It’s one thing to have a working mother. It’s quite another to go into business together.
In time for Mother's Day, we spoke to eight people who have grown up to work alongside high-achieving mothers in all kinds of industries, from the arts to law to hospitality.
Some like Singapore-based Renyung Ho of Banyan Tree started pitching in as young as 11 or 12. Others like Daphne King-Yao of Hong Kong’s Alisan Fine Arts gallery forged their own career paths before choosing to team up. All spoke of their mothers as role models.
“Every day I work with her I am inspired by her unlimited knowledge and passion for Sichuan cuisine,” says Tracy Wong, whose mother is the chef at Michelin-acclaimed Chilli Fagara. “She is not just a mother to me, but also a mentor and a source of inspiration.”
Here are more candid, heartfelt and humorous responses that convey the challenges—and many more rewards—that can come from working closely as child and mother.
Amanda Cheung On Her Mum Michelle Ong: First Initiative Foundation (FIF)
On deciding to work together. From a young age I helped out with First Initiative Foundation, starting with the small things, such as designing invitations and souvenir programmes. I only decided to join FIF when I was able to add value in a new yet complementary manner. I have always been quite passionate about creativity, just like her. But the way she took that passion and turned it into something meaningful for the community at large … that played a big part in my decision. I work on educational outreach programmes focused on empowering the public to foster curiosity and approach the arts in a fun and approachable way.
Their mother-daughter dynamic. Oh, it can get very heated while professional and personal can merge together at times! But we both push each other to achieve more, do better and get the best out of one another. Ultimately, there is a lot of respect and love so any conflicts are forgotten after a good night’s sleep. That dynamic stays true at home and in the office.
What she admires most. My mother is a go-getter. I know that if something has to be done, she will find a way to do it. Impossible is not in her vocabulary. Nothing fazes her, and that’s what gives me strength too!