Relationship: Mother/Daughter

Been in business together: Opened Bismarck store, June 2011 / Fargo store, April 2013

Hope and Madonna - LOT 2029 LLPIW: How did you decide to go into business together?

Hope: When I was in high school my mom had bounced around the idea of opening an interior store so she could pursue more of a residential design passion. My dream was always to move to a big city and be a fashion designer, I never had the business itch. After college I had to create my own opportunities and I thought my interest in fashion and my mom’s in interior design would be complimentary to each other. I don’t think we would have done it without each other. She had the idea, and I was the one to push her, but I don’t think I could have done it independently right away. It was nice that we could do it together.

Madonna: I had been talking about going into business for over 20 years. After Hope graduated from NDSU she said, ‘Either I’m going to have to move away or maybe you and I should do that store you keep talking about.’ I said, ‘let’s do it!‘  And Hope said, ‘We’re not going to just talk about it, we’re going to do it.’ So we did it.

IW: What were you surprised to learn about each other?

Hope: My mom definitely surprised me on the business end. She is business savvy and knew what steps to take to open a business. Plus, I got to see how knowledgable she is about the interior design industry. She is game for everything, very open minded. She will try anything.

Madonna: It was fun for me to see the adult come out in her. And then the huge trust I could put in her – I found if there was something that needed to be done and it was her responsibility, she would do it and do it well. When Hope does something she masters it.

IW: Did you have defined roles when you began?

Madonna: Hope has to spend a lot of time ordering her fashion, so I said I would do more of the finances. It has kind of evolved. People still think Hope puts the pictures on facebook and instagram (for the Bismarck store). She still does some, but I jumped in and have been posting, too, since she left to open the Fargo store.

IW: How do you handle disagreements?

Hope: We had a great relationship, but there can be conflicts, that is just human nature. We are both people that can get over things fast and just move on. It’s about how you handle things. We also know what our roles are in the business. She has full control over the interiors and I have full control over the fashion.

Madonna: We sit down and talk about it. Sometimes it is hard to keep family separate from business. We just keep talking about it until we resolve it. Both of us have to be open minded.

I am more cautious where Hope would just go ahead and do it!

IW: Did you always know you would open other stores? 

Hope: I always want to keep growing and expanding, testing my limits. In my head, I don’t have a certain number I want to get to, I just think there is a void that needs to be filled in a lot of cities for the type of business that we have. I know my mom is a little more apprehensive about expanding. She has always been the safe one and I push a little more. It is a good balance.

I am the sole owner of the new store opening in Sioux Falls in April, but my mom and I still want to open more stores together. And, franchising could be a possibility.

IW: The prices in your stores are very affordable. Was this a conscious decision?

Madonna: When we started we said we want to do this so everyone can afford great fashion. The manufacturers tell us what the suggested retail price should be and we don’t listen to them. Our prices would be so much higher. I would rather have it affordable so people can wear nice clothes and have things they like.

IW: Do you ever get tired of talking about the business?

Hope: I really don’t. Our conversations are always going to lead that way. There is nothing better than being your own boss and it is exciting that we can have that together and bounce ideas off each other.

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Located at: 206 N 4th St Bismarck / 612 Main Ave Fargo