For Mother's Day we caught up with two familiar faces around SMAI Headquarters: Christine and Rachel. Christine has been working with SMAI for a while now and recently her daughter, Rachel, joined our ranks. Read on to see what they had to say about working together.
What’s the story of how you first started at SMAI?
Christine: I was just starting to expand my bookkeeping business and the accounts recommended me to them. I went for an interview about 10 years ago and had my first contact with Lilly.
Rachel: I first started at SMAI at the beginning of this year. That sheer panic had started to set in that I was graduating from uni and had no experience whatsoever in marketing. So mum did a typical mum thing and spoke to Lee without me even knowing and set up an internship. (Clearly they loved me so much and offered me a job 😉)
How does it feel working with your mum?
Rachel: Beause mums a contractor as a bookkeeper we don’t interact too much. We are super close though so I mean when she comes in to work she toddles over and gives me a hug when she first walks in though.
Being a single mum, juggling your own business and young children must have been challenging. How’d you manage it?
Christine: The good thing about being self employed was being able to work the hours that I wished. When I became a single parent I had to increase my work load but I was very lucky and the clients I had worked with me which allowed me to still go to the school and help out there. I would do a lot of my work when you kids were in bed.
Rachel: See, you should be grateful I slept so much! Haha
What impact has your mum had on your career so far?
Rachel: Mum has been the most influential person in my life. Raising my sister and I by herself has always amazed me (I mean, we weren’t exactly golden children all the time haha).
Christine: Those early teen years were definitely interesting…
Rachel: I don’t know what she’s talking about… But back to the question haha, her work ethic is unparalleled – she will go above and beyond for anyone. She really is the best.
SMAI has a local history, how has that shaped your interactions with the company?
Christine: I am in awe of what Homa & Lilly have managed to accomplish. Starting from their garage to what the company is today. They are an inspiration to me and show that hard work does pay off. They support the local community in lots of ways from sponsorship to employing local people. They are also a family orientated company and working for them they make you feel like one of their family.
Rachel: Yep, what she said. The work environment is super focused on creating a fun place to work. I mean, we went and played paintball for Lee's birthday - potentially the most epic work event you can organise.
*Homa, Lilly and Lee are the directors of SMAI. They keep it running in the family with Homa and Lilly being the original owners of the business, building it into what it is today. They've passed onto Lee, they're son, some of the responsibility who now helps run the business.