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Just the Two of Us

Sue Moth of Sanders Badges spotlights the Family Business ethos.

I first came into the industry 40 years ago when I was employed in the finance department by Sanders Badges on a part- time basis. Having two small children at the time meant that it was only possible to work a few hours per week. As the children grew so did my role at Sanders, and over the next 20 years my roles changed many times until I became  managing director during the 1980s.

Sanders Badges grew considerably during these years, and during the 1990s I was joined by my daughter Annabel. Together we were able to take over and eventually own Sanders Badges outright.

Our roles in the business have not necessarily been defined, but over the years they have evolved. Annabel has taken on the marketing role, and I deal with the day to day running of the factory. We have a team of people on the sales side, but we usually both have a big role to play when dealing with customers and suppliers.

As we need to be able to take over from each other, we are both able to do all the tasks involved in running a company, but both know and understand where our strengths and weaknesses lie. We are both able to jump on a badge machine to meet a particularly tight deadline when necessary, although our performance may leave room for improvement!

Our relationship is, and always has been very good – even through the teenage years. We work well together, and although we do not always agree on everything, we are able to discuss and debate all issues until we can reach a compromise where we are both happy. We both have a similar sense of humour, and love to laugh, especially when someone has the misfortune to slip over in front of us.

Our working relationship is structured so that we spend three or four days a week actually together in the office.  During these times, we are usually so busy with our own work that we don’t actually spend too much time talking.  Therefore we often enjoy the time spent away from the office at exhibitions and trade shows  – a little too much sometimes –  as this gives us the opportunity to discuss many aspects of our working life together.

We spend many happy hours as a family with our respective partners and families, but try not to let our working lives encroach on these leisure hours.

As far as we know, there are not too many mother/daughter relationships in the industry. We really have no idea why this is the case. However when
I joined the industry in 1975, there were not too many women business owners. This has been changing over the years until now it seems that women almost dominate this industry. Therefore as the women today have children, I can foresee a time when there will be many more mothers and daughters following the same career paths and working together.

We are proud to be a part of the Promotional Industry, and would urge anyone to join this industry as it is usually pleasant, friendly and fun to be a part of. Annabel and I are often referred to as the Mother /Daughter company or as the Badge Girls. We like both of these titles as this singles us out and sets us apart from our competitors.

It is often commented on that it seems strange to see us working alone, and after 18 years of working together, we also feel incomplete without each other, so Sanders Badges will continue to be “just the two of us”.

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