I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world to have the relationship that I do with my mother (that’s us, left). My mom is my best friend: a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen to my (often ridiculous) worries and complaints, and my source of strength when things seem their toughest. Her steadfast motto—”Things always work out”—never fails to get me through life’s biggest challenges. So Mom, if you’re reading this: Thank you for all that you are to me. I love you and wish you Happy Mother’s Day, today and always.
Now, those warm sentiments aside, here’s the question: Given our strong relationship, would it be possible to run a successful business with my mother? The very thought is terrifying. Don’t business partners fight? If we were to fail, what would happen to our relationship? I doubt I’ll ever learn the answer to that question personally, but I turned to Jane Taylor Jewelry and Meeo Miia, both prime examples of mother-daughter business teams at their best, for insight into what it’s like to work with family. The incredible women behind these two jewelry companies are inspiring, proving that the bond between mother and daughter only adds strength and liveliness to their business—and they both create some killer designs to boot. So in honor of Mother’s Day, we asked for a daughter’s (JT Jewelry’s Cleo Zancope) and a mother’s (Meeo Miia’s Mary Elizabeth Cohen), perspective on working as a team.
Jane Taylor Jewelry
“My career started in New York City while I was in elementary school, spending afternoons with my mom in the Diamond District and weekends watching her pigtailing necklaces and bracelets. At 9 years old, I would gripe to my friends when people began to knock off her designs. And at 12, I was fiercely proud when her Chubby Bezel earrings were used in the DeBeers ‘Diamond Are Forever’ campaign. She would always ask my opinion on her gemstone color pairings, and that continued even when I would return home from college on my vacations. Because jewelry has always been a part of our mother-daughter relationship, it feels very natural for us to be working together, especially in an industry that operates as a worldwide family!”
—Cleo Zancope, daughter
“Developing our mother-daughter company not only made sense, it was the perfect fit. Combining our love, respect, and admiration that we had for each other mixed with our strengths, passions, and past 20 years of already working together, Meeo Miia was launched—‘America’s First Social Media Jewelry Company.’ Our mother-daughter team adds that extra something special to our business model. Behind the messages our jewelry provides, our intention is to make a global difference. It goes without saying that our relationship as mother and daughter is special and full of love. Our deep connectedness and the respect we have for each other add something magical and extraordinary to our family and the Meeo Miia mix.”
—Mary Elizabeth Cohen, mother