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9 Life Lessons from Inspiring Mother-Daughter Teams

In honor of Mother’s Day, we talked to three inspiring mother-daughter boutique owners about their businesses, relationships, and challenges. Read on to learn the 9 lessons every woman should remember. After that, call your mom.

Shoptiques 9 Life Lessons from Inspiring Mother-Daughter Teams

1. Your mom still has a lot to teach you.

“’If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything’ is my Mom's favorite advice to tell our family. You have to stand up for what you believe in. My Mom also happens to be the best seller in the store and she can talk to anyone about anything, so she teaches our whole team so much just by watching her and listening to her.”

–Hope, Max & Riley boutique in Boston, MA.

2. If you don’t try, you won’t succeed.     

“My daughter has very specific, established designers she wants to carry in the store. Sometimes I think we are not big enough, or established enough, and her thinking is ‘why not ask?’ We both decided we want to carry designers that aren't carried everywhere and we are the only store in Boston that carries designers like Rachel Zoe and Zac Posen. For a store less than a year old, we are really building something we didn't imagine would be possible in the first year.”

–Susan, Max & Riley boutique in Boston, MA. 

3. Two minds are better than one.

“There are many businesses operated by moms and daughters, but ours is different. MOMNI exists because of both of our skills. We would not be able to operate if either one of us decides to leave. My mom transforms the clothes to customize the fit and I do all the buying and marketing for our customers.”

–Joy, MOMNI boutique in Jacksonville, FL.

“We have always had a strong, healthy relationship, but I love that I get to discover all the business leadership skills in Joy. Not only do we get to share our lives together, but we make all the executives decisions together by supporting and challenging each other.”

–Mary, MOMNI boutique in Jacksonville, FL.

4. Hard work pays off.

“‘The day you feel accomplished, is a day to start a new challenge. Never be afraid of taking risks.’ This is the quote my mom repeatedly says, reminding me that business is a lifelong project. My mom makes sure I am always coming up with new events or ideas as soon as one is finished. Customers always want to see and meet new things. Therefore, we have to make sure we are meeting their expectations.”

–Joy, MOMNI boutique in Jacksonville, FL.

5. Failure is temporary.

“My mom has always taught me to never give up. Failing at one thing doesn't mean we fail altogether. If something doesn't work, we pick up the pieces and move on. Retail is tough, but we get through it as a team.” 

–Emma, Emleigh's & Mama B’s in Concord, NC

6. Make your own opportunities.    

“Emma was managing a small boutique for another woman who wanted her to start looking for a second shop to open closer to where we live. That didn’t work out, but we were talking about it and thought ‘Hey, we should open our own boutique since we’ve been doing all the research already’ and since Emma has gotten experience in the business and found out that this is really what she loved doing, it made perfect sense.”

–Lisa, Emleigh's & Mama B’s in Concord, NC

7. It’s never too late to reinvent yourself.

“During my lung cancer recovery process, I shared with Joy how I want to start something new. As I was recovering, I wanted to start a new journey for myself. I could not do it on my own, so I invited Joy to start this adventure. It was the perfect change to pursue both of our dreams - my dream of becoming a seamstress and Joy’s dream of owning a boutique. We wanted to create a unique shop that makes us special and we thought of the idea of a boutique offering full in-house alterations service. Also, a place for other moms and daughters to shop together. It is very important for us to carry styles for all ages and all bodies.”

–Mary, MOMNI boutique in Jacksonville, FL.

8. Do what you love.

“I have always loved fashion, and actually started my working in fashion and retail during and after college. After getting married and raising my daughters, I left retailing behind, but it always remained a goal of mine to open a boutique. We decided that after Hope graduated from graduate school, my husband and I would retire and we would move to Boston. This became the perfect time to open our boutique - something Hope had also dreamed of. “

–Susan, Max & Riley boutique in Boston, MA.

9. Find balance in your relationship.

“As a mother, I love seeing all my children grow and become adults. Being in business with my oldest daughter I get to see her first hand when things go well and learn how to adjust and work through any challenges that arise. Sometimes it’s a little harder to step back and just let her go through it all but I have learned to see where she goes with it first, then offer my suggestions when warranted.”  

–Lisa, Emleigh's & Mama B’s in Concord, NC

“Our relationship has become one of give and take. We respect each other’s opinions. I recognize her as a business partner and she recognizes me as a business partner. Outside of the store, we are mom and daughter.”

–Susan, Max & Riley boutique in Boston, MA.  

How about you? 

What’s the best advice your mother ever gave you? Leave her words of wisdom in the comments and check out these and other boutiques on

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