1. What is it like working with your mother?
This is definitely one of the most popular interview questions I get asked! Working with family, or your mum is no easy task, but frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way, and I have no doubt mum feels exactly the same way! It comes with its challenges, just like any business partnership would, but because of our foundation, incredible communication, and endless support, we always have the same goal in mind, and that's to take care of the other person, so we know we are always going to get the best possible results, even if it means a few mother-daughter arguments in the office, but we know we are doing it from a place of passion, love and wanting the best possible results.
2. What is your role in the business?
I am the managing director of SoL, Which essentially means, you wear all the hats! I personally love being in sales, marketing anything related to working with people, customers, and my team, so this is where my day to day focus lies, but at the end of the day, I am responsible for all functions, operational aspect of the business and making sure everything is flowing, positive and the team and customers are looked after.
3 What is mum's role in the business?
Mum is the bookkeeper and accounting queen, she has always worked in all of our family's businesses as the financial adviser/bookkeeper and has experience of over 30 years. But on top of this mum has an incredible eye for fashion, trends, design, and new product development, she might be all numbers in the office but she is all glam and fashion in everything else, so we always ensure mum is involved in the creative part of the business.
4. What happens if you have an argument, or don't agree?
We get lunch, and then everything just works itself out! Haha, but seriously, all families argue, it's natural, but it is always coming from a place of wanting to achieve the best for the business. Both mum and I have a very direct, no sugar coating way of working and speaking, so our conversations can get a little opinionated and heated, but once we hash it out, the results are usually pretty incredible. I am the dreamer and mum is the realist, so we can be a pretty great team in making some magical things happen. There is a solution for everything, which is why if something turns into an argument we know we are just very passionate and excited about creating an amazing outcome.
5. Advice to anyone working in a family business?
Clear communication, boundaries, and time-out sessions.
It is so important in any business partnership to have very very clear communication skills. No one is a mind reader, and sometimes emotions can take over, so it is very important to know how to clearly communicate your wants and needs from the other person. Boundaries really help with this, know your roles and responsibilities and learn to respect each other in that environment, outside of your personal relationship. Time out sessions help with this, if things get heated, learn to walk away, have a time out, and come backgrounded, remember to hug your mum. 99% of the time, things will flow, feel amazing and the business will bring immense joy, I love that I get to share my wins with my mum, we make an amazing team and I wouldn't want it any other way, but when an argument does start, have a resolution plan in place, have a neutralising rule and learn to act, not react. I would give this advice to anyone working in a partnership, not just a family member!
Love you, mum!