As kids, my sister and I would always know it was the end of the month. Not by looking at a calendar but by hearing the rhythmic tap, tap, tap of the manual typewriter as Mum typed out the statements for each of our retailers. High concentration was required for the 2–3-day task and it was a good policy for us kids to keep a very low profile over those couple of days.
Especially in those early days Mum would support Dad not only, by doing the bookwork for our fledgling business and all by hand mind you. Mum would also be looking out for my sister and I as dad had his shoulder to the wheel attempting to get our watch brand Adina off the ground. In the early days selling, assembling and repairing all our watches on his own.
I guess family business can be like that, but when you look back at it. Each of my parents’ roles were equally as integral in the eventual success of our business.
Each May we celebrate our mothers and their contribution to enriching our lives and the support they have given us. In the case of both myself and our brand Adina’s case it is twofold. Sure, she is mine and my sister’s Mum but it can quite easily be argued she is the Mother of our brand.
Being there from the beginning, over the past 50 years she has seen it all! Celebrated the victories and lamented the losses. Here is what a quick snap shot of the last 50 years has looked like from her perspective.
Mum is pregnant with me, and a mate talks dad into leaving the safety of his job to start a new business. How do you even start that conversation? Oh, and by the way we have to put our life savings on the line. Needless to say, the business gets off the ground and in the first 18months the
partnership goes sour. Her words, “So now we have to buy out the guy that talked you into this whole business?” Well yes. I guess the only way is up, enter my sister on the scene and the business starts to flourish. Fast forward to 1983 the Australian Dollar is floated and our debt to our overseas suppliers escalates over 200%, basically overnight. “Guess we need to mortgage our house, again.”
Here is an up shot though, come 1990 a computer system is installed and the typewriter is silenced after nearly 20 years. Too bad I have already left home! These days having Dad and I in the same workplace creates a new challenge in the role of the mediator. I am sure though when dad gets home and tells Mum what new hair brained idea I have come up with, she nods at the appropriate times and smiles. It has been a long road.
A long road indeed, just like those three days every month of what must have seemed like endless typing. She, like our business, has endured, and Dad is certainly the Father of Adina, my Mum is definitely the Matriarch.
Happy Mother’s Day Mum. Thanks for everything!