We absolutely love seeing mothers and daughters come together to build businesses and carry on family traditions like Sandra and Acacia from Serenity West (based in Vancouver, BC). We asked this mother-daughter business duo some questions about their business partnership, what it’s really like working together as a mother-daughter business and any tips they have for up and coming mother-daughter duos. Enjoy!
How did your business come together? Share a bit about your start in business.
Immersed in an urban lifestyle, we were looking for an answer to some quiet and solitude – some serenity. As an Interior Designer, Sandra has long wanted to create products that are both aesthetically pleasing, environmental and serve a function in her own home. We are constantly inspired by nature and the west coast in particular; we wanted to bring that feeling of serenity in nature into the home and to fit a modern lifestyle, balancing work and play.
Why did you decide to work together?
In the process of thinking about using her favourite fabric (linen) in her home and wardrobe, Sandra approached daughter, Acacia to help with marketing and photography. It seemed the perfect fit because we have always gotten along and have many things in common. Like any good partnership, each person has their strengths and complimentary skills that work towards a common goal: to encapsulate nature’s serenity and bring it into your home and lifestyle in a sustainable way. Our combination of experiences and perspectives made it easy to develop Serenity West together.
What’s one thing that contributes to your success as a Mother-Daughter duo?
The coffee dates. Hands down. It’s when we get to be creative and open with each other. In that sense, being family members: while most may think this is a struggle, our closeness actually makes it easier for us to discuss any challenges that arise in our company. And, we have so much in common, namely similar taste and style — you may have seen us wearing the same outfit on more than one occasion — which makes it so easy to work together every day.
What’s your favourite moment working together so far?
Our favourite moment working together so far, is the photo-shoot we did last May in the beautiful Okanagan desert. We both felt like this was serenity coming to life. We felt like we had learned a lot, in both business and the creative side by this time. We are so proud of the pieces we designed and created for that photoshoot, and the talented people we collaborated with: photographer, Marcus Fung, make-up artist, Miel Enage and our model, Amberlee. We had a blast on this photoshoot, from conception to execution. This day was a moment we won’t forget because it encapsulates not only the success of our business, but the joy of running it together.
What advice do you have for other Mother-Daughter business partners? Is this something you would recommend?
One challenge we find ourselves in constantly, is the time challenge; to impose tight schedules on ourselves that make daily life stressful. We try not to make decisions or act hastily, so we really focus on creating schedules that work for both of us, making sure we leave enough time to maintain our goals without straying from our ethos. As a mother-daughter duo in particular, we struggle with this as we often have late night or early morning chats about work because we don’t have the same boundaries, or relationship, as usual business partners or colleagues. A tip for other mother-daughter duos: take time to enjoy the process too. By reminding ourselves about being local, slowing down – taking time – that has been a real game change
Mother – Share your favourite thing about working with your daughter:
My favourite thing about working with Acacia is that I know I can trust and rely on her to work with me through challenges. I know, that when we work together, whatever comes our way, we can speak honestly to each other and not only overcome challenges, but put a positive spin on anything. Because we have similar tastes and opinions, it’s easy for us to talk things through and come up with solutions we both are happy with.
Daughter – Share your favourite thing about working with your Mother:
My favourite thing about working with my mom is the creativity she brings to the table. She is fearless when it comes to creating what her and I want to see in the world. I often get stuck in the logistics of creating and selling our products, while she is so confident in the ideas and designs we come up with, she continues to convince me that we should strive to create the best pieces we can, because that’s why we started Serenity West.
Thank you so much to Sandra and Acacia from Serenity West for sharing some of their business journey with us. We hope you enjoyed getting to know them as much as we did.