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Mommy & Me: Celebrating Companies Led by Mother/Daughter Duos

Even though this upcoming Mother's Day might be celebrated in less traditional ways, the meaning behind the holiday is still something to be treasured. A mother/daughter bond is truly unique, even more so, when that bond becomes business. In honor of that beautiful connection, we've asked all of our brands to tell us if their company is run by a mother/daughter team. Here, we highlight how the female family dynamic adds a little something special to their DNA.

Sylvia Echavarria and Camila English, Sylca Designs

Sylca Designs is a jewelry brand made of natural materials like wood and shells, founded by Sylvia Echavarria and Camila English. After moving to the United States, Sylvia followed her love for fashion and accessories by working as a sales rep for various fashion brands before launching Sylca. The mother/daughter duo say that they launched Sylca with one vision: "to empower women to feel fashionable, beautiful and, most importantly, confident."

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Camila English and Sylvia Echavarria

What's the best part about working together?
Camila: There are so many great things about working with your mom that it is hard to choose a favorite. But I think one of my favorite things is that we truly know we have each other's best interest at heart. We would never do anything to purposely hurt one another! That is probably one of the most valuable things that you can have in a business partner.  

Sylvia: Working with my daughter was one of my dreams. I enjoy it every day, we love to travel, and we get to do this together for tradeshows and to oversee production. When we travel we go out to restaurants to try different food and drinks. We love to do new things. I love to see the world and the business from my daughter's perspective.

What do you hope the other learns about you from your working relationship? 
Camila:
Two things come to mind; one is not so much about my personality but super important. I am more tech savvy than my mom, and I work every day at teaching her new things. I hope she continues to be as curious as she is and wanting to learn. It takes patience but it is so important for our parents to evolve with technology. The other is patience, although neither of us are very patient, per say, I tend to be more than her, and she definitely could learn to be more calm when we are faced with problems. 
Sylvia: Believe it or not I am more of a risk taker than Camila. I hope she learns to be more of a risk taker from working together.

Ladan and Tania Shayan, Shay Jewelry

Shay Jewelry was founded by Los Angeles natives, Ladan and Tania Shayan in 2002. This mother/daughter team uses diamonds and precious gemstones set in platinum and 18-karat gold for their handmade collection of stackable jewelry.

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Ladan and Tania Shayan

How did you start working together?
Tania:
My mom and I have always been extremely close, and a love of fashion was always something we shared. In high school, I started playing around with making my own bracelets, and it was something we both naturally gravitated towards. Our very first pieces were a version of a link bracelet which is now a staple in the line! Luckily, she and I share a similar aesthetic and love for layering! In all seriousness, I have a very supportive mother who saw and also shared my interest in something and really allowed me to turn it into a career. I couldn't have done it without her!

What's your favorite part of working with your daughter? 
Ladan: The biggest advantage is trust and knowing you can close your eyes and count on the other person.

When you look back on your collaborative time together, what memory will you most treasure?
Tania:
That is a tough one. We spend so much time together and have created so many memories. I would say above all would be getting to travel the world together. We have been so lucky to visit so many incredible cities and countries together. There is no one else in the world I would have picked to have by my side!

Roseann  & Clara Sunwoo, Clara Sunwoo

Clara Sunwoo is a women's apparel brand rooted in effortless style. Clara Sunwoo and her daughter Roseann, launched the collection in 1997 with the vision of creating a brand focused on fabric and fit. The collection is made in the USA with wrinkle-free, travel-friendly fabrics.

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Clara and Roseann Sunwoo

How did you start working with your mom?
Roseann: Designing and creating was a necessity. Clara immigrated from Seoul Korea, to NYC in 1975 with $1,000 and one suitcase. Often daydreaming observing the windows of the 5th Ave department stores, Clara used her natural artistic talents to create her own clothing, pillows, curtains, and her children's clothing. Everything was handmade to make ends meet. I was a natural apprentice growing up with a sewing machine and accompanying my mother on buying trips for textiles and making the necessary items needed in the family. This unknowing adventure together turned our talents into our own branded collection. Clara Sunwoo was born out of hands on artistry, necessity, and a love for the perfect fit. 

What's your favorite part of working with your mom?   
Roseann:
You get to be working with your soulmate, best friend, and trusting adviser at all times. We are everything rolled up into one. Sometimes we feel we have developed serious telepathy. We often laugh together when we come up with the same ideas or burst into cheer during our Eureeka! moments. The relationship we have is truly special and we get to see each other everyday. 

When you look back on your collaborative time together, what memory will you most treasure?     
Roseann: There are just too many to choose one. But a memory that stands out in particular for me is when we were guests on The Today Show and even though we were both super excited, right before we went on air for live television, my mother leaned over to me to whisper: "I'm starving, where should we go eat lunch?" I burst into laughter and I knew right there that she was just a really cool collective being who just walks through the journey of life. It was a great moment. 

Hannah Fastov and Melissa Fastov, Go Dash Dot

Go Dash Dot is a "fashion meets function" bag brand founded by Hannah Fastov in 2016. After years of searching for the perfect bag, Fastov designed Go Dash Dot as convertible, multiuse carryalls with separate compartments for things like footwear and laptops.

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Hannah and Melissa Fastov

How did you start working with your mom?
Hannah:
 When I launched Go Dash Dot, I was still working full time for another fashion brand and my mom generously offered to help with any of the administrative tasks that I couldn't get to while I was at work during the day. As Go Dash Dot started to grow, her role quickly evolved into shipping all of our orders from our warehouse (her basement) and working with our accountant to manage our books. When I decided to take the leap and go full time with Go Dash Dot, I told my mom she was in too deep and couldn't leave me. And here we are four years later: an epic mother/daughter duo. 

What's the best part of working with each other?
Hannah: My Mom and I have always been extremely close, but having a working relationship has added a new dimension to our relationship and given me the opportunity to get to know her in a professional setting, which has been fun and something I didn't expect when I started Go Dash Dot. And of course, I'm technically her boss and telling her what to do never gets old!
Melissa: I know this sounds a bit corny, but my favorite part about working with Hannah is the time we spend together, and seeing firsthand how she has established herself as a young entrepreneur. It is not often that a parent has the opportunity to see a child in her work environment and it is just so gratifying to see her strength, persistence, and creativity. Given that this is a totally new industry for me—I particularly love learning so much from her!

When you look back on your collaborative time together, what memory will you most treasure? 
Melissa:
This is a hard one - I have so many....  I would have to say it was our trip to Japan to meet with our distributors.  We had never been to Japan and it was a wonderful combination of sightseeing and experiencing the Japanese business culture.  We had fun and both learned so much.  Hannah was interviewed about her company at a large Japanese department store event and it was so exciting to see the positive response and applause from the audience! 

Lisa Lenchner and Shannon Kane, Lenchner & Kane Sales

Independent sales showroom, Lenchner and Kane Sales, was founded three years ago by mother/daughter team Lisa Lenchner and Shannon Kane. They pride themselves on working with "crossover" brands that appeal to both generations, and sell to West Coast specialty stores, resorts, hotels, and casinos.

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Shannon Kane and Lisa Lenchner

How did you start working with your mom?
Shannon Kane: Lisa Lenchner, my mother, has been in the business since 1987, so naturally when I was brought into the world, I pretty much grew up in this industry. I remember running up and down the hallways of the California Market Center as a child! Six years down the line and into my own career path, I was in a very bad car accident that left me on disability and shortly after, I lost my career. I call this a bittersweet moment in my life because I had lost something very special in my life, but it was also a new door that was opening for me. My mother had just reopened a showroom and things were taking off for her. She needed help and asked me to come with her to the local tradeshow. From that point on we worked hard and built up the business into the success it is today. Things just stuck and we are having a blast being in business together.

 What's your favorite part of working with your mom?
Shannon:
My favorite part about working together is the traveling. Every road trip or on our way to a tradeshow, we blast music, sing, share ideas, come up with new ideas to boost business, share our dreams and hopes for the future.

What do you hope your mom learns about you from your working relationship?
If anything, I think I am learning the most. My mom is one of the most hardworking people I know. She is "type A." She has always reinvented herself in every curveball situation life has thrown at her.

Kristin Boyd, Vim & Vigor Candles

Kristin Boyd started her candle collection Vim & Vigor in 2015 after a weekend spent re-claiming excess candle wax. That catapulted her desire to create a candle that burned evenly. Boyd says that all her candles are "handcrafted with natural soy wax and top of the line fragrance and essential oils. I pour them in 100% pure copper and natural wood vessels that can be repurposed after the candle burns." 

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Kristin (right) and her mom (left)

What's your favorite part of working with your mom?
Kristin:
She is always bringing a positive light to my business. My favorite part of working with my mom is that it gives us the opportunity to spend time together just the two of us and bond in a way that we have not had an opportunity to do before. She is so smart and constantly thinking of new ways to better my business and my work/life balance.

When you look back on your collaborative time together, what memory will you most treasure?
Kristin:
My favorite memory of working with my mom was when I was first starting out and prepping for my first retail event. I had been working 20-plus hours a day leading up to the event and called my mom the night before to ask for her advice on how to set up my booth. She immediately noticed that I was getting sick and said, "Stop what you are doing, I am coming over with soup and we will figure this out together." She was at my house within 10 minutes and stayed up until midnight with me setting up the display and then breaking it down to pack it. Before she left, she asked, "Okay so what time should your dad and I be here in the morning to go set up?" I didn't even have to ask. She just knew that I couldn't do it alone and didn't hesitate to assume that meant she and my dad were going to come with me to help. They showed up at 6AM the next day and stayed with me for the entire show. The show was insanely busy and I never could have done it without her stepping in to help. That was the day I think all three of us realized that this business I was starting could really be something big and she hasn't stopped helping me since.
 

Helena and Kaya Stuart, Only Hearts 

Helena Stuart launched the sustainable lingerie brand, Only Hearts in 1978. After working as a pastry chef, her daughter Kaya chose to apprentice with her mother at Only Hearts, and later went on to study at Parsons. Now, the two have been working together for almost 20 years!

 

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Kaya and Helena Stuart

What's your favorite part of working with your daughter?
Helena: Trust in any relationship is paramount, but what's most wonderful about this dynamic is how we both get to meet and throughly engage with facets of our 
personalities, and depths of thought, that fall outside our natural mother/daughter dynamic That we get to know each other in a completely honest, though unusual way. 

What do you hope your daughter learns about you from your working relationship?
Helena: Every day is another chance.

When you look back on your collaborative time together, what memory will you most treasure?
Helena: This arch of time we have shared together is like an unfinished tapestry: Impossible to say!

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