Businesses have always been a family affair. Family-run businesses account for the vast majority of organizations across the globe. In the U.S. alone, these types of companies make up 64% of the country’s gross domestic product. An astounding 78% of new jobs emanate from family organizations, according to the Conway Center for Family Business.
For me, my business is my life just as my family is. I see no difference between the two because there is a deep connection between my family and our organization. My organization is simply an extension of my family. I am very proud and lucky to have my children involved in significant ways in our company.
Even before my children were born, I had made a deep connection with rural weavers. I wanted to make a meaningful impact in the world and knew I could do this by working with these talented artisans and helping them nurture their art. In this sense, a lifelong relationship was born between the artisans and me.
This was the beginning of my pursuit of a purpose-driven company. I was – and am – more interested in the overall well-being of people than in profits. We do not view the artisans as mere makers of a product. Our goal is to nurture their talent so that they flourish. Instead of mechanically churning out rugs, the weavers’ natural creativity is enhanced, and their wisdom is used in the business process.
From this, our Manchaha (Artisan Originals) collection was born. This was an experiment that metamorphosed into a movement for exploration, professional growth, and empowerment. Rather than relying on a designer’s work to make a rug, artisans are given full artistic freedom to create a unique piece.
By doing this, we hope to demonstrate to the weavers how valuable they are to our organization while at the same time tapping into their ingenuity. When a person is given the freedom to do what he or she wants, the sky is the limit. We want the artisans to feel trusted. Trusting employees is one of the simplest things an organization can do to build confidence and loyalty. Happy and fulfilled workers stay with a company and outperform others.
This is especially important with a family company, who after a few generations, can decline into a sense of well-being and eventually lose that founder’s mentality that made them a success in the first place. The key to regaining that passion and drive is to make sure that anything you do in an organization is done with “we” in mind and not just “I.”
When you conduct business with the primary purpose of enriching just yourself, that comes from an egocentric place and has few benefits. But when you look at the whole picture and become as inclusive as possible, you can make real social change. These are companies that enjoy sustainable and long-term success. Better yet, they make an organization with meaning and purpose.