Meet the Delventhal sisters, Nikki, Shoshanna, and Kayla, quite possibly the most impressive trio of sisters we’ve been lucky enough to encounter. Nikki, 26, is incredibly wise and down to earth, and is an NFL cheerleader for the NY Jets, SoulCycle instructor, model, actress, and alumnae of the hit reality TV show, “The Bachelor.” Shoshanna, 22, balances work as an international advisor in NYC with her unquenchable passion for literally everything under the sun, most notably a healthy dose of yoga and her one true love in the form of artisan ice cream and all frozen desserts. The cherry on top of Shoshanna’s accomplishments (pun intended) is her newly founded blog, “The Loopy Scoop” which is not only hilarious, but totally inspiring. The youngest sister, Kayla, 21, is currently a student at UCONN where she has taken her education around the world with two study abroad experiences in Costa Rica and South Africa. Oh, and did I mention she is trained in animal tracking and has snorkeled with sharks? Wowza.
If their crazy impressive accomplishments aren’t enough to convince you that the Delventhal sisters should be running the world, which we totally support wholeheartedly, their incredible ability to encourage, love, and appreciate each other, in spite of and most importantly, because of their differences, should do the trick. They also have a hell of a lot of fun doing it.
How would you describe your sister to someone who has never met her? What do you think are her best qualities and accomplishments? When were you the most proud of her?
Nikki (On Shoshanna):
I do this all the time. So, Shoshanna is an interesting breed. She’s a genius, and when I say genius if you can get more than a 4.0 she would, and she’s done it. I wouldn’t put street smarts at the top of the list. If you go to any public event with her, you may lose her within the hour, but no worries you’ll find her at the local McDonalds getting a dollar cone. She’s very book smart, but not your typical book smart. So when you think of someone who’s that smart usually they are study freaks with not too crazy of a social life. This chick could out drink Mike Tyson. And has the energy of his pet tiger (in a good way).
She’s also extremely fun, and super passionate about anything she does whether it’s having a local brew or having everybody go around the circle and find out what they are thankful for, which is one of my favorite things about her. She takes the time to appreciate every little thing in life and makes sure everyone around her also appreciates the small stuff.
I’ve been proud from the things way back, from captain of a sports team, getting into her dream school UNC and graduating with honors, landing a sweet job out of college like it was no big deal. But most importantly when I noticed a shift in her energy towards even more responsibility, love and care after graduation. People usually follow their traditional path and stick to their comfort zones. I felt like she was kind of going down that road and I didn’t know what her interests were. The coolest thing for me was when she branched out and found her truest, deepest passions instead of being stuck in what “should be,” whether that meant pursuing blogging, talking to local people she found interesting, going to new and interesting events, searching for engagement. Usually it takes people 30 years to realize they’re living the wrong way, she realized she needs to work for a higher cause after a few months in the corporate world. There are just too many moments. She’s always striving for more and she is hungry to feed her passions, instead of putting them on the back burner like the majority of NYC. Subconsciously, I feel like we’re always thinking that the next moment is more important than now, but not Shoshanna. Her whole life, she’s been about the present.
Shoshanna (On Kayla):
My younger sister Kayla attracts everyone but feels above no one. She’s selfless, beautiful, intelligent, driven and modest. Kayla’s the type of person that “could pull it off,” always. I even had to take out my nose ring, feeling like a poser in light of her effortless look. Fearlessly taking adventures for the sake of the experience, she lives relatively worry free as a self-aware and strikingly mature young woman.
She learned animal tracking in South Africa and snorkeled with sharks in Central America. A nerd at heart, she’s able to earn her bachelor and master’s degree after 4.5 years of undergrad, including two study abroad. She’s also crazy good at art, and has been hired for her freelance design. At a young age, Kayla decided to demonstrate her artistic abilities on my family car, signing “Kayla” in huge letters on the side doors.
I’m proud of her ability to see the futility in petty worry and frustration, understand the barrenness of comparison, working towards universal betterment, clarity and simplicity every day. She’s not afraid to berate you for buying plastic water bottles, and she’ll seriously consider your morality after seeing you squash a bug. She and my father resist efforts to use toxic chemicals on the wasp nest on our house out of environmental and ethical obligations.
Her ability to authentically stand above the status quo makes her my role model.
Kayla (On Nikki):
Nicole Delventhal is certainly someone that cannot be summed up in one sentence. Home videos of us playing together reveal that although I was quiet and almost always in a tutu or princess dress and Nicole was the loud, energetic and outrageous tomboy, we loved to be together. And really, that’s how it still is– minus the tutus and tomboy look.
While Nicole is now the gorgeous model and NFL cheerleader, she does not take on certain stereotypes often associated with these roles. The loud tomboy who was always looking for fun and adventure is still there. She is knowledge seeking and truly bright… She just looks fantastic while doing it.
I was most proud of Nicole when she decided she wanted to change her career path and start modeling. It wasn’t the modeling part that got me, but her ambition to do what she wanted to do regardless of how hard it would be or what anyone told her. Her motivation astounded me. The girl decided she wanted to model, got there herself, and next thing I know I’m staring at her face on a magazine while checking out at the grocery store.
People naturally compare siblings to one another, particularly when they are close in age and the same gender. How do you avoid comparisons, or at the least, how do you ensure that they don’t negatively affect your relationship with each other?
If you’ve met any of us, you would know that’s not an issue. Kayla would be happy living in the rainforest, studying rodents and bugs, with no mirrors, out of a backpack. Oh wait, she did. Shoshanna really took school seriously, but in a different sense, making it. Her study abroad would be in Europe, not a rainforest. Again, oh wait, it was.
Now, why am I not competitive, I’d rather spend my money on a good weave (hair extensions) than lunch. First things first, I didn’t take the traditional route. I applied to colleges, got in and never went. I went straight into hair school, knew what I wanted to do, got myself working at a nationally ranked top 5 Salon and continued to follow my passions. But, as passions change, so did my career. I became an NFL cheerleader, to a Wilhelmina fitness model, and reality TV personality – where I would not bring a small backpack, but three large suitcases. Came home with four. Now I get to be a DJ, inspirational speaker and motivator, while working out for a living at SoulCycle.
Basically we’re all different, feed off each other and utilize each other. We’ve got nothing but love, we’re best friends.
If it weren’t for our striking similarity in appearance, you may believe the three of us share minimal interests. We’re all so fully immersed in our own pursuits that could not be further away from each other. Apart from Kayla and I running to each other’s classrooms to compare GPAs for the last year of high school, the three of us are too busy bragging about one another to destructively compare. Personally, I turn what could possibly be jealousy and comparison into motivation. Since we are all so fundamentally similar, seeing them accomplish their goals and inspire others brings me to realize how easily I can do the same with effort.
The fact that our career paths are all on completely different trajectories (aligned with our interests) has helped prevent negativity in this way. It is also our mind sets, though, that have allowed us to avoid comparisons that can be harmful. An accomplishment or success by either of my sisters only makes me feel proud, not jealous, and that is key to maintaining a healthy relationship between us. Some siblings can be fueled by competition, and although that dynamic works just fine in some cases, for the three of us it is about support. You couldn’t get me to study economics like Shoshanna or get in front of a camera the way Nikki does, but I respect them for doing it. In the same way they support my inner science-geek, which only propels me forward to focus on who I am and where I will be.
How does your relationships with your sisters make you stronger?
As I touched on above, we all have different strengths, so we use each other for different perspectives. It’s nice to seek out both opinions, as they will be inherently different and come from different places.
First of all, they can’t get rid of me. It’s fabulous knowing I have two best friends who HAVE to come to my birthday parties and put up with my bologna. Also, they think I’m hilarious, which pushes me to act like my weird, quirky self. They support me, share my work, and do so in a genuine manner. They build my confidence and push me to seek truth and honesty. I often find myself asking “WWKD” “WWND” and if I can’t find the answer, I call them up.
Because our interests generally lay in different areas, my sisters are constantly bringing my attention to different topics, people, and issues that I may not have come across otherwise. But aside from helping me grow as an intellectual, they have taught me to speak up and to not be afraid of getting a little crazy. It is because of them that I was able to break out of my shell a bit and realize that life is a lot more fun when you can enjoy the now.
Do you think that the three of you fit into the stereotypes of oldest, middle child, and youngest siblings?
Yes, because I feel like they have looked up to me as younger sisters should. No, because they don’t know how I look up to them as motivation. I catch myself totally loving something they said or did and wanting to emulate it like a younger sister.
I’d say I’m the older sister making sure everyone’s always emotionally and physically stable. I do typical older sister stuff, throwing everyone birthday parties, picking up the purses left at the bar… and the coats… and the keys.
Loaded question. Nicole used to sit on me and put me through frightening spelling bees as a child. Kayla was the most adorable, sassy peace maker. I frequently told emotionally charged, long stories in front of the camera in “Shoshamenonics” a made up language of garble. Is Nicole outgoing, confident and destined for attention, yes in the best way. Am I an odd ball, sure. Does Kayla’s independence signify an instilled maturity and push against being “babied,” maybe. More than playing off of our age order, our laid back, accepting parents had a greater role on our development into adults.
My sisters and I do fall into this stereotype almost inevitably in some aspects. Growing up, Nicole starting cheerleading, so Shoshanna started cheerleading, and then I started cheerleading. As my role models, they guided me through childhood and high school years. There are certain ways how we break this stereotype, though. We no longer follow each other in this linear sense, but rather all grow from each others’ actions and ideas. Despite being the youngest, I look out for my sisters just as much as they look out for me as we have reached a point where age is a number and our lives at this moment is everything.
What is the most important lesson that your sisters have taught you?
Not to take life so seriously. Simple. Live a little. Travel. Do shit. Also, always use natural products on your face. If you’re going to have ice cream, it better be artisan. You don’t live to work you work to live, whatever that is.
Unconditional love. We can thank our parents for that. My Dad always says “happiness is dinner with family.” I never truly understood the simple significance until I got older.
I cried my eyes out for days after my sister left for Florida upon graduating high school. My younger sister quit our sports team when I graduated and she realized she only did it for the fun we had together. This unconditional love spans not just those typical heart-wrenching moments. We really dabble in the full spectrum of human emotion together, i.e. urinating our pants while shooting an “inspirational shotgun” Instagram video.
They’ve taught me how far you can go if you simply visualize yourself achieving what you set to do. For example, my sister Nikki talked like she was going to be a Jets professional dancer (without any dancing background), before competing against the 600+ contestants. She packed for ABC’s The Bachelor before she even went for auditions. She got both of those.
Kayla has taught me mindfulness, and a depth of care for all, not just humankind. She’s slightly opposed to mirrors, relatively disinterested in social media, and is disillusioned by the concept of fame. She appreciates beauty in the truest sense, sprinting through a village in the middle of the night to see a sea turtle give birth. She has countless stories of nursing animals back to health, i.e. amid a run she went on at UCONN she saved a bunny from predators, took the animal back to her apartment and eventually released it into the wild.
The greatest lesson I have learned from my sisters is to be myself. This cliche line is something that I hold dear to my heart, because it has taken me 21 years to finally grasp. When I was younger I tried so hard to follow in their footsteps that at times I lost the sense of who I was. From this I now understand the line between learning from someone and following them, because while I no longer follow either of my sisters, I am continually growing and learning from them. But Shoshanna and Nicole have also helped me tap into who I am, to break loose a little bit and let go. To this day, they help me break out of my shell.
What do you think makes sisterhood different from regular best-friendship?
You’re so close that when you fight, which is very rare for us, they are big ones. Since we’re blood we have to talk it out, whereas a best friend may disown you. So we just walk into the room later, accept each other for our flaws because we’ve literally watched each other grow.
I view my sisters as a version, or extension of myself. I see in them an embodiment of own qualities, or a part of myself I may have had in the past or will possess in the future. We’re always told we look exactly alike, but at the core are such unique people. This deep connection makes it easier to connect with others, even those who were strangers, below the surface.
We share a beautiful, unreplicable upbringing by two of the most amazing people alive, and for that we’re much more alike than any friend we chose ourselves. We share DNA and clothing, but also unwavering morals stemming from a shared standard of ethics. Above all, we possess an indistinguishable drive for improvement of our world and ourselves. Knowing the answers before each other’s questions are asked makes our bond inexplicable and sacred.
Friendships start on, of course, the basis of friendship and then if cared for will grow into love. Sisterhood starts on the foundation of love and because of this only grows to become deeper rooted and richer. My sisters love me and they love my flaws, and our understanding for each other is greater than any friendship.
As if you needed anymore inspiration at this point…check out the Delventhal sisters doing what they do best, inspirational shotguns.