The Mother-Daughter Owned Brands to Know in 2021

The best coworkers are family members!

Mother-daughter relationships can be tough but wonderful (shoutout to my mom for dealing with me when I was a mean 13-year-old; still sorry about that). Of course, every relationship dynamic is different, but for many women, our moms are who shape us into the people we become. They give the best advice and provide endless amounts of inspiration when it comes to life—and style. In the spirit of the holiday honoring moms and mother-figures everywhere this weekend, we asked three of our favorite mother-daughter owned brands to give us the inside scoop on what it's like to have your parent (or your child) as your business partner. For the bad-ass duos (and a trio!) behind House of Aama, Brinker & Eliza, and Nudestix, their unbreakable bonds, combined talents, and shared passion are the key to their success.

House of Aama

mother daughter owned brands
Rebecca Henry (left) and Akua Shabaka, cofounders of House of Aama
Courtesy of Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Rebecca Henry, a lawyer by trade, passed down her artistic abilities—sewing, quilting—to her daughter Akua Shabaka, who went on to attend Parsons School of Design. But it was while Shabaka was still in high school that the mother-daughter duo began their fashion journey. They started selling upcycled vintage pieces on Etsy as a hobby before experimenting with original designs. In 2015, House of Aama was born. The LA-based lifestyle brand is inspired by the pair's African heritage with a heavy focus on sustainability. Clearly the women are onto something: Last month, Henry and Shabaka were chosen as one of 10 finalists for this year's CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.

Marie Claire: What is it like to run a business with your mom/daughter?

Henry and Shabaka: A daily rollercoaster but at the end of the day we are family and dedicated to creating a heritage legacy brand so we make it work.

Marie Claire: Why is your mom/daughter the ideal business partner?

Henry and Shabaka: We already know each other’s strengths and weaknesses; so we can apportion the daily tasks in a way that makes sense. We aren’t trying to figure out what each one is capable of doing—we already know. Also, because we are mother/daughter, we are invested in building each other up and not tearing each other down.

Shop our House of Aama Picks

Brinker & Eliza

mother daughter owned brands
Eliza (left) and Brinker Higgins, the women behind Brinker & Eliza
Courtesy of Brinker & Eliza

Brinker and Eliza Higgins experiment with baroque pearls, beads, chains, shells, metal charms, and more to create the funky pieces for their namesake accessories brand. Brinker, a trained metalsmith and silversmith who owned her own jewelry line, partnered up with her daughter Eliza, who has a background in fashion merchandising, in 2017. Together, they handmake everything for their joint business out of their studio in Connecticut, where they're from.

Marie Claire: What is it like to run a business with your mom/daughter?

Eliza Higgins: Our skill-sets complement one another well. My mom is super creative, and such a cool designer to work with. She’ll hear out an idea of mine, then take it to a level that’s way beyond what I imagined in the first place. I, meanwhile, focus on the business side of things, from marketing to merchandising to sales. Where we come together is in the creative vision. We’re inside one another’s heads that way. We’ll both have the same “craving” for a pair of striped shell earrings, for example. Or one of us will suggest a design solution the other was just about to say. We both feel super lucky that this works, and we’re so excited to see where this whole thing will lead.

Marie Claire: Why is your mom/daughter the ideal business partner?

Eliza Higgins: We understand one another and are able to appreciate the other’s point of view [and] individual sense of style. We’re also super aligned when it comes to the actual product. We’ll have the same idea about how to make something feel truly finished, and what makes a piece of jewelry perfect. We also both have a “more is more” approach to designing—and wearing—jewelry.

Shop our Brinker & Eliza Picks

Nudestix

mother daughter owned brands
From left: The Nudestix leadership team of Ally, Jenny, and Taylor Frankel.
Courtesy of NUDESTIX

Nudestix is a cruelty-free, eco-friendly makeup line founded by mother-daughter trio, Jenny, Taylor, and Ally Frankel. With their brand, the Frankels aim to simplify getting ready with a collection of easy-to-use makeup crayons that don't hide a person's natural beauty. Jenny Frankel, the founder, president, and matriarch, is a chemical engineer who spent 20 years in the beauty industry. Taylor and Ally are cofounders and Chief Inspiration Officers of Nudestix.

Marie Claire: What is it like to run a business with your mom/daughter?

Taylor Frankel: I love working with my mom. She is such a force and inspiration. Over the last seven years, I’ve learned more from my mom—by absorbing everything she has to offer from a business and leadership perspective—than I could ever learn in a classroom or in any other setting. She has given both myself and my sister the platform to share our voice and to express creativity. Obviously, working with family has it’s challenges; there is no “turning off” or typical 9-to-5 work day, as most conversations revolve around work (which most entrepreneurs would know). However, it is extremely rewarding being able to build a business with my mom—from traveling globally, to ideating at the kitchen table, these are moments I will always cherish and never take for granted.

Jenny Frankel: I absolutely love running a business with my daughters. Taylor and Ally are an inspiration: They are of a different generation; they inspire me to have modern thinking, they inspire me to look at things in a new way that is multi-generational. They also inspire me to be a role model every single day. I love mentoring my daughters. I love showing them and sharing my experience with them, which they are very open-minded to receive. I feel like that is my legacy. I am here to share with the girls what I’ve been able to learn as a beauty thought-leader and business leader over the years. It is a the best gift my daughters can give to me. Enjoying and learning and building this business together. And if they don't agree with me, then I could always pull mom rank and say, "mom knows best."

Marie Claire: Why is your mom/daughter the ideal business partner?

Taylor Frankel: Other than my mom being incredibly intelligent, with a vast amount of beauty experience, she is patient, fair, and an amazing leader. She sets a great example for my sister and me on what leadership means and how important it is to lead with both strength and empathy. My mom fills expertise that both my sister and I do not have, so we make a great team.

Shop our Nudestix Picks

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Marie Claire

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