Here at The Grommet, we know first-hand that becoming a successful Maker and entrepreneur is hard work. It takes skill, relentless dedication, and a bit of luck. It also takes a village. For 16% of our Makers, that village is their own family. Working as part of a family business is a unique and interesting experience yet it's not for everyone. There are always challenges when running a business and working with family that can sometimes make it even more difficult. Yet for those who do make it work, they make it work very well. We asked a few of our Makers who happen to share a last name with their co-workers what it's like to work with family and how they've found success and happiness together.
"Working together can bring you even closer and forge strong bonds, but only if you bring out the best in each other. Plain and simple, the energy has to be right. We happen to work really well together for a variety of reasons but we believe deeply in each other and our unique abilities. We grew up in different generations so we often have unique, fresh ideas that the other wouldn't think of. That's beneficial"
Sheri & Nicole Hammonds- Mother / Daughter team and Makers of Umbrella in a bottle, Vinrella
"Working together is like finding the missing jigsaw piece, Keith and I are true opposites: I work from a point of view that there are no limits...throwing my heart in to a new idea and metaphorically setting sail. Then Keith chorales us in to an organized and productive harbor so we can be focussed and methodical which enables us to grow our business. Being equally motivated and sharing different aspects of the business is more and more gratifying and makes us truly happy."
Keith and Susy Waters - Husband / Wife Team and Makers of Pilgrim Waters
"Our key to running a family business is to stay positive, laugh instead of cry and expect that the plan won't turn out the way you expected. Often the outcome may be different, but even better than what you had planned. Being a mother & daughter team, we know each other well and also know our limits. Our greatest discouragements have come just before a new success and when one of us remains positive, we always reach our goal."
Whitney & Kris Foley - Mother / Daughter team and Makers of Anti-Static Spray, Static Schmatic
"While easier said than done, it's essential to run your business strictly as such, even when working with family. Some decisions may be difficult to make, but good communication and a mutual understanding that our business roles are separate from our family roles, is what helps make it possible to enjoy the many benefits (and all the fun!) of working with those we love."
The Bardeen Family- Makers of the family Pumpkin Carving Sets, Grampa Bardeens
"One phrase we like to follow is that family comes first. There are ups and downs with any business and always trying times but we make it a priority to listen to everyone's input. The key for us is the ability to separate ourselves from work when needed. When not working, we try to do things as a family and enjoy each other's company outside work. All in all, we believe that working on the business together will build strong characteristics and character and that if our business is successful, we are all successful."
Troy and Cam Brisard - Husband / Wife team (along with a lot of help from their kids) and Makers of the giant fortune cookies, Fantastic Fortune Cookies.
Have you ever worked with family? How did you make it work? Tell us about it in the comments. You might just help to inspire someone to start their own company or become a Maker.