using jewelry as a form of creative expression and seem to have found a customer base of many like-minded gals. Our brand also offers plenty of more understated styles. We strive to create a complete jewelry collection filled with hard-working pieces that can be worn wherever life takes you.

How do you feel that the city’s atmosphere has transformed your work?

KS: The entrepreneurial spirit in Columbus definitely inspires us to take risks. We have had the opportunity to collaborate with several other makers and it’s always so much fun! •

Find your next treasure at

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