The Guardian: Women in Leadership - Lisa & Tida Finch


Lisa believes complementary skills are the key to success
“Tida and I have always worked together. In school, we would always pair up for projects and work alongside each other. Even though we were on different courses at university, we always worked on each others’ projects – our teachers got used to the other twin coming into classes! It felt like a really natural progression to set up a business together and something we always knew we wanted to do. We made the conscious decision to study different degrees to arm us with different skills for our business: Tida studied textile design, while I studied graphic and media design.

In our final year of university, our roles fell into place. Tida designed a fashion collection for her final degree show, and I was in charge of all the sales and marketing material. After graduating, these roles developed further, so now I head up the business side of things and Tida heads up the design. These roles are not finite: we’re both business-savvy and passionate about great design, but it helps to define each person’s main role in the company. Our mum was a dressmaker and our dad was a car salesman, so both fashion and business is innate in us.

The incredible thing about working with my sister is the fact that there is no holding back. We are both completely upfront and honest with our thoughts and opinions, so decisions get made very quickly. Our parents have always taught us to do the very things we are afraid of, so together we are pretty fearless.”

 

For Tida, it’s all about shared goals, complete trust and putting family first
“My twin sister and I set up our fashion accessories label shortly after graduating. We are incredibly close, so always knew we wanted to work together. Our business grew really organically; neither of us has ever felt competitive against the other and we’ve always supported each other so this felt like a natural progression.

Starting a business from scratch is really tough and you inevitably end up working really long anti-social hours, so working together has been important as it means we never get lonely, and we can help each other through the inevitable pitfalls and setbacks. As twins, we have a complementary skillset and mentality, so we bounce off each other all the time with ideas – from the initial design process through to sales.

What is crucial is that we trust each other to make decisions on behalf of the business. We also trust that we are both investing as much time, energy and resources as the other, which can be tricky to establish when starting a new venture with a close relative.

The most important thing to remember is that you can’t allow work to jeopardise your family relationships.

Lisa and I work hard to maintain trust; this means we can discuss things openly and honestly. As twins, we have a very strong bond, so we socialise and live together too. This works for us, but I wouldn’t recommend it for most family businesses!

Above all, we share the same goals, ethos, drive and determination to make our business successful and unique. I believe that’s the real key to making it work.”

Guardian interview here

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