How did this whole Father/Daughter work relationship start?
When I was first starting DITTO, we decided to make quick order turnaround times a priority (read: we needed to find a fulfillment location located in the middle of the country). My dad had just retired from running a plastics manufacturing business so I decided to enlist his help in finding a great optical lens laboratory located within two hours of Louisville (UPS hub) or Memphis (Fedex hub). After traveling around to dozens of labs in the Midwest and talking to industry experts, we ended up finding a lab that hit all of our criteria in Evansville, Indiana, which just happened to be our hometown. My dad loved the idea of working with local vendors and adding high-quality jobs to our town so he agreed to come out of retirement to help us get the operations intact.
What’s the most awkward part of working with your dad?
We went to Las Vegas for an eyewear trade show together and since we have the same last name, everyone thought we were married! Gotta love Vegas for assuming a 30-year age different was a relationship. When we corrected people that we were in fact a father/daughter duo, they immediately assumed he was the CEO. Awkward correction Part 2. Luckily, he and I got a big kick out of it although not having to explain that will be a nice perk of changing my last name this September when I get married.
What’s the best part about working with your dad?
I’ve had the incredibly opportunity to get to know my dad on entirely different level. I talk to him everyday on my (long) drive to the office and even though he would probably tell you he’s new to ecommerce, I have learned more from him than he will probably ever realize including how to assemble and motivate a team, how to create true loyalty with vendors, and how to take the ups and downs of business and life like a true veteran. There is a level of trust between us that you just normally don’t find in the working world. I have absolute confidence in his ability to handle customer service and operations, which is a huge weight off my shoulders. He’s also the person I lean on when I have a real dilemma or just need to get something off my chest. There’s no walking on eggshells. There’s love and support when it’s needed. There’s patience. It’s been a true pleasure working with him everyday for the past two years, and I hope there are many more to come.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I love you.