There’s no denying that mother and daughter duos have an indescribable and irrefutable bond. So what happens when you throw business in the mix? From an active luxe clothing line to interior design and ceramic pottery, entrepreneurship run in the genes for these dynamic duos.
TRACY BARKER & PIA TWYFORD | AKAZI
What keeps you both passionate about AKAZI and ethical fashion in general?
The support and confidence we get from the people around us. Watching Akazi grow and enjoying the process and having a blurred vision of where it will lead. It is wonderful to be a part of a positive movement of change in the fashion industry. People want real authenticity in their lives and that is what we are trying to achieve.
Do you ever have disagreements about what particular garments should look like, or is the process quite harmonious?
Usually it’s pretty harmonious. We both love the same things and we like to create garments that we can both wear in our own way. We wear Akazi almost every day and often turn up wearing the same outfit. Obviously there are some suggestions of mine that Pia outrightly refuses and some of her suggestions take me a little while to understand. We try to stick to what Akazi means to us; pure simple lines, beautiful natural fabrics, classic styles that will last and authenticity.
What’s the most poignant thing you learnt from spending 8 years in Africa?
Creating something from nothing. I lived in various countries in Africa for fourteen years. Pia and I lived in a remote area of Northern Malawi where there were very few shops or entertainment. We took our influences from the landscape, people and the natural world.
MEIKE DE DEYNE & CHARLIE DE DEYNE | MAS & MIEK, THE CERAMIC HOUSE
What sparked your decision to go into business together as mother and daughter?
As a young girl, Charlie would always hang out with me at my studio. From there, working together happened quite naturally and we combined our passion selling at the fabulous Goma Markets twice a year under the name Mas & Miek. Mas was Charlie’s nickname when she was little and means ‘little girl’ in Flemish, my first language from Belgium.
What has been the biggest thing you’ve learnt on this journey together?
We love the term ‘soul craft’ in describing ceramics as it’s a very meditative and relaxing pastime. The process of clay forces you to slow down, take it step by step and unwind. In a fast paced environment like a city, I think a lot of people find sanctuary in coming into the studio. In teaching the art of ceramic practice, we learned to be more patient and to nourish the creativity that people crave at their own pace and in their own direction.
How will you be celebrating Mother’s Day this year?
Last year we sold a lot of ceramics as sons and daughters love to give a handmade present and we were flat out keeping up with supplies and very much in the mood to relax and unwind on Mothers Day. I love cooking lunch with herbs and veggies from my garden with my family at our home on the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast. When lunch is served on our own plates, we are perfectly happy ... like piglets in mud.
JUDY ELLIOT & JESS BANDIERA | VERANDAH INTERIORS
Judy, how does it make you feel watching Jess’ career blossom in an industry you are also very passionate about?
I’m actually blown away and in awe of her incredible ability to run the business as efficiently as she does at such a young age, relentless in her determination for success, passionate about design, hungry to learn, our business runs seamlessly due to her hands-on approach to all areas of the business. I’m blessed that I get to be by her side, to guide and inspire her to be the very best designer she can be.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught each other over your years working together?
Judy: I’ve learnt to respect Jess's value in the business and to allow her to at times take the driver’s seat and run the business, to allow her to drive team meetings and to allow her the freedom to make her own choices in design.
Jess: She is my greatest teacher, mentor, motivator and inspiration. Her passion and love for interiors is like nothing else, she has taught me to never settle, to always deliver far beyond what is expected and to always focus on the details, they make the design. She has also taught me to never give up, in life and business, there have been moments that felt really overwhelming and yet she is always the shining light pushing us through and giving me the confidence to always find the solution and positive outlook.
RHONNIE STRANEY & BRIDIE HAYES | FLOCK FIT, GODDESS GANG
How was your new active luxe range, Goddess Gang, born?
We both wear activewear all the time, so we wanted to showcase how we wear it. We tend to edge it up a bit, it doesn't always have to be with leggings and runners. The focus is really on being comfortable, chic and wearable. We've always just been very close and we've got a shared vision of what we love from an interiors and fashion point of view.
What do you admire most about each other?
Bridie: I really look up to mum in terms of her energy and approach to life. She always picks me up when I'm not quite in the mood. Even when tough things happen, we just enjoy hanging out together. I’m also very envious of my mum's style. Here I am at 22 and I don't have that sense of style. It’s just so effortless.
Rhonnie: See, I love her style too! It has that edge to it that I don’t think mine does. That being said, she could wear a paper bag and still look good.
What’s your favourite Mother’s Day memory?
We did a road trip to Byron together a few years ago. I'd just bought a convertible and we just played music all the way from Sydney to Brisbane. Bridie sings as well, so we were doing that the whole time. We just turned up the music and grooved out the whole time.
Image: Billie Edwards for Tree Of Life
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