Meet The Mother and Child Businesses that Embody Family Values
This Mother’s Day, we catch up with Clockface, Raisthorpe, and Mr. Munro about their fantastic family businesses
Julia and Oliver from Raisthorpe
Mother-and-son team, Julia and Oliver Medforth, first started their business venture experimenting in their kitchen using a family recipe to make raspberry gin. Now the business has transformed into an award-winning company best known for its delicious range of craft spirits including gins and vodkas, as well as their line of Yorkshire tonics.
‘After friends tried our raspberry gin, they all said we should bottle it and sell it. We realised how good it was and because it’s a family recipe, it’s really unique,’ says Oliver. After the success of their first launch, the family headed to local farmers’ markets, farm shops, delis and cafés to ask customers what flavours they wanted to see next.
‘Our best seller is definitely the Oak Aged Distilled Dry Gin, as well as our Raspberry Gin,’ Oliver continues. The Oak Aged Distilled Dry Gin balances juniper and citrus notes with sweeter botanicals. ‘The gin is rested in a low cage barrel for around seven months after it has been distilled. This process gives a smooth and mellow quality to the spirit, alongside a subtle oaked flavour.’ They recommend pairing the popular gin with their award-winning Pink Grapefruit Tonic, which won two gold stars from Great Taste Awards in 2019 – overtones from the grapefruit add a crispness to the gin.
Karen and Sarah from Clockface Beauty
Mother-and-daughter team Karen Horsley and Sarah Thomas launched Clockface Beauty in 2018. Their award-winning organic, natural and vegan products treat a whole range of skin concerns including acne, eczema, psoriasis, wrinkles and oily skin. Karen is a specialist scientist with more than 30 years of experience, so she understands the benefits of using natural ingredients. Sarah, a chartered accountant, and now baker, thanks her mum for getting her into skincare. When Sarah was pregnant with her eldest son she started to experience problems with her skin, and Karen’s knowledge came in really handy. Now they combine their skills to create popular and ethical skincare in Yorkshire.
‘My skin was hormonal, angry and awful, and it really affected my confidence. Mum, who had been making natural skincare for her own use, made me what is actually now our Signature Collection Facial Serum and it was amazing,’ says Sarah. ’It completely cleared my skin and I thought “why doesn’t everyone have access to this and why doesn’t everyone know about it?” So we decided to set up Clockface Beauty: 100 percent natural, organic, vegan and waterless skincare, and we launched on 1st October 2018.’
Lynne and Jess from Mr. Munro
Dynamic mother-and-daughter duo Lynne and Jess run Newcastle’s Mr. Munro, a professional menswear shop that specialises in bespoke options for the discerning gentlemen, whether you’re looking for a wedding suit, party suit, business suit or anything in-between.
‘We’re currently working by appointment only which means we give customers time by themselves to take a look at what we offer and ask any questions, we aren’t pushy sales people at all so there’s never any pressure for customers to buy,’ says Jess. ‘We get loads of feedback from our customers saying how good the experience has been and how they were made to feel relaxed and nothing was ever a problem. We do get quite a few customers who are nervous about the whole experience so the last thing we want to do is add extra pressure.’
With mum Lynne running appointments and daughter Jess handling the online and sales side, this crack team owe a lot to their strong family relationship. While they love bouncing ideas off each other and talking about their favourite suits, they do make a point of getting out of the 24/7 business headspace. ‘We’ve always got ideas that we want to discuss but we really try to switch off when we can. It can be difficult when it’s your own business as there’s so much to think about, but we think it’s all about balance.’