August 15, 2012
Listen here. Aired on Marketplace.
Traditionally a son or daughter would join the family business, usually run by their dad. But things are changing. I recently met a couple of young entrepreneurs who have hired their mothers to work for them (there are plenty of people who have hired their fathers, too, it's just that I couldn't get any of them to talk to me). There are currently no statistics on this, but professors and family business consultants tell me it is a trend, if a small one. One reason is that Generation Y tends to be closer to and more comfortable with its parents than other generations, another is that there are plenty of experienced, recently retired or recently laid-off parents out there, itching for a new challenge. But just because you love someone doesn't mean you're a business match. I really enjoyed talking to all the interviewees in this piece and only wish I could have included more tape of Alexandra Ferguson and her mother, Charlotte (photo from Alexandra's studio, above) and Katie Weiford and her mother Sheila.