While you’re familiar with our delicious pâté, you may not realize that Alexian Pâté is owned and operated by Laurie and Alexandra, who are mother and daughter. In honor of Mother’s Day, we interviewed them about their experiences running award-winning, women-owned business together.
What’s your favorite part about running a business with your mother/daughter?
Laurie: I get to be with my daughter every day! And it’s wonderful to execute and plan with someone who is so vested in the business.
Alexandra: I agree! Working together means we always have something to talk about. We can always bounce ideas off of one another, work through plans for improvement, and, most importantly, we are ableto share in our successes together.
What are some challenges you face?
Laurie: Alexandra really wants my big office (laughs). On a serious note, her high energy level makes me aware of my inevitable ageing. We do disagree with each other occasionally, but not often. Disagreements are usually resolved after taking the time to recognize each other’s knowledge and experience. For example, she might defer to my many years of experience in growing and running a manufacturing business, but I will usually defer to her in matters of technology, communications, and giving enough time to fully examine an issue.
Alexandra: Yes, I’m after that big office of hers! (laughs)
Even though we are mother/daughter, our brains operate differently, so sometimes there are different approaches to things and we may not agree always. Despite those differences, we do complement each other and we are usually able to come to the fairest and best solution.
At family gatherings, we find ourselves diving into work conversations because we are both so passionate about what we do. Finding the balance between work and personal/family time can be a challenge.
What advice would you have for other mothers and daughters looking to run a business together?
- Clarify the goals and aspirations of both mother and daughter.
- Be prepared to disagree and have a method for resolution, if needed.
- Understand and appreciate the talents and experience that each brings to the mission.
Alexandra: In addition to that:
- Get yourselves into professional peer organizations. You’ll often find other professionals in your position and they can give great feedback, advice, and support.
- Embrace each other’s strengths and differences, and realize that the way they may approach a challenge or situation may be different than yours. Just because there are different approaches doesn’t mean that either is wrong.
- Make a plan to separate your business relationship from your family relationship.
What is your favorite “quality” about your mom/daughter?
Laurie: It’s definitely her attention to and patience with detail in any and all forms.
Alexandra: Her vast knowledge of business and our industry. She is very business-minded and has creative ways of thinking about things and approaching challenges.
How do you think Alexian Pâté reflects your relationship?
Laurie: It is a very happy and fun brand that never forgets what made it great: Attention to quality, food safety, and consideration for its employees.
Alexandra: Laurie and I may be family by genes, but we consider our team here to be like family too. A big part of Alexian’s success can be attributed to our team of loyal employees and the care they put into the products that we make. For decades, we have prided ourselves on making a top-quality product and we can’t make that without a top-quality team!