Shop Talk Blog

Here are more ‘Business lessons I learned from Mom’

Christina Britt Lewis (left) with her mother, Linda Britt Gromko, a design consultant at Lewis’ business, the Redesign Company.
Christina Britt Lewis (left) with her mother, Linda Britt Gromko, a design consultant at Lewis’ business, the Redesign Company. Courtesy of Christina Britt Lewis

Mom’s the word this week in ShopTalk.

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, a number of Charlotte-area business owners responded to our request to speak with entrepreneurs willing to share business lessons they learned from their mothers. The response resulted in a centerpiece story and short video (which you can find below).

Here are some additional comments that you didn’t read in the main story:

▪ Lauren Cantor, coach with The Entrepreneur’s Source

My mother Gloria Berger worked in my father’s family business (women's retail clothing) in Buffalo, N.Y., for 25 years as a buyer. Her mantra was know your customer and deliver the highest level of customer service to develop a bond of trust that translates to loyalty.

▪ Christina Britt Lewis, co-founder of the Davidson-based Redesign Company

My mom (design consultant Linda Britt Gromko) is the one who taught me how to live well and spend less. I turned her way of life into a business that helps others live well and spend less, too. Best part is, mom works with me! How fun is that?

When I accomplished something great and was disappointed that nobody seemed to notice, mom wrote: OK, you need to stop expecting encouragement, approval and accolades. It is simply expected of you because you have arrived. Say goodbye to the cheerleaders and prepare for your next step.

▪ Shay Prosser, CEO of Get It Together

Her mother is Sally Jones, senior advisor at the Washington, D.C.-based National Center for Family Philanthropy

Be thorough. She is a master at thinking through business decisions and weighing the options. She also taught me to do the math and figure out if things really are as they seem. Most of all she taught me how to think through decisions from both an economic perspective and an emotional one. You have to look at the impact of a decision from many different angles in order to properly assess it.

The value of relationships, making and keeping good ones. She is not one to burn bridges and she spends time making friends and business connections. She has demonstrated that your reputation is very valuable, it is important to build and keep a good reputation.

▪ Kim Brattain, owner of Kim Brattain Media

Growing up in the ‘70s, my mom (Jane Brattain) taught me that I was “smart as any man.” It was a different time then, and Southern women were encouraged to be demure and gracious. (Mom never left the house without lipstick.) In fact, a lot of women considered the supreme achievement just finding a man to marry, and marry well, of course!

My mom's words of empowerment served me well as I began my career as a journalist. They gave me the backbone to ask hard questions and not give up, not be intimidated. She also encouraged my sister and me to push ourselves in school and college. All that combined to forge an independent, confident spirit that allowed me to go into business for myself with Kim Brattain Media. I lost my mom in 2000, way too early in her life. But I think of her so much and I think she’s probably watching my progress (still) from heaven.