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Meet Irene Gianos: Co-founder of Honestly Margo with Her Daughter

Irene Gianos is creating a legacy as part of the mother/daughter team of Honestly Margo. Irene started Honestly Margo from her daughter, kid tycoon, Margo Gianos’ dream to create a bath and beauty brand that is as natural as it is inspirational. Honestly Margo’s  mission is to empower young women to dream big.

CEOMOM caught up with this entrepreneur, writer, blogger and momager to discuss her role with Honestly Margo, what it’s like to work with her teenage daughter and advice for raising kidpreneurs.

What inspired you to start Honestly Margo with your daughter?  
As a mom, I saw Margo’s childhood patterns of behaviors and her hobbies. After numerous “attempts” and being persistent in coming up with business ideas, this one stood out to me.  She created a product that was truly amazing, and I couldn’t help but nurture that burning desire she had to take this further.  Based upon all those years of coming up with ideas and having this entrepreneurial spirit, I proposed the idea to make it a “real” business, instead of a side hobby.  We took Honestly Margo day by day, month by month, year by year, and initially was very led and driven by her passion and desire to keep growing it.  I always said to her, “This is HONESTLY MARGO,  not HONESTLY IRENE.  If you no longer want to pursue this, I will support you 1000%.”  And she continued her persistence in wanting to grow it.  So from there it began to snowball into something much bigger.  And now we are where we are today.

Describe your day to day role with Honestly Margo.  
Margo and I both actively run Honestly Margo on a day to day basis.  From dealing with our reps, our showrooms, to new product development, to marketing, we both are in communication with each other throughout the day to ensure what needs to get done, gets done.  She’s a full time student but has learned how to manage her time, and in pockets of her day, she emails me, we text, and are always complimenting each other with tasks and ideas.  Our days are very full and we have to remind ourselves often to “turn it off” because we can talk shop way into the night!

What is it like working with your daughter? 
Working with my daughter has been the most priceless, incredible, indescribable experience.  As Honestly Margo has grown, so has our bond, as well as our roles as true business partners as we’re CO-CEOs.  I often feel like pinching myself because I feel like it’s brought our relationship as mother and daughter even closer.  We’re friends, we’re business partners, but first and foremost, we’re mother/daughter.  And she knows no one will ever have her best interest in mind as much as I will.  Being her mom AND business partner, we know what each other is thinking, we look out for each other, we know we’ve got each other’s backs.  And we know our boundaries.  Respect is key in all of this.  As a teenager, the water can be testy at times, but immediately, she knows respect is key to it all, and we know where to draw the line as friends and as business partners. That ultimately takes us back to our core, as mother/daughter.

 How do you balance your mother/daughter relationship with your business partner relationship?  
Balancing our relationship can be challenging, but knowing our boundaries is key.  Knowing when to say no, knowing when she raises her voice, knowing what roles we take on and when and where and how are key.  It’s like we wear many hats.  When we work, we shift into work mode and have our work hats on.  We know to treat each other like a business partner, as if we would anyone else.  The underlying fact that we’re mother/daughter is the safety net for us, that we know we’re in this together, and ultimately our goal is the same, and we will always support and love the other unconditionally.

What advice do you have for a mom whose teen wants to start a business?
I believe because of technology, social media, and the digital world in which we live, now more than ever, this is the age of the entrepreneur.  There will be so many teens who will want to start something because of the access they have to everything out there.  My advice is to let it be driven by THEM.  Let their desire, drive and passion lead the way.  The biggest misconception about our company we see and hear is that I do this FOR her, or I started this FOR her.  That couldn’t be the furthest from the truth, and you would do a disservice to your child if you did that.  As many things as they can do, empower them to do it for themselves.  Don’t push them beyond what they desire, but let them lead the way.  By doing so, it will show you if this is truly a passion or if they’re just “riding the Teen CEO bandwagon”.

Encourage them in challenging times, and reassure them that they’re awesome for who they are.  Instill your belief in them that they are capable of doing whatever they dream of!  It’s the most beautiful thing to experience your child blossom into this mature adult before your eyes, knowing these skills and these life lessons they’re learning will carry them throughout the rest of her life.  Most important, love them, whether they start, whether they stop, whether they have failures or successes.  Let them know it doesn’t define them, and that they’re amazing for dreaming big.

Learn more about Honestly Margo at https://honestlymargo.com/.


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