Get inspired by these empowering stories. Maybe one day you'll have a mother-daughter business of your own.

By Lindsay Tigar
April 20, 2018
Credit: Courtesy of Sarah and Mary Lucas

Of all the relationships you value and nurture, the one you share with your child is one of the most influential. And the one between a mother and daughter? For many, it's a prized, sacred and often-times complicated union that stands the test of time—from scrunchies and first kisses to wedding days and promotions.

But have you ever imagined going into business with your own mom or daydreamed about forming a company with your child once she's older? Considering many of the qualities necessary to grow a business are the same ones that are used to nurture a personal relationship, it makes sense why many families decide to go into business together. And if you frequently share a brainwave with your female partner-in-crime, finding and chasing a passion together could prove to be a profitable and meaningful experience.

Check out these powerful pairs who are making an impact:

They Opened a Safari Lodge in Kenya

Who: Kate Fitzgerald Boyd, 33, and Nicky Fitzgerald, 63

Their company: Angama Mara, a luxury safari lodge on the edge of the Great Rift Valley overlooking Kenya's Maasai Mara. Since it's opening in June of 2015, guests have donated a whopping $684,000 to The Mara Conservancy, which helps to preserve this slice of Africa.

Their story: Boyd grew up in the hospitality industry and always knew she wanted to build her career in travel. Though it took her awhile to grow her confidence, once she was ready to sink her teeth into remote African destinations, she knew the best expert to turn to was... her mother, Nicky Fitzgerald, who had spent years developing hotels, restaurants, and luxury lodges!

The experience of creating and running the lodge—which donates to a local foundation with each booking—with her mother has been life-changing. "I am so lucky that on some days, I can turn to my boss for advice, and other days I can turn to my mother for advice on my boss," Boyd shares. "My mother is the most inspirational, force-to-be-reckoned-with kind of woman, and the fact that I have her as my boss, mother, and shoulder to lean on means I have the whole trifecta loving and supporting me. If I turn out to be even half the woman she is… watch out world."

Their advice for future mother/daughter business duos: "Support each other, and try if you can to find time to be mother and daughter amongst all the work," Boyd says.

They Created A Boutique Fitness Company

Who: Rachel Piskin, 30, and Lauren Piskin, 55

Their company: ChaiseFitness, a New York tri-state-located boutique fitness company with four locations in NYC and one in New Jersey. Created in 2012, they were able to break through the uber-competitive New York fitness scene, sans-investors or outside partners.

Their story: The Piskins share one solid belief together: everyone can be fit, no matter their skill level or their body type. It was this mission that helped pave their way to developing the patented Reinvention Method, designed for an athlete, a dancer, a beginner, or an advanced workout enthusiast. They use a chair and overhead bungees to work every last muscle and blend together various methods of exercise including Pilates, ballet, strength-training, and more.

Creating this empire-to-be wasn't an easy feat, but one Rachel feels lucky to share with her mom. "She allowed me to truly find myself as a business owner and boss, she taught me how to learn from my failures and then use those to thrive. It is a very unique experience to work in an environment where you truly can be your full and honest self," she says.

They Run A Beauty Empire

Who: Faith Kim, 32, and Jane Kim, 60

Their company: JB Cosmetics, featuring JB Lashes and Lashfood. The beauty company was listed of one of Inc. magazine's top women-run companies in 2013.

Their Story: Faith and Jane created their company—JB Cosmetics—in 2005, selling eyelash extensions that became a hit in Hollywood. While they're upping the glam factor for many people across the globe, it's the home-run vibe of their day-to-day careers that keep them inspired. As Faith describes, being able to work with her mother to build an empire is like checking off to-do list items next to her best friend. "I feel more and more grateful as I get older and life gets busier," she shares. "I also can't think of a better business partner than my mom. There is a level of trust, understanding, and respect you just can't replicate."

They Created a Global Pen Pal Program for Diabetic Children

Who: Mary Lucas, 26, and Sarah Lucas, 49

Their company: Beyond Type 1's Snail Mail Club, a global pen pal program that connects children with Type 1 Diabetes around the world. To date, they've matched more than 6,000 kids—and counting.

Their story: Along with four friends, Sarah Lucas co-founded the non-profit and support destination, Beyond Type 1, in 2015. Since its inception, the organization has developed the largest diabetic community in the world, serving more than two million across its digital platforms. Its mission is to provide resources, facilitate friendships, and banish the stigma attached to this condition, helping those diagnosed to know they aren't alone.

Inspired by her mother's diligence, Mary helped come up with the idea to foster connections between kids who are managing the same 24/7-type 1 lifestyle. The fact that so many children have already signed-up to exchange old school letters is the fuel that kept them both going.

When talking about working with her daughter, Sarah says it's a luxury to spend so much time witnessing her growth. "To serve as a mentor early in her career and to celebrate her achievements and witness her overcoming challenges is a privilege," she shares. "Mentorship is similar to parenting in that your goal is to teach and to guide, but it requires more discipline when it is your daughter you are mentoring. There are greater responsibilities and expectations involved and other teammates to consider."

For Mary, keeping work and family separate has been essential: they don't talk personal details at the office and they set aside time to preserve their mother/daughter relationship. Still, not calling Sarah 'mom' at the office is still hard for her to remember!

They Rebranded a Global Hotel Company

Who: Lindsey Ueberroth, 42, and Gail Ueberroth, 69

Their company: While Preferred Hotel Group was always a family business, the Ueberroths were faced with the challenge of redeveloping their strategy to match industry trends. That's when daughter Lindsey stepped in to help her mom execute a major rebrand as they changed the name and concept to Preferred Hotels & Resorts. Today, they have 650 hotels in more than 85 countries.

Their story: Lindsey says her family has always been rooted in a deep passion for travel and hospitality, making it an obvious choice for her career. Since its founding more than 50 years ago, Preferred Hotel Group has become the world's largest independent hotel brand and they wanted to ensure they stayed relevant by offering a luxury hospitality experience for changing generations.

Through the mom-daughter tag-team rebrand, they visited 10 countries and 14 cities together, eventually resulting in 915 million media impressions—a number they found successful. It wasn't always a rosy road—and continues to have its rocky points—but Lindsey says the rewards and challenges or working with her mom are worth it. "It is a unique experience because you no longer see the other person at a distance and get to see who they really are in all aspects of their life," she shares.

For Gail, it's an inspiring journey, explaining, "It is the ultimate perspective to watch Lindsey grow from a little girl to someone who is so accomplished and with whom I get to work on a daily basis. Our working relationship has truly enhanced our mother-daughter relationship."

They Created the Infamous 'Little Black Pant"

Who: Natasha Lee, 25, and Cricket Lee, 64

Their company: Little Black Pant, an apparel brand targeted to all women over 35. Move aside 'little black dress'—Cricket Lee and her daughter, Natasha, reimagined the idea of go-to apparel by creating the classic pant version of this iconic wardrobe staple. In just eighteen months, they sold $10 million dollars worth of these black pants via Facebook alone. Cricket's company, Fitlogic, utilized the pants as a way to prove the marketplace acceptance of her patented universal fit system in providing an ideal fit for women of all sizes and shapes.

Their story: While Cricket first started Fitlogic in 2002 when Natasha was just 10 years old, the process to arrive at 'Little Black Pant' took some time. In addition to five years of fit research, Cricket also tested the concept of scientific-based fit styles for five years at Nordstroms, Macy's, QVC, designer boutiques, and online. Then she turned to five years of developing a direct to consumer division. Through this in-depth approach, she can help companies reduce apparel returns for fitted clothing from 40 percent to under 10 percent when companies license her fit system.

It wasn't until her daughter, who had an interest in athleisure, joined the team that the Little Black Pant officially hit the scene. The greatest lesson for Cricket was realizing Natasha's working style didn't have to match her own for the pants to be successful. "Natasha is creative and impressionable, so she is continually disappointed that we aren't 'there' yet," she shares. "She wants to be a renegade—the apple doesn't fall far from the tree—and her ideas and fashion talent have made all the difference in our journey."

For mothers and daughters to find a way to work effectively together, Cricket says it's important to set clear boundaries. Natasha agrees, adding: "Have clear guidelines and have a middleman whenever possible. Try your best to be professional and try to separate your time together and not overlap business and personal."

We bet you can't wait to see how your little one will influence your own work and ideas over the years. If these entrepreneurs are any indication, you have just as much to learn from your daughter as she grows up, as she has to learn from you.


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