Family owned businesses are economic powerhouses that drive local, national, and global economies. 35% of Fortune 500 companies are family owned. WalMart, the world’s largest retailer, still stands as the most profitable family business started by brothers, Sam and Bud. Family is extremely important to me.
For me, it is always Family First. As a teenager, my mom served as my first role model as an entrepreneurial female in leadership. For 20 years, she owned and operated our first family business: Irving-Kedzie Currency Exchange (Chicago). I learned how to build trust and manage a small support staff and create relationships with our customers. I got an insider look at growing a business and how to provide services for the community. My mom and I have always been very close which is still true today but working literally in a “cage” certainly put our foundation to the test at times. However, she knew that I genuinely cared about her success and was an extremely loyal employee. College summer vacations were spent in the cage. After I left Eicoff (DRTV), she had confidence in my ability to run the business when she had several health challenges and occasionally enjoyed a well-deserved vacation.
My parents share similar core values represented by their love for calling the shots, taking on challenges and creating a better life for their children. In 1985, dad took over an existing business: Deluxe Car Wash (Waukegan, IL). Over the years, I learned about running of a car wash while cashiering in the C-store during my pregnancy and early years with Nate. Working with family means that you have people that are vested in the business. Jason (my brother) worked alongside my dad for many years as his top sales lead until health issues forced him to stop.
Cut from the entrepreneurial cloth as well, I launched Abzigns, a hand-painted wearable clothing and accessory line which allowed me to share my passion and creativity with boutiques and local art fairs. The journey has continued to greater freedom and more flexible working conditions with Nate and Hannah at Ruben Digital. I have always believed in taking risks, hard work and sharing core values. When Nate asked me to go from advisor to Content Manager and now Community Outreach Director, I gave it a lot of thought. Nate will attest that I am his #1 cheerleader. His entrepreneurial spirit started unfolding at Wheeling High School. However, Family First. As we formed our team, I strongly stated that if there is ever a day where we have to part ways, ok. I am not willing to jeopardize our closeness for business.
Top perks from working with friends/family:
- Feeling truly supported
- Great tea (Nate is a tea guru)
- Active listening
- Shared communication tools
- Deep trust in one another
- Love working from home (easy commute)
- Passionate about our work
- Job security
- Close, loving community
- Laughing and having fun!
Our clients love that we are a family owned business. They know that we will work long hours and provide extra service. Our loyalty translates into how we show up for our clients. We are committed to building long term relationships with them just as we are dedicated to growing Ruben Digital.