HARLINGEN — Mother and daughter relationships can have an intimate, strong bond. Sometimes, a bond is so strong it allows the relationship to become a working one.
Three mothers recently shared alongside their daughters what it is like to work together almost every day.
Jackson Street Antiques
The Garza family is made up of five children but only Mia and Victoria Garza work with their mother Carmen almost every day. Mia and Victoria have been working alongside Carmen for more than four years at her antique store, which used to be run by her and her husband. However, both of them were raised helping at their parents antique store since they were toddlers. Carmen said Victoria focuses on home decor and Mia features vintage clothing.
“We grew up loving antiques and downtown Harlingen and I figured I love vintage,” Mia said.
“It is a second home really,” Carmen said.
For Carmen, being able to spend time with her daughters almost daily is the best part of working with them.
“We go on shopping trips together and we are always bouncing ideas off of each other,” Carmen said.
“Sometimes we do disagree but now we do estate sales and they know what to do, it works” she said.
Carmen also added working with her daughters means there is trust between the three, something she would not be able to find by hiring staff she does not know.
“We get asked all the time if we are hiring but it is always about trust and I trust my girls,” Carmen said.
“When you are with your family you have to get over a fight, you can’t fire me girl,” Mia said to her mother.
“You have to work together, you have no choice,” she said.
For the three of them, working together is like having fun most of the time and that is the best part of sharing a business.
“We get to see her every day,” Victoria said.
“She is a fun person. If we have to have a boss, might as well have somebody fun,” Mia said.
Lolly Burns and Carly Thomas
For 18 years, Lolly Burns and Carly Thomas have been working together side by side, sometimes forgetting they are mother and daughter. Burns has had her real estate license for 29 years and has had her own company for 20. Thomas started working with her mother in 2003 as soon as she graduated college.
“Mom was very busy with her business and it was just her. I had graduated and one night my dad was exhausted and called me and said I think you need to get your real estate license and help your mom,” Thomas said.
“It has been a mutually beneficial working relationship for 18 years,” she said.
Thomas was no stranger to real estate; she had been watching Burns do her job since she was in the seventh grade.
“I don’t think there was anybody better to learn from or to absorb information from than her because she is really good at what she does, her communication skills are stellar and I feel like I have learned from the best,” she said.
“I am always trying to be as good as her because she has big shoes to fill,” Thomas said.
Burns has a son who works alongside his father in farming. Burns called her daughter’s entry into her real estate business an answer to prayer.
“It is nice to go through things together. If she says she is worn out, I truly know what she has been through and vice versa,” Burns said.
“She can sympathize with me and I can sympathize with her,” Thomas said.
When they first started working together, Thomas did not have children but later on when she became a mother of her own, Burns was the one to help her.
“It was nice to have my mom sort of as a boss and she would sometimes come over and hold one of my kids so I could do a few things,” Thomas said.
“I have this wonderful flexibility of working with my children’s grandmother and she was like a built in babysitter,” she said.
Burns said their relationship has allowed them to build a strong business.
“Not every mother and daughter could do this and we totally realize we have something really special,” Burns said.
Chyann’s Specialty Treats
Chyann Hernandez and Josie Olivarez are a mother and daughter duo who are just getting started. Hernandez had the idea of selling hot cocoa bombs with her mother in December from their home. However, it then morphed into an entrepreneur venture. From then on, they both started to sell baked goods out of their house and in January they looked for a place to open their first business together. Their new cafe is located at 402 E. Harrison Ave.
“My daughter was like, mom why don’t you sell pies and we added them and then one day to the next she said, mom let’s get a place,” Olivarez said.
“We did not know what we were doing,” she said.
Hernandez is 15 and Olivarez 37; they had not worked together before their cocoa bomb business. But, both agree they feed off of each other’s energy.
“We forget we are family,” Olivarez said.
“I don’t call her mom either, I forget that is my mom because we just go back and forth all day,” Hernandez said.
Opening a business was always a goal for Hernandez and she said she never imagined what kind but now she has one with her mother.
“We bond here and we are longer together,” Olivarez said. For her, Hernandez is who motivated her enough to not hesitate and open their business.
“Making me do it and taking a leap of faith, I don’t think we would have ever done this if it was not for her,” she said.
“She is my best friend,” Hernandez said.