Interview with Stacy Stith and Courtney Borders of Funtastics
Tell us about your company, it’s purpose, mission, target audience, goals, what makes it unique.
Stacy: Funtastics is a gymnastics and cheerleading training facility. We teach children from 18 months to 18 years gymnastics, tumbling and cheerleading skills. We also have competitive teams for both gymnastics and cheerleading. What sets us apart from others is that our staff is all certified through USA gymnastics or USASF (united States All Star Federation) and we focus on Fun and building self confidence in young children and athletes.
Courtney: Funtastics Gymnastics & Cheerleading. The purpose of our organization is to offer the community a Fun program where children gain self confidence, self-esteem, and build great memories in a safe positive environment. Our simple goal is for every child to achieve their personal excellence. Our target audience is boys and girls ages 18 months to 18 years who want to do gymnastics, cheerleading, tumbling or dance.
How did you come to work together in the first place?
Stacy: The business was opened when my daughter Courtney was in the 8th grade. She began helping around the gym from the very start and took on more responsibility as the years passed.
Courtney: My mother is the owner of the gym. I was always a participant until the age of 18. I started working as an assitant at age 12 and went on to become an instructor at age 18.
Please describe your respective roles in the company.
Stacy: I am the owner and founder of the business and Courtney is currently a Full Time Manager. Her main areas of responsibility are the administrative and customer service areas, but she also teaches classes and coaches our competitive cheerleading squads.
Courtney: My role in the company is as a manager. I am currently the office manager as well as a tumbling coach and cheerleading coach.
How has working together affected your relationship outside the “office.” In other words how do you keep family matters separate from work related issues?
Stacy: It’s hard sometimes because we will always be talking shop at home, but sometimes we will just say to each other – no more talking about work. It seems to work.
Courtney: Sometimes keeping family matters seperate from work related issues can be difficult! My mother and i have always been the type who bring their work home with them and constantly think about it. It is especially tough since we do live together as well. My step dad is definitely a good mediator and trys to put us in our place. We have become a lot better at this!
What are some of the challenges you have faced working together?
Stacy: The biggest challenge for me has been learning to not the Mom and think I know more than she does. She has great ideas and I have had to learn to keep and open mind and listen.
Courtney: Some challenges we face working together would have to be the measure of responsibilty she has placed on me. I think she has done so just because i am her daughter and she trusts me however at the same time I have felt that to be challenging in the fact that i am not the owner of the business, she is however i know my role and we haven’t had too many stuggles.
Stacy: I think our relationship has become closer because we see each other so much and have a chance to talk more often both about work and personal and family issues.
Courtney: As I have become older and now know exactly what it takes to run a business and to be the owner of the company i think my mom now knows she can lean on me and tell me things she never thought she could before make our working relationship that much better in most cases.
What do you like best about working together? Least?
Stacy: The best thing is just being able to spend more time together, and also knowing that there is someone in the business I can trust 100%. The thing I like least is people thinking she might get preferential treatment just because she is my daughter.
Courtney: The best part about working together is the fact that we get to see much more of each other this way. We aren’t the type to talk on the phone 5 times a day so since we work together it gives us a chance to do that! My least favorite part about working with my mom is the fact that others have a different perception of most situations than i do beause they aren’t her daughter and I am, this can make some employee relationships more difficult than they have to be.
What, if any big challenges or little annoyances have occurred as a result of working together and how have you managed to overcome them?
Stacy: I think the biggest challenge is just learning to communicate and not take anything personal. I think we both get better and better at this the longer we work together.
Courtney: Go with the flow and brush every little annoyance off your shoulder b/c ultimately we are family!
What tips would you share with our readers for working with a member of the family?
Stacy: Be sure that you keep the lines of communication open and work with each others strengths and weaknesses.
What’s been the most exciting thing that has happened as a result of working together?
Stacy: I can’t remember one exciting event but I think each time I hear a customer say what a great job my daughter is doing it warms my heart and is very rewarding watching her grow before my eyes.
Courtney: The most exciting part about working for my mom, is that i know she will never let me down!
What’s next for this mother daughter team?
Stacy: Hopefully we continue to grow the business and maybe one day Courtney run Funtastics on her own. In the meantime we continue to work together and enjoy having each other to lean on.
Courtney: Who knows what the future holds.. we will just try to do our best to continue on a good path for our business while maintaining a good relationship!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Stacy: Working with a family member presents challenges but the rewards are all worth the effort!
Learm more about Funtastics at WWW.FUNTASTICS.COM
This article can be read in the Spring/Summer 2009 Issue of WE Magazine for Women