Elsie and I often get asked what it's like to work together. Since we're like, sisters and all. Working with family or close friends can be challenging. Although Elsie and I have a dynamic that works well together. We've been working together since we were in high school, we started selling handmade accessories at music festivals during the summers. We used to do wedding photography together. I helped Elsie with her first Etsy shop and eventually we became full partners, owning the Red Velvet store and this little website you're reading right now. We recently completed our first co-authored book together too. Here are three reasons why our partnership works in business.1. We don't compete. My success is Elsie's success, and vice versa. I don't want to be better than her; I want us to be better than we could be on our own. And we are. Elsie and I have very different strengths (and weaknesses). She has a stronger artistic vision than me; Elsie's design abilities never cease to amaze me. We both come up with ideas for articles, take pictures, create content; but it's really Elsie who makes our brand so beautiful. I have a better since of administration; I organize, budget and keep our business on track. We both have a strong say in where our business is headed; but it's me who strategically keeps things headed in that direction. It would be easy to get jealous or annoyed by each other's strengths. It's hard seeing your sister be better at something than you. But instead we realized early on that our strengths could compliment and balance each other out. We need each other; and that keeps us from getting jealous or… uh… catty. 🙂2. We have similar but contrasting styles. I am type A, she is right-brained. I have a messy, 1970s vibe style. She prefers clean lines and bold, well put together pieces. We have slightly different tastes, and this makes us stronger. When thinking about our next business move Elsie can dream big and imagine the impossible, I think about what that would cost and what demographic we could target that to. When creating a new craft project we both come at the project with a slightly different aesthetic; making the design process more full and interesting. Being different is not something we shy away from. Having a different idea or perspective is never something we hide from each other during meetings. We respect each other and listen, even when we don't initially agree.
3. We know each other. We're sisters so we grew up together (duh!) and we've been best friends for most of our lives. We've seen each other grow and change over the years; we've watched and shared in each others successes and failures. And we can anticipate what each other will think about certain things. This gives us a communication edge. We can quickly and easily explain ideas. And we understand where the other one is coming from. In business, this ability to communicate easily is a priceless gift.
Just a few peeks inside our little family business. xo. Emma
Third photo c/o Float Away Studios.