In preparation for Camp Kim — the ultimate self-care-meets-summer-camp-event-series hosted by Refinery29, Kim Crawford Wines, and Black Girl Ventures — we sat down with twin sister musicians and DJs Angel and Dren Coleman, otherwise known as Angel + Dren. Ahead of spinning at our fourth and final installment in NYC, the duo spoke to us about taking risks, pivoting careers, and the importance of sisterhood. Keep reading to hear how their close and collaborative relationship keeps them innovating and evolving, then catch them DJ Camp Kim New York, an evening of self-care and community (and wine). Click here to RSVP for our 9/7 event.
Like many, identical twin sisters Angel and Dren Coleman saw their world come to a halt in early 2020. The DJs, musicians, and producers may be best known for spinning their eclectic taste in music at major festivals and exclusive fashion parties, but when the global pandemic caused events to cancel and public spaces to shutter for an indefinite period of time, the native New Yorkers and nightlife fixtures used this moment to slow down and look inwards. And with no parties to DJ on the horizon, they made a decidedly surprising move — to open a juice bar.
“Obviously, the pandemic wasn’t a good thing, but one positive I took out of it was that I was able to delve into some of my other interests,” shares Dren. “Prior to 2020, I was moving so fast that I never took a moment to ask myself, what else do you like? Should I explore it?”
Opening a business at a time when so many others were shuttering was, obviously, a major risk, but juicing at home was a passion-turned-daily-wellness-practice of theirs, so they decided to make the leap. The success of their music career allowed them to invest in an old, vacant juice bar in their Harlem neighborhood and, with a bit of work, they opened the doors — or windows, rather — to Mad Juicy in October 2020, just two months after they dreamed it up.
What began as a place to provide healthy drinks (a menu brimming with immunity shots, smoothies, and fresh-squeezed juices) and bites to the surrounding community quickly grew into a different type of “wellness” space, one where the neighborhood could safely congregate outdoors during a time most folks — now months into the pandemic — were craving human connection. “People were coming for more than just juice, but to socialize and talk,” explains Angel. Fast forward to today, and the walk-up window has served fresh juice to over 4,000 people in the community and still acts as a gathering place for neighborhood regulars and visitors alike, with both lining up for juice and chatting at outdoor tables.
Those conversations were happening in the digital realm, too. Mad Juicy’s Instagram became a platform for the sisters to share their wellness journeys, recipes, and tips — and, most of all, connect with their like-minded followers. “It’s an extension of what I’m interested in: trying to take better care of myself,” says Angel. “I feel like anybody on this path can come to us and we can talk about it. I really like being able to connect with people through it.”
As wellness enthusiasts who balance running a business with a flurry of music projects, including writing and producing their own songs, the two rely on their self-care routines to stay confident and grounded, whether it’s working out or winding down with an aloe mask. Unsurprisingly, juicing also plays a major role in their personal rituals outside the business, acting somewhat as a meditative practice. “Making myself something healthy has always been one of those things that relaxes me,” says Dren. “It’s more so that the process — the act of actually making it — puts me in a space where I’m not thinking about other things actively.”
Ultimately, they think of self-care as anything that involves showing themselves some love: “I make a point of making myself feel special, separate from anybody else’s validation or opinion,” shares Angel. “I think making sure you’re seeing and showing up for yourself is where confidence really starts.”
This wasn’t the first time the twins pivoted, opting to pursue their passions over traditional career paths. In fact, their post-college trajectory has veered significantly from their original plan. After graduating, DJing was not much more than a hobby, an “outlet” they did for fun outside their full-time jobs in marketing and sales planning. But after a few gigs secured through friends began to blossom into a bustling nightlife career, the two found themselves at a crossroads: “It became a balancing act between getting sleep or working 24 hours a day,” says Dren. “We worked during the day and then we’d basically be out all night. It was fun, but it was also tiring.”
That’s when she — followed not long after by Angel — decided to leave her day job to focus all her attention on music. “It was an intimidating choice because I spent most of my life thinking I was going to work and live a different kind of lifestyle,” she says. “Mentally, I was on a very different track, but that's part of the beauty of my story. I’m not actually bound to any one track, I get to decide every day what I want to be doing.”
However intimidating the decision may have felt, the Colemans’ close sisterly bond made such a drastic pivot feel a little less scary. The two not only have each other’s backs when the going gets tough, but they continuously challenge one another to keep innovating and evolving. “We have the benefit of being able to go back and forth with one another, which helps us both keep our energy high, and we’re able to balance each other,” says Angel. “Being both entrepreneurs and musicians can be really draining, but I don’t think we’re that affected by it because we act as a sort of incubator for each other.”
To them, sisterhood — whether blood or chosen — is all about support. “I think everybody should feel they have a support system, especially these days when there are so many variables in our day-to-day and so many adjustments we’ve had to make [since the pandemic],” says Angel. “Taking the time to understand your sisters — your friends, your people — is important. It’s listening, ensuring you show up, and being there for them in whatever ways they need.” Dren adds, “The feeling of knowing you’re not alone is really powerful.”