Driven by Design

Teman and Teran Evans (Photo by Rayon Richards)

Teman and Teran Evans, 32
Education: Bachelor of Science in Architecture,  University of Florida
& Master in Architecture, Advance Placement, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Title: Founders of DIOSCURI, New York City
Creative Force: Uses architecture degree for entrepreneurial advancement

Identical twins Teman and Teran Evans never imagined design as a career. “It was just something we did for fun. We would draw cities and buildings as a hobby,” says Teman.
But their mother, Bergita, noticed their passion at an early age and encouraged them to attend the University of Florida’s Design Exploration Program (DEP) the summer before their freshman year of college. The experience opened up a new world for the brothers.
“It took everything we loved—fashion, design, art—and bottled it up in one industry,” says Teman.  They decided on the University of Florida in Gainesville, and after earning their bachelor’s degrees in architecture they enrolled in Harvard’s Graduate School of Design where they would be recruited as researchers by world-renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.

A summer traveling to China, the Netherlands, Finland, and other countries, mainly spent studying each city’s changing urban conditions, exposed them to the inner workings of an architecture firm including merchandising, creating concepts for brands, and designing the stages for fashion shows. “It planted the seed in our heads that even though our degrees said architecture we can do much more than just put up brick-and-mortar buildings,” says Teman. “That was a key moment for us,” adds Teran. “[We realized] we had an education in branding, problem solving, and graphics. We can do a number of things.”  After graduating in 2004 they headed for the design capital: New York City. There they founded their own company, DIOSCURI, the name given to Castor and Pollux, identical twins of Greek mythology.

The company started small with a line of silk scarves and high-quality woven fabrics, but struggled to find placement in stores. Even a spot in O, The Oprah Magazine didn’t produce results, so they moved on to their next venture: wooden bracelets. The Fruit Salad collection of high-gloss tropical wood bangle bracelets made in a vivid array of colors from mango trees in Thailand made Oprah’s list of favorite things, resulting in the sale of 30,000 units in the first month and placement in 200 stores across the U.S. and other countries, retailing from $98 to $126.  “We went from invisible men to meeting with Henri Bendel and Nordstrom,” says Teran.

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