Other famous moms and daughters who work together include models Linda and Ashley Graham; Kaia Gerber and Cindy Crawford; Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer.
Like mother, like daughter.
Supermodel Tyra Banks teamed up with her mom and role model Carolyn London for her new book, “Perfect Is Boring: 10 Things My Crazy, Fierce Mama Taught Me About Beauty, Booty, and Being a Boss,” hitting shelves on Tuesday. The unfiltered memoir digs into Banks’ candid comments about her nose job, and how her mom’s tough love supported her rise from awkward teen to talk show and “America’s Best Top Model” host.
“We want to tell the world our story and how she raised me, and my journey to get to where I am today,” Banks told Hoda Kotb on the “Today” show Monday morning, adding, “It’s a she-say, she-say!”
This comes on the heels of model Ashley Graham turning her latest swimsuit shoot into a family affair. Graham, 30, designed a capsule collection with the beachwear brand Swimsuits for All and recruited her mom and role model Linda Graham to shoot the campaign, which debuted this last month, onsite in Agadir, Morocco. The duo posed in a series of bikinis and colorful cutout one pieces.
“My mom has been my role model since childhood and has played a vital role in developing my confidence,” Graham said in a press release. “She promoted body positivity in our household before it was a movement. Her feel-good attitude toward her own body has shaped my ability to remain positive and self-assured. Plus, she’s hot and looks incredible in the suits!”
Ashley and Linda Graham join a slew relatable relatives that have collaborated at work. Last year, supermodel Cindy Crawford, 51, and her 16-year-old daughter Kaia Gerber shared the runway for a Versace presentation. And actress Meryl Streep recruited her eldest daughter Mamie Gummer to portray a mother-daughter duo role in the 2015 dramedy “Ricki and the Flash.” Similarly, Lena Dunham’s mom, artist Laurie Simmons, made a cameo in her daughter’s first film “Tiny Furniture” in 2010.
Experts say that working with your mom can be empowering, as long as you maintain a balancing act with the business and personal relationships.
“You’ve got to be able to separate your professional life from your personal life,” career coach Cheryl Palmer says. “Set boundaries and objectives of your roles in the business — are you co-owners? Is one sort of the lead? You need to think this through before going down that road.”
And when it comes to having arguments with your mom or daughter on the job, Palmer says it’s necessary to take a step back from the emotional conversation before it escalates to a screaming match. Calmly settle your differences, like you would address a situation with any boss or co-worker who is not related.
“It’s easier to be objective when you’re not related to your business partner,” says Palmer. “There may be situations where you disagree, but it’s important to be brutally honest with each other and work through those issues.”
Palmer also says its important to have an exit strategy from the beginning of another job you’ll take on if the business fails, or you find your mom or daughter isn’t the right business partner.
“If you go down this road and suppose it doesn’t work? Can both people leave that professional relationship with their dignity in tact, if for some reason it just doesn’t work out?” says Palmer.
If it works, there’s certainly a profit to be made. According to Family Enterprise USA, there are around 5.5 million family businesses in the U.S. and studies show that about 40% of U.S. family-owned businesses turn into second-generation businesses and approximately 1% are passed down successfully to third generation. And women-owned businesses generated $1.4 trillion in receipts in 2012, up 18.7% from 2007, according to the most recent Survey of Business Owners, conducted every five years by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Still, only about one-third of new business are started by women. It’s staggering statistics like those that motivated former real estate professional Renee Sandler, a mom from Atlanta, to try to teach her daughters about female entrepreneurship early on by asking them to come up with business ideas at ages 9 and 10.
“We’re just so underrepresented on so many levels … I thought, ‘Gee are my daughters going to be limited in how they advance because they’re women?’ I decided that in order for them to really see their full potential, they should be their own boss,” Sandler recalls. “I said, ‘Why don’t you come up with a business idea?’ And they did.”
The trio decided to create a line of lip balms by accident in 2007 after Lily was searching for chapstick while packing for camp and called out, “Mom, where’s my lip blam?” — accidentally mispronouncing the name lip balm. The silly word play became a part of their business name, BLAMtastic. They started cooking up recipes for lip balm with all natural ingredients in their kitchen, and today the products are in retailers like Walmart and Walgreens.
“The girls were so deeply involved in every level of growing the business — marketing, sales, leadership — they did it all. A typical conversation at our dinner table was about international business commerce,” says Sandler, whose daughters are now in college. “They’ve learned how to take something from concept to the shelf. It’s a valuable skill set.”
While Sandler and her daughters were able to run a successful business, she urges the importance of being a mom first to fellow mompreneurs. When one of her daughters wanted to be in a school play while the family was traveling a lot to grow the business, for example, Sandler didn’t even have to think twice before signing her up.
“It’s really important to remember that family is first,” she says. “You really need to strike a balance, and at times take that business conversation off the table entirely.”
This story was originally published on Feb. 7, 2018 and has been updated with Tyra Banks.
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