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Building and Succeeding with a Family Business.

Authors: Kathy Harrison & Becky McCraney

Miss Cayce’s Christmas Store!

Being in business with your sister and best friend is a partnership and plan that God had for our lives. He gave us both an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for creating and

decorating! Our parents and family have given us a strong faith and value system that is aligned with our business practices.

Becky and I have been creating and selling since we were very young with parents who encouraged, supported and facilitated our endeavors! We decoupaged, painted, sewed, sanded everything from wood to T-shirt’s and even peddled our handmade burlap flowers door to door! It was only natural that our rag tag collections we called Miss Cayce’s early on

would become Miss Cayce’s Christmas Store and more - showcasing holiday and home

decor in a 16,000 square ft. building in Midland Texas. We have been bringing the

Permian Basin and beyond the best in seasonal decor for 35 years!

A strong family foundation is one of the keys to our success.

The store is named after our grandmother whom came from a strong line of women and also

inspired us with her own brand of holiday magic and family traditions.

Our loving family that inspired us and built a foundation of entrepreneurship that we will pass to future generations.

Those grandparents had a family grocery store in two locations. Our father acquired a

packaged concrete mix business and employed a son and son-in-law’s that took over

for him. He went on to grow it to new levels. An uncle of ours also had a family roofing business, and multiple cousins have oil related family ventures.

Family owned and operated businesses can be a blessing for sure but are seldom without some conflicts especially when multi generations are involved. It certainly helps if the family unit is strong and connected at the core. In our family that is certainly the case valuing each other and spending quality time together for numerous occasions, vacations, reunions, and holidays! Our parents were a tremendous help to us, our dad making many of our display furniture and mom being chief babysitter to our children. Family businesses require lots of family interaction and support.

Family business partners must have talents and abilities that compliment each other with defined roles that capitalize on strengths and minimize weaknesses.

Besides our shared passion for creating and decorating and our entrepreneurial spirit, Becky and I each have our separate roles on our business! She takes the lead in advertising, marketing, all aspects of social media, event planning and coordination along with community partnerships. I handle all the payables (with my accountant husband) and a great office manager! I also plan the store layout, merchandising and product display, designing vignettes for themes, organizing the warehouse for optimal selection for tree and back stock storage. I also design custom Christmas decor in homes, churches and businesses.

We both oversee the design teams, training, selling and buying! Our buying skills are a magical mix of talents that have served us well over our many years in business. We work well

together picking from the thousands of sources the beautiful seasonal and home decor

product that is the signature looks offered and expected at Miss Cayce's.

Communication is key to any successful relationship and business is

no exception. Defining goals and objectives are fundamental to achieving potential!

Staff meetings and planning are key to implementing and accountability, however small

family run operations (especially retail ones) may find it hard, as the owners usually have

many balls in the air! Great managers or associates come in handy to convey plans and

calendars of events to the staff when that knowledge is available! Family businesses

where everyone’s personal life is intertwined professionally can be challenging, life

happens all the time with weddings, funerals, births, parents, children, grandchildren,

health issues etc. We even go to the same church and our pastor’s wife is our longtime

friend and has worked for us 34 years!! We have watched kids grow up, go to college, get married, have children, seen parents sick, lost spouses, I could go on and on! The good news is we not only have our personal family to share life with but also our Miss Cayce’s family and that’s a blessing!

Respect, appreciation, grace, and gratitude for all that God has blessed us with are good to remember all the time when operating a family led business! We are on the same team, no need for competition, selfish ambition or keeping score! Affirming each other often is a dose of good medicine, a cocktail from time to time helps too! Two is better than one, the Bible says as when one falls the other can pick them up! When schedules, life and store requirements are hectic it helps to strive for balance!

Becky and I make our best decisions together but often have a difficult time making that

happen on a daily basis. Our team is a valuable asset in assisting us on every level and

detail when we need them. Enjoying what you do makes it never seem like work and having fun should always be a priority! Besides all our family time that is shared, we try to create team building experiences through retreats, travel, eating and training that we can enjoy together and with our staff. Miss Cayce’s Christmas Store is our “happy place” and a proven success

which makes our family business experience a success!

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