Colleague relationships can be complicated enough – but what happens when you throw a family member into the mix? Working with members of your family has the potential to be a very trying and challenging situation, but it can also bring an element to business that no manner of team-building activities can produce.
Jane & NathalieNathalie Jane
Based in St Aubin, Nathalie Jane was established in May this year with the purpose of bringing high quality, stylish and easy to wear clothing and accessories to local customers and visiting tourists in Jersey.
Where did the inspiration come from to open Nathalie Jane?
JANE: I’d been selling clothes from Danish labels Friendtex and Once from home for about a year, and had found they were drawing a keen following amongst friends in Jersey who kept coming back for more! As the clothes became increasingly popular, I drew on my daughter Nathalie’s first-hand knowledge and experience of the retail industry to help expand my little business.
NATHALIE: I was working for online fashion brand ASOS in London at the time and was keen to lend a hand to support my Mum’s new venture. Following a stint of travelling, I took a break from London to return home to Jersey to soak up the island life. A Sunday morning coffee in St Aubin’s quickly turned into the start of a new adventure for us when, by chance, we saw that a retail space was available in the perfect location. It was an opportunity not to miss!
What is it that you love the most about working together?
NATHALIE: We have a shared belief in good quality products and the importance of creating a friendly, approachable environment in our small boutique. It works well because we both bring something different to the table.
JANE: Nathalie has great artistic flair and loves putting together different displays and getting creative, whilst I keep an eye on the business side of things! We both love interacting with our customers, with the approach that every customer is an individual who will have their own style and their own ideas about what catches their eye or makes them feel their best.
What are your hopes for the future in running your business together?
JANE: The business has gone from strength to strength since its opening in May. We have already learnt a lot and look forward to continuing to develop our shop so that it’s fresh and relevant, but never compromising on the quality and ethos of the brands we sell.
NATHALIE: It’s exciting to explore new opportunities for adding new products, particularly as we enter a new season. Any excuse for a few ‘research trips’ to our favourite European markets in the search of products with that little something special, is an added bonus!
Allan & BenBoxinBusiness
Boxinbusiness is a specialised state of the art boxing gym based at Fort Regent, where they run non-contact boxing fitness sessions for men and women of all ages and abilities. Founded by father and son team, Allan & Ben, their aim is to get people fit and teach them new skills; all at the same time as enjoying their training.
What first enabled you to set up Boxinbusiness?
BEN: After 16 years of being a competitive boxer and seeing the benefits boxing has both physically and mentally, I really wanted to offer the same type of training to everyone.
ALLAN: Boxing training and boxing gyms can be quite intimidating for people, but at Boxinbusiness we try to make boxing accessible to everyone, keeping the training levels high whilst making it fun and enjoyable.
What’s it like working so closely together?
ALLAN: We love working alongside each other and couldn’t think of better duo. Like any partnership, we have our little disagreements but we soon get over them and go back to being best friends. We definitely play the roles of ‘good cop, bad cop’ – Ben being the good cop!
BEN: With my fitness experience along with my Dad’s passion, drive and wicked sense of humour, we feel we’re a great team.
What do your clients say about you as a father and son team?
BEN: Our clients think the relationship we have it pretty cool, and they can see how much we love what we’re doing – “if you find something you enjoy, you will probably be good at it”.
Paul & BethCambrette Care
Cambrette Care is a high-quality community care provider, providing care packages that enable islanders to enjoy living life in their own home for as long as they wish. The business is run by husband and wife team, Paul & Beth, who have not only recently celebrated Cambrette Care’s 10 year anniversary, but also their own Silver Wedding Anniversary and both of their 50th birthdays.
What first motivated you to establish a business together?
PAUL: I met a friend who during a “what are you both doing at the moment” conversation said he had the perfect business for us for sale. We were curious but sceptical to start with, but it quickly became clear that we had the ideal skill mix to make it happen.
BETH: With my background in nursing and experience as a regulator, paired with Paul’s administrative experience, we were confident we could make it work. For myself, having worked as a regulator, I had always thought that I would enjoy the challenge of providing excellent care in the community. We cancelled a dream holiday to Mexico and started work just after my 40th birthday. We didn’t realize it might take 3 years before we had another holiday!
What is it like working together as Husband and Wife?
PAUL: The opportunity to work together was something of a gift. As parents, we never missed a prize giving, a performance or a teacher meeting.
BETH: There were challenges to start with – we worked from our dining room at home. Once we established our office in town we were able to define more boundaries, for example, no discussing work in the bathroom in the morning, let alone the bedroom!
What do you think is the key to success in running a business with your spouse?
PAUL: The key to working with your spouse is recognising each other’s strengths and delegating the work to those strengths. Obviously, we don’t talk about the weaknesses as that would be counterproductive!
BETH: We know we have challenges ahead, the LTCB is now established, the independent Care Commission for adults is in place and the Regulation of Care Law is to be enacted at the end of this year. We can’t wait to meet these challenges and to continue enabling our clients to keep enjoying life in their own home.
Anna & TomJT
Anna and Tom Hughes met at Jersey Telecom in the year 2000. They both started work within a few months of each other in the same department. Fast-forward 18 years and they are happily married with two beautiful children, and are living proof that it is possible to share the workplace with your spouse!
What is it like working at the same company as your spouse?
ANNA: We met at work and were married within a few short years. We have seen a lot of change over the years, in ourselves, in technology and in JT. Working together means we have a very strong contextual understanding of each other’s work load, we understand the direction the company is going in and pressures each other may face.
TOM: We’re in a lucky position that we have very different skill sets and different drivers that just so happen to work very well together. We can provide support and advice, talking something through with full knowledge and insight. However, I can’t always get away with saying I’m in a meeting – Anna knows better!
What do you love most about working together?
ANNA: Aside from the reassurance that you don’t have to babysit your partner at staff parties? After 18 years of living and working together, with a couple of amazing children thrown into the mix, we’ve learned a lot about each other. The key to working with your partner isn’t that different from learning to work with your partner in a marriage – there’s a lot of give and take.
TOM: We’ve supported each other through many department transitions over the years. It’s good to know that your favourite person and best friend is there and has your back … most of the time! We have an employer that is wholly supportive of a work-life balance and allows us, and the many other families within JT, to manage our work days with a degree of flexibility – I suppose that’s why we have never felt a need to move elsewhere.
What is the key to success and happiness for a couple sharing the workplace?
ANNA: You need to limit the time you talk about work at home – that’s key for all couples, but more so for those that work together. Life is all about balance, and you need to learn when to close the door on your work. Not working in the same office also helps!
TOM: I agree with Anna – just because you spend all day together doesn’t necessarily mean you should sprint off in opposite directions once its five o’clock. We do lots of activities together, but also have a lot of separate hobbies and friend groups, which is important for us as individuals and makes sure I don’t just talk about full-fibre broadband!