Meet The Mothers & Daughters Celebrating Their Bond

directed by Bruno Centofanti.
The mother and daughter relationship is a much-examined cultural phenomenon; if slamming doors at home was your favourite teenage pastime, you’re not alone. But has it ever occurred to you that you might be sharing the TV remote with the potential cofounder of your future startup business? Some mother and daughter duos are defying the clichés, rewriting the business and creativity rule books – and getting along really rather well. Collaborating, it turns out, was the best decision they ever made and together, they’re challenging gender, career and cultural stereotypes, and doing what they love.
Ahead, meet three mother and daughter duos and discover how, with the help of some Samsung wearable tech and a large dollop of passion, they’ve transformed their family ties into a greater bond and helped each other realise their vocational dreams.

Sally and Lettie, The Design Studio

What is The Design Studio?
Lettie: We started The Design Studio together, about four years ago. I’d been wearing clothes my mum had designed to uni and people kept asking me where they were from. I started an Instagram account and used it as a simplified shop. It was mainly this really colourful jacket that was getting lots of attention. We were so small at that point. Everything was handmade, and we made a very exclusive run of jackets. It's just been us – mother and daughter – working and designing ever since.
What’s it like working with each other?
L: She's always been my fashion icon. We’re the best of friends. The fact that I have a mum who’s a fashion designer who can put my sketches into reality and make what I dream up, is incredible.
What are the challenges of being a mother and daughter duo?
Sally: We work from home, so you're in the same space all the time, but we do have offices at separate ends of the house. We meet up for coffee in the kitchen!
How do you keep fit when you work from home?
L: We go to the gym every morning before work and keep in shape but we’re not slaves to this 'perfect' body. Working from home, it’s so easy to sit at a computer for hours. The Gear Sport watch tells us when we haven’t moved enough muscles and when we should have a walk about and stretch.
Have you been through any hardships that have strengthened your bond?
S: Eight years ago I lost my husband; Lettie was only 16 and she lost her dad. We recently made a bum bag in memory of him because he loved his bum bags. A portion of the sales are going to Mind charity in memory of him.
Where do you get your inspiration?
L: I use my Gear IconX to listen to podcasts about other business startups, while my mum listens to the radio. I feel like I’m connecting with entrepreneurs worldwide from my desk when I listen to podcasts, which is really special.
How do you want women to feel when they wear your designs?
S: We want women to feel confident, and sure that no one else will be wearing one of our designs to the same event. We create fashion for all ages because we think you shouldn’t stop expressing your own personality because you’ve hit a certain age. No one should have to conform. They’re spirited pieces.

Kelly and Abbie, Football Referees

How did you both get into refereeing?
Kelly: I got into it over a decade ago. I loved going with my dad when I was little. I’d watch the referees and think 'I can do that'. I saw an ad in a local paper about a six-week course to become a professional ref, and I passed.
Abbie: In Scotland you have to be 16 before you can take the exam, so I sat it on my 16th birthday, which was a bit risky but obviously I passed. Mum became a single parent eight years ago, and if she couldn’t get a babysitter for us three kids, we'd go and watch the games. I was inspired. People often mistake the two of us for one another.
Are there many women in refereeing?
K: When I started there was maybe a handful in Scotland. Now there's about 58 in the country.
Have you faced any prejudice?
K: We referee semi-professional games for men on a Saturday afternoon and some of their supporters can be really, really bad, they can be shouting at you: 'Go home and do your dishes.'
A: You have to be very confident in your decisions as a result. You’re the expert. Your decision is always right. I’ve definitely cried in the changing rooms a few times, however!
How do you support each other?
A: I drive Mum to her matches and we always call each other after a game if we’re not on together and just ask how the game was, and we’re always wishing each other the best luck.
K: The job is tough but so rewarding. I wouldn’t let my daughter do the job if I didn’t love it. I’m so proud of her. She can hold her own with 22 men on the pitch, and coaches and fans! Sometimes I just find myself looking across the pitch thinking, 'I created her!'
How does it feel to have made history as the first mum and daughter to referee a game together?
K: To make history with my daughter is an overwhelming sense of achievement. We never set out to break records, we’re just good at what we do.
What do you say when people say mother and daughter relationships are hard work?
K: Abbie is my best friend. We do argue and we do fall out but we fall back in very quickly. I find it sad when people say they don’t have the same relationship with their daughter. We’re very grateful.
A: When Mum’s busy working, I take over and look after my little sister. We’re a team.
Does it ever get competitive between the two of you?
A: Mum is very competitive! I’ve been using the Gear Sport to monitor my health levels so I can keep up with her. I find the heart-rate pacer very useful. I also keep check of my water intake so that I'm never dehydrated when training together.
K: I love running every morning and the Samsung Gear IconX wireless ear buds have been a blessing. They fit so well and because I don’t have to even have my phone on me, I can be hands-free and take the dog with me.
What’s the biggest challenge of being a female referee?
K: Believing in your own strength and confidence when you’re on a pitch with 22 men. I give myself a talking-to in the mirror, to say: 'You’re worthy of being here, you're worthy of being at this game, you will make the correct decisions, you might make mistakes.'
A: Being a girl in a man’s world. You just have to remember that you’re the expert and you deserve to be there.

Kay and Sanya, Perfect Samosa

When and why did you start Perfect Samosa?
Sanya: Primarily, Mum and I wanted to spend more time together. We decided to go into the food industry because Mum’s real creative passions lie within creating gorgeous recipes. I wanted to help Mum get them out there and I had so much faith in those recipes' ability to create a real disruptive storm in the food world.
What's the best thing about running a business with each other?
S: I get to share all my successes with my mum firsthand. How amazing is that? If you think about it, when you get good news, often the first person you want to call up is your mum, who is your unrivalled, biologically preprogrammed cheerleader in life, but I get to work on building my dreams with my mum and sharing the successes with her, too.
What's your best advice for someone thinking about going into business with their mum or daughter?
Kay: Dividing up roles according to your differing strengths will help smooth out any one person working more than the other – a premise for potential conflict.
How do you feel you have broken barriers, be it culturally, as a woman, or as a mother and daughter working together?
S: Most people we meet are surprised to learn we manage a business as big as Perfect Samosa and still have great banter together as mother and daughter. Our driving force is each other. That’s not to say our strong bond doesn’t come with its own set of problems, because it definitely does, but we have so much care, love and respect for each other.
What kind of gear do you wear day-to-day when you prep and cook your samosas?
S: Any clothes, equipment and accessories we choose to wear have to be functional and practical for us when we’re in the kitchen. This ranges from wearing waterproof mascara when we’re doing a food festival outdoors in the rain to the Gear Fit2 Pro, which is amazing – waterproof and pretty infallible in our busy day-to-day life preparing food and running the production side of the business.
How do you both switch off from being business partners?
K: Sanya and I are huge fans of running before work. We’re lucky to be surrounded by gorgeous beaches in Liverpool, which increases our sense of wellbeing and connection with nature. Sanya bought me the Gear Fit2 Pro for Mother's Day and running with it is amazing, not only can we track our fitness levels, it’s completely practical. It also has a step counter, which keeps us moving!
What's the most profound lesson you've taught one another?
K: I’ve learned from Sanya about not taking no as an answer and being almost relentless to get what you want.
S: I’ve learned from Mum about dealing with things with grace, tact and class.
Have you been through any hardships that have strengthened your bond?
S: Some of the toughest hardships we went through in our early days of business surrounded our finances. The financial hurdles always existed in our family and Mum was having to deal with them on her own, being a single, widowed mother to two young daughters.
K: Since the inception of the business, any hardship is actually shared and worked on together.
As these mother and daughter duos celebrate their bond, drive, support and inspire one another, their Samsung wearable tech is right there with them. Whether through taking time to switch off, or gentle reminders to keep moving when they’re head down, designing and creating, it adds a slickness and process to their full-on, full-force lives.

More from Living

R29 Original Series