One Family Business, Many Generations of Women
NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Mother's Day, in the commercial sense, is a holiday to honor all things maternal and remind moms just how great they are by purchasing sappy greeting cards, flowers and expensive jewelry. It also reminds us of our ancestry and how history and tradition are commonly passed down through women.
This is also true in business. As it turns out women have been passing down businesses from mother to daughter, well, forever. But it takes a special family to hang on to that business for more than two generations. Not many can, but those that do proudly acknowledge their deep ties to family and to their history as major contributors to that success.
In celebration of Mother's Day this Sunday, we highlight four successful companies that have several generations of the females in their family working together.
1. Mary-Penn Bed and Breakfast
57, 37, 17. This is one of the first things Bea Waybright mentions about her business partners at Mary-Penn Bed & Breakfast . Waybright is referring to the ages of the three generations of women -- herself, her daughter Amy and her granddaughter Aubrey, respectively, who work together to run this historic inn.
Each has their own responsibilities. Waybright herself takes care of most of the client-facing jobs. Amy is in charge of catering and special events as well as the accounting. Aubrey, who will soon go to college, helps out her grandmother with day-to-day activities, such as welcoming the guests and tours.
The bed and breakfast is quite historic. Built in 1743 and sitting literally on the Mason-Dixon line, two-thirds of the house rests in Pennsylvania and the other third in Maryland. Waybright's husband and father-in-law bought the property, including the house, which was in major disrepair, in 1979. They were originally going to tear the house down, but her mother-in-law saw the historic potential. She wanted to restore and keep the house as her own. Her in-laws both lived in the house until they passed away.
As Waybright tells it, she asked her mother-in-law shortly before she died what she wanted done with the house. Her mother-in-law replied that she would like to see the house used as a bed and breakfast and wanted Waybright, working at the time in the medical field, to run it. "I know you can do it," Waybwright recalls her mother-in-law saying.