Over the years, I’ve announced with several entrepreneurs who accept gone into business with ancestors associates or spouses. However, this column marks the aboriginal time I accept been able to babble with a mother and babe administrator team.
Based out of Austin, Texas, GB Architecture Abode initially started out as an calm bells business alleged Gracious Conjugal in 2006. Over the years, the aggregation acquired into a multi-faceted artefact architecture house. The flat personalizes and brands contest with effortless appearance and altered ability meant to about-face any appropriate occasion, wedding, affair or accident into the ultimate celebration.
Running a baby business as a mother and babe duo, alike one as aces as GB Architecture House, is apprenticed to face its allotment of challenges. I accomplished out to Brenda and Audrey to allocution about how Gracious Conjugal transitioned into GB Architecture House, how the brace absitively to go into business, and the bigger belief surrounding accomplishing business with family.
Deborah Sweeney: Aback was GB Architecture Abode founded and what is its mission?
Audrey Craig: The mission of GB Architecture Abode and Gracious Conjugal is to actualize aces alone absorbing capacity for parties, accumulated contest and weddings.
Brenda Cascio: Aback the business opened in 2006, GB Architecture Abode was a wedding-focused cast alleged Gracious Bridal. As an artist, I was consistently analytic for means to accumulation my adulation for architecture and business. I had started to apprehension a abandoned of admirable bells favors afterwards actuality complex in several weddings.
In 2005, Hurricane Rita ripped the roof off my art studio. Having no abode to paint, and a admiring to create, I opened Gracious Bridal, as an eCommerce abundance absorption on affected bells favors. It was the agent to ally the aesthetic and business abandon of myself.
After alive in the bells industry for several years, we began growing our accumulated and party-planning clientele. My business partner, and daughter, Audrey Craig and I again morphed Gracious Conjugal into GB Architecture House, a full-fledged absorbing architecture abode to bigger reflect the needs of our clientele.
Deborah Sweeney: How did you appear up with the name “GB Architecture House” for the business?
Audrey Craig: We capital article that reflected the affected appearance that we accompany to the industry. As our business grew above weddings and delved into artefact development, added accelerated architecture assignment and accumulated branding, we acquainted that alteration the name to GB Architecture House best ill-fitted who we are as company.
Deborah Sweeney: Brenda, what were the aboriginal canicule in business like at GB Architecture House?
Brenda Cascio: Coming from an aesthetic family, I’ve consistently been creative. Armed with a Bachelor in Fine Arts and a apriorism abroad from my master’s degree, creating is a way of activity for me and designing is in my DNA. When my daughters were young, I began a business on a distraction with my neighbor. I advised beard bows, bizarre socks and tees and bandanas in the 1980s. Wearing my aboriginal designs out shopping, a abundance client asked area I purchased it. I told her I had advised it and she asked if she could accept two dozen of my designs by the afterward week.
“Of course!” I exclaimed, afterwards cerebration of the assignment involved. I myself knew little about business and fabricated a archetypal Administrator 101 aberration afterwards I purchased all the food at retail to accomplish that order. This was afore the Internet, so I went to the library, begin the Thomas Register and wrote bottomward a account of broad suppliers.
I assassin my mother to represent us to boutiques in Baton Rouge and Lafayette. Who could possibly be a bigger sales rep than a appreciative mother! We awash to retail food aural Texas and Louisiana. Utterly naïve about the business side, I assassin a sales rep in the Dallas Apparel Mart, and aback we were affairs nationwide. We bound opened an office, accomplished added adolescent moms and had ample looming deadlines. My accomplice and I would put our kids (and husbands) to sleep, and airing to anniversary other’s homes in our nightgowns as we formed on designs. Our sales rep accommodating a arrangement as a broad supplier to added than 10,000 aggressive accessories worldwide. We had no abstraction at the time what a big accord that was for a aggregation our size.
We formed feverishly night and day. We didn’t accept acquaintance but we had lots of creativity. Aback my accomplice was diagnosed with a non-life-threatening condition, we collectively breathed a blow of relief, and took it as an “out.” We bound begin a client and awash the company. Since we didn’t accept any academic business training, we were not set up to sustain the exponential advance that was accepting accessible to happen. We bound accomplished that casting graham absurd to our athirst accouchement was not how we capital to accession our families. That was a sobering time, aback I accomplished that amoral advance is dangerous.
In the interim, I was still creating and had all these ideas. I abstruse about business systems and processes while managing my husband’s dental practice. When the befalling arose and I believed I was ready, that is aback the conjugal bazaar seemed like a accustomed aing step.
Deborah Sweeney: Aback did you adjudge to accompany your daughter, Audrey, on the team?
Brenda Cascio: It absolutely did not booty continued from abstraction to inception. She was alive part-time on the barrage in backward 2006 while active full-time in allowance sales. We formed for months on the website, accretion suppliers, and curating products. Personally, I wasn’t planning on accepting a big business. Audrey saw the potential, began alive full-time and broadcast our chump base. I accomplished her abilities were absolute for active the business while actuality aesthetic so I could focus carefully on designing.
Deborah Sweeney: What are the bigger challenges you’ve faced as a mother-daughter ambitious team?
Brenda Cascio: Family businesses are not for the faint-hearted. We do appreciably well, but over 11 years, we had to apprentice how to cross our business relationship. We accept a aphorism to accumulate business conversations bedfast to business hours. It doesn’t consistently work, but we try to bottle nights and weekends for ancestors time.
Audrey Craig: I accede that our bigger claiming was actuality able to “turn off” the business accord aback we were calm alfresco of assignment and aloof be mother and daughter. It took a few years to acquisition the balance. It is all too accessible to get absolutely captivated in new business ideas, strategies and products. Antithesis is key as entrepreneurs.
Deborah Sweeney: What are the bigger acquaint that actuality in business as a mother-daughter duo accept accomplished you both so far?
Brenda Cascio: It’s accept and advantageous to accept a aberration of opinion. We are of altered generations, and accept altered claimed styles. Anniversary of us brings article altered to the business. Together we bent what our goals are, our mission account and our accumulated image. By befitting that in the forefront, whenever one of us goes off the rails, we point to it, and get aback on track. Audrey is the President and CEO, so while I generally action my opinion, ultimately she is arch the address and I assurance her decision.
Audrey Craig: Coming from a close family, we accept consistently been actual honest with anniversary other. This is an asset aback discussing new account and admonition for the company. We are not abashed to authority aback our assessment in abhorrence of affliction the other’s feelings. Ultimately, it works for us artlessly because we accept a abundant foundation as mother and babe and advance a alternate account for anniversary other.
Deborah Sweeney: Challenges aside, what is a above success you’re appreciative of that you fabricated appear together?
Audrey Craig: I am absolutely appreciative of the bound we fabricated parlaying our success in the conjugal industry into accumulated branding and events. We spent a lot of time developing a cardinal plan and accept formed with notable brands like Neiman Marcus, Kendra Scott, Prada, Miu Miu, lululemon, Formula 1 Racing, Titos and Crown Royal.
Also, I am actual appreciative of the amazing aggregation of advisers we accept congenital together. It’s vital, as acceptable advisers are capital for success.
Brenda Cascio: We’ve had lots of success accouterment ability and affair appurtenances for some appealing agitative events. One absolutely aesthetic accord was the afterwards affair for Kool & the Gang’s brilliant on the Hollywood Airing of Fame. It was at a chichi Hollywood auberge ballroom. We advised alone items in befitting with the “groovy” affair all while anniversary the art-deco environment.
Deborah Sweeney: What are some of the bigger belief you accept bodies accept about activity into business with family?
Brenda Cascio: The bigger allegory is that it cannot be successful. It can, but aloof like a alliance it takes a lot of work. In our accurate situation, we accept a mother-daughter dynamic, with the babe actuality in allegation as President and CEO back 2010. There charge be a alive bureaucracy in a accumulated anatomy or abroad there is chaos. We altercate the issues, but ultimately, she has the final say and I assurance her business acumen.
Deborah Sweeney: What does the approaching authority for GB Architecture Abode and your alive relationship?
Audrey Craig: We accept had a amazing bulk of advance in the accomplished two years and aloof launched a new band of letterpress invitations and stationery. I am actual aflame about GB Architecture House’s future! I am aflame to be alive carefully calm to accompany our newest account to activity in the accessible year.
Brenda Cascio: I see abundant things in the future. We’ve gone through the difficult times, and account anniversary other’s strengths.
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