Reinventing the Sister Act
FROM A CONVERSATION WITH JULIE AND ROYCE PINKWATER ON THE REINVENT YOURSELF PODCAST
“The wonderful thing with sibling love is that it comes with a deep, deep trust. You know almost everything about each other.” So says Julie Pinkwater, sister and business partner to Royce Pinkwater. The duo founded Oathlife.com, a new premium oat milk with 15 grams of plant protein.
Pinkwater, a former magazine publisher (who launched More Magazine), reinvented first into the real estate business, joining Royce, a real estate veteran, to create Pinkwater Select, a boutique agency sourcing luxury properties around the world. When Royce needed a new “level of learning and challenge,” she reinvented into the “highly competitive” drink business with a product called Bonta.
“We know each other’s skill sets and don’t overlap,” she says, noting that the sisters also have “a challenge all siblings have—you bring all your childhood baggage with you.”
Julie’s and Royce’s Top Tips for Reinvention
1. Make sure your interests and goals are aligned.
A successful business is about your interests and your talents in general. I don’t think the best approach is to say, “I want to create a business with my sister, so what would that be?” Because it may not be the best combination, or your knowledge, your talents or your skill sets may not be aligned. So, in some ways I feel Julie and I happen to be sisters. The fact that we’re sisters is a major plus, but if she had no interest in this business, us being sisters wouldn’t matter. And if you happen to be siblings, you have to utilize that as a strength, not as a novel something that gives you the right to fight with your partner. You are there to support each other because you love each other.
2. Set Clear Expectations.
Let’s say you’ve considered all that and it all comes to be, be very very clear with each other of what your expectations are, and what you see in each other that you think would make the business work. If you are not aligned if there are different expectations, or one thinks they’re superior or something, just don’t go. You have to make sure there’s a deep mutual respect for each other’s desires, goals, and everything else.
3. Understand how much time you’ll be committing to each other.
Make sure that you can be with that family member every day. Yesterday, I said that I talked to Royce all day, and our creative director was like, ‘Are you kidding? You people see each other all the time. Don’t you even take five minutes for personal time?’ It’s really you like and respect one another, and understand that you may be spending more time with that person than with anybody else. And on top of that there are family dinners together! You’ve gotta feel comfortable with all of that.