In Business with Mom
Mothers and daughters can have a tricky relationship, but for some local families, it’s the perfect business partnership. We asked local women the most important lessons they’ve learned from their moms—and why working with them was a good decision.
Sarah Rhim, Mister Guy Clothiers
I grew up in retail, and my mom started taking me on trips to the market in New York when I was about 8. Now when I go, I see people who have known my parents for 30 to 40 years. They have so much respect for them and what they do. It’s inspiring for me to continue their legacy. My mom and I challenge each other in a good way. We are in a growth phase of the business, and the industry is changing. I’m moving the business forward technologically, and my parents teach me old-school customer service. We balance each other’s strengths.
My mom has always taught me to listen first and speak second. In our line of work, it’s important to always be a good listener; knowing about the clothes and fashion is almost secondary. The key thing is building personal relationships. Our customers come to us for more than just shopping. They share their lives and what’s going on in the community with us. It’s about friendship and camaraderie.
Megan Rowe, Laura McCarthy Real Estate
Actions speak louder than words, and my mom always has modeled how to seamlessly balance a successful work and personal life. I always wanted to be independent and have a career, and my mom was a great teacher in this area. I was 5 when she started in real estate, so I’ve known it my whole life. I got my license when I was 18 and worked with her on and off until I graduated college. Working together now is fabulous, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.
It’s hard to be a working mother while making your husband and children feel like you aren’t working. Growing up, my mom always did that well. She taught me that it’s extremely important to have a spouse who is understanding and supports you. Real estate really is a lifestyle, and it doesn’t fit everyone. I bring my work home with me and am always multitasking, but I wouldn’t be happy if I wasn’t always busy helping others. The balance of work and family is tough, and I hope that people feel I pull it off as successfully as my mother does.
Jamie Danieli, Albarré Jewelry
My parents have both taught me so much about the industry and balancing family life with owning your own business. From day one, my mother told me, “Family time is family time, and work time is work time.” It’s some of the best advice I’ve received. We make a really big effort not to talk about the store when we aren’t there. We’ve always been a very close family, and working with someone all week and still wanting to spend time together on the weekends is rare.
I know a lot of people who went into business with family and were not successful. It takes a really good balance and the right personalities to make it work. My parents never pressured me to work for them; I came by choice. I was living in Florida when I started doing a few projects for them. Eventually, it just made sense to move back and do it full time. I think the dynamic was unique from the start.