Family Business Success Stories of the 21st Century 

Generational differences have always been a source of tension between parents and their children. Although, in some cases, these differences, together with strong family ties, can serve as the basis for a successful business partnership. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the work of relatives side by side and how some family startups have grown into the most successful business cases of the 21st century? Read below.

Authentic Foods

The gluten-free company was founded in 1993 by Stephen Rice. Now, his son, Aaron works there as the vice-president for sales and marketing.

Benefits of Collaboration. It greatly simplifies communication because when working with a relative, you know each other well. In the father-son relationship, there is some particular distinctive connection.

Difficulties. Empowerment. If the father leads the process himself for a long time, now having a partner for him is a huge challenge.

Advice to family business owners from Stephen and Aaron. Whether you start a Europe dating site or build a factory, the key to success is openness. Start by assigning responsibilities (who is responsible for what) to avoid future conflicts.

Beija-Flor Jeans

This story is about a mother and daughter who were struggling to find a perfect pair of jeans. So, Emily Whitaker and Katie Moka came up with a series of Brazilian jeans called Beija Flor.

Benefits of Collaboration. It is great to work with a person who knows you really well and to whom you have great respect. When they first started, Katie and Emily didn’t have to tune in; this made their phenomenally fast success possible. They say they both treat their common cause with full passion. When one of them loses inspiration, the second finds the power to work with a new portion of enthusiasm.

Difficulties. When building a family business, it is complicated to adhere to a specific framework. But complicated doesn’t mean impossible.

Advice to family business owners. Being patient and kind to each other is vital. Unfortunately, we often behave inappropriately with relatives, knowing that they will forgive us. And separate roles and responsibilities but remember that, in some cases, you need to cover each other.

John Paul Mitchell Systems

John Paul DeJoria is the co-founder and head of Paul Mitchell, a company offering hair care products that are known all over the world today. He works together with his daughter.

Benefits of Collaboration. Acquiring knowledge, wisdom, and experience. Many people watch what your partner does. But to be able to see the process from the inside, to learn from your relative, is simply priceless. A sense of pride in how professional a close person becomes is wonderful.

Difficulties. Members of one family are representatives of different generations. For example, sometimes you have to spend several years to convince your dad of the expediency of using social networks. You can think the same way but sometimes look at things from different angles. The biggest challenge is also to let go of some of the processes and let your relative-partner finish things. Even if they are the representatives of another generation, you definitely always have something to learn from them.

Advice to family business owners. Know how to muffle your ego. The matter is not at all who the boss is, who has more authority, or who knows more. You have a single goal – to develop the business you have started for the benefit of your team and your clients. If you are lucky to work with your child, who is a true professional, remember, you cannot always be absolutely right. Therefore, be open to the suggestions of your children and listen to their thoughts and ideas.


The skin care device company was founded by Carol Cole and her two daughters Tera and Kimberley. Now Tera is the CEO.

Benefits of Collaboration. If you start something together with your family, every person will have different but complementary talents, hobbies. Someone can be a mad scientist; others play the role of a real worker bee. Separately, it would be hard if not impossible for you to achieve the success and development of the company.

Difficulties. Living with a person and learning from her the whole life is one thing, but starting a business is something completely different. You should have a clear idea, and then working for it will be easy. If you are passionate about a concept and have your close people working near you, it feels amazing.

Advice to family business owners. You cannot change anyone. Understand that there is power in your differences. And you should learn something new from each other. All in all, separate the work and personal life. Do not translate your financial problems into regular life.

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