Family Business

I grew up behind the counter of a general store, the child of self employed parents. I was put to work before and after school, we took no family holidays and we struggled to find 30 minutes of peace to eat dinner together. Any child who grew up in a family business will understand that there is no escaping it. From the time we are able we are put to work in some capacity helping out.

My two guests this week also grew up in the family business, they took the experience one step further though and have taken each of their (very different) businesses over from their parents to become extremely successful 2nd generation business owners.

First up I chat with Karl Schwantes from Xennox Diamonds [] who shares stories from his upbringing with a father born into Eastern Europe post WW2. He talks about the defining moment when he realised his future laid within the family business. We explore the transition period, the direction he has taken the business (which includes a 5m long chandelier and a scotch bar for the guys), and the future as he sees it for the customer experience. We even chat a little about his own children (he has 4) and the role they play in the business.

If you’d like to find out more about Karl or Xennox Diamonds or get your hands on a copy of his amazing book “Rock her World” follow the links.

Xennox Diamonds:
Rock Her World:

My second guest, Dean Salakas took over a business that as been a Sydney institution for 30 years. Started by his mum, who was also known as “Patches the Clown”, the Party People is a highly successful party supply business.

Pursuing a successful corporate career within Woolworths, it wasn’t until his brother, Peter approached him to suggest the brothers take over the business together that Dean had ever considered going into the family business.

Dean shares the somewhat turbulent beginning as well as the pros and cons to owning a second generation family business. He gets candid on what it’s really like to work with your brother and he pulls back the curtain on what it was like to pitch on the TV show “Shark Tank”.

If you’d like to find out more about Dean and the Party People follow the links.

Dean Salakas:
The Party People:

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Not Another Business Show is edited and produced by Corporate Podcast Production

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