Linda Collinson is no stranger to entrepreneurial success and the risks needed to succeed. In the ’80s, she developed a natural skincare line, LaCrista Natural Skincare, from her kitchen table. The small operation expanded, and by the ’90s her products were being sold in Walmart, Whole Foods, Giant Foods and other stores across the Mid-Atlantic and beyond, including China! When she started her only staff was her son, daughter and husband. After nearly 15 years Linda sold the company and could have called it a career.
Fast forward to 2013 and this momprenuer is back to work. The difference is, it is for someone else – her son. Linda and Budge Collinson’s company is called Infusion Sciences. Based in Crofton, Md., it sells a natural multivitamin product called Youth Infusion. Budge Collinson was always very interested in working out and living a healthy lifestyle, but became increasingly frustrated at the inclusion of inferior ingredients in many natural products on the market. After years of research and seeing such a demand for natural products with clinical support, in 2010 he decided to found Infusion Sciences. When deciding who to go into business with, the answer was clear – his mom.
Open just a few years, the family venture has already experienced major success. The company’s first product, Youth Infusion, has been picked up by The Vitamin Shoppe online and is in local Vitamin Shoppe stores in Washington, D.C., and around the country.
How do they make it work? Linda has these tips for other moms working for their kids (from the pair’s blog):
Make sure you have compatible personalities. Just because you are family doesn’t mean you get along. If you can run errands successfully together, you can probably work together.
Professional respect. Make sure your child has had professional accomplishments before you start to work together. It makes it easier to respect him in the office as a boss, not your child.
Ying and yang. My son and I are best at different things. This has been essential to Infusion Sciences’ success and our ability to communicate professionally.
Office time is not family time. We NEVER discuss family matters in the office or during office hours. That is the most important part – it is unfair to our employees and crosses the professional boundaries necessary for success. This is the hardest thing to do as a mom. I must say sometimes, I don’t follow this.
Youth Infusion is produced by Crofton, Maryland-based Infusion Sciences, which is led by Budge Collinson and his mom, Linda Collinson.