Well, Vicky (my mum) did her blog post a few months ago about what it's like to work together, so I guess I should post my version too!
Myself & mum moved to Dufftown in 2006. I was only about 8, so obviously didn't drink whisky back then, but mum didn't drink it either. We did the usual tour round a distillery, and in all honesty I thought it was gross - all I could smell was manure! Not a good first impression of whisky!
Mum joined the shop in 2006, well when I say joined, she heard Mike was short staffed one day and pretty much turned up at the shop and didn't give poor Mike a chance to come up with an excuse as to why he could say no. Not much has changed in 13 years!
I joined the shop just after my 18th birthday, February 2015 I think is the official start date for when I joined. Strangely enough, it wasn't mum who got me interested in whisky. I think it was an old employer who first gave me a try of Monkey Shoulder, and I was pretty amazed by it - it didn't smell anything like the manure stinking distillery! After a bit of badgering, Mike agreed to give me some training in the shop to see how I did and 4 years later I'm still here!
People often ask if it's weird working with family, but in all honesty I don't really notice it much. Me and mum have always been close, working together just strengthened that closeness. We've got the type of bond where we can just look at each other and know what's about to be said. I don't think we've ever had a falling out over work, and we're pretty good at managing to separate our work and home lives when it comes to being together on days off. Before having my daughter, we used to work together on Friday's in the shop. Now mum looks after my little one on the days I work so it's not often we're in the shop together. I think Mike's secretly glad of this, I don't think he coped right well when me and mum both agreed on something, especially if he didn't agree!
Working with mum as my manager (oops, sorry that should say Director, she's just been promoted!) has really helped my confidence and motivation. She's always been my biggest supporter, helping me with training, tasting notes (we've tasted a lot of whiskies together in 4 years), to encouraging me to apply for different whisky related courses and introducing me to the big names in the industry. I'm also really proud of how far she's come in the last few years too. It's not easy being in the whisky industry at the best of times, but being female can really throw it's challenges into the mix too. But mum's dealt with the (silly) people along the way who may have thought that whisky is a mans drink, or being in the industry is for men only, and she's proved them wrong each day for the last 13 years.
I don't know anyone else who works with their mum, so I can't really compare my experience against theirs, but I'd have to say it's pretty awesome working with my mum. It's like having a boss, mum and best friend rolled in to one!
The downside? Everyone who knows us says "Hi Vicky" to me when they phone the shop!