Q and A with Theresa
IS THERE SUCH A THING AS TOO MUCH TOGETHERNESS?
This is definitely a lesson I needed to learn after my son got married. My daughter-in-law comes from a very close loving family (much like mine) and I needed to back off a bit to let her get comfortable with sharing not just herself but her husband and their new daughter.
RELATIONSHIP and NUMBER OF YEARS WORKING TOGETHER
I won’t list all 15 here, but here are a few
David, son, 7 years part time associate and 6 years as partner
Leslie, brother, partner for 1 year and collaborator on multiple projects for 17 years
Desiree, niece, associate on and off for 15 years
Elizabeth, sister, manager and Art Rep for Fike Gallery, 2 years
I do have to mention Lauren here. Even though she is not technically family, she has become family. I’ve known her about 15 years. She’s been an associate in Fike Studio for 4 years, and as far as I’m concerned she may as well be my daughter, David even introduces her as his sister.
And Kelly, my husband who has silently supported me for 30 years from the side lines.
In 1972 my parents opened The Balcony Restaurant in Folsom Ca. and employed all 8 of their children to work it. Growing up in a family restaurant, we learned early how to work with each other. Believe me it wasn’t always easy working with six sisters and one brother, there was plenty of family drama. Yet we remain close today, living in the same area and helping each other in all our endeavors.
WHAT KIND OF BUSINESS DO YOU HAVE AND WHAT ARE THE ROLES EACH OF YOU HAVE IN IT?
Fike Studio is incorporated, licensed and bonded in California. C-33 license.
We have an 1100 sq ft warehouse that we work and teach from.
Fike Studio, inc. has one subsidiary, Fike Gallery currently only online.
My role is Head Honcho. I develop the finishes and teach them to my crew, I do all the marketing and client relations including estimates and billing Other tasks include, but are never limited to: planning and research, online networking and website management,
David does the books and the taxes and is responsible for the supplies for each job and crew manger. One or both of us is always on the job site.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE REWARDS AND CHALLENGES OF WORKING TOGETHER?
I’ll start with the challenges here. The only significant challenge has been who is boss at any given time. For the most part that tends to be me, as it should be given I created the business, but more and more David needs the room to be boss. I have had to learn to let him do things his way even if it meant the result was different then I wanted. I had to learn when to relinquish control and how to step in when the outcome was questionable. I think the challenge for David is seeing the direction I’m taking the business, he tends toward “sticking with what you know” and I tend toward building an ever expanding repertoire of services.
The rewards are worth any challenge. I get to work with the people I love!
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER FAMILIES/MARRIAGES WHO MAY WANT TO WORK TOGETHER?
Respect, Respect, Respect.
Create a real business plan that defines each individual’s role in the business
Give each other space on occasion
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Check your breath before working on small areas together
Give credit where credit is do to all members of your crew
Laugh as much and as often as possible
WHAT IS A GREAT MOMENT YOU CAN REMEMBER SHARING TOGETHER? THE WORST?
There are a lot of great moments but one that is especially unique is when David and I decided to open Fike Gallery. We went to the New York Art Expo together. We fine-tuned our business plan and spent 3 days deciding which artitsts we wanted to include in the gallery.
A single moment or event is not coming to mind as a “worst moment” but the strain of keeping everything going this last year has caused some stress. It falls on my shoulders to bring in the jobs and the additional hours necessary to do that were not always appreciated or valued by David or my husband.