INDIAN-AMERICAN AUTHOR and philosopher Deepak Chopra says, “If you want to do really important things in life and big things in life, you can’t do anything by yourself. And your best teams are your friends and your siblings.” Most would agree with Chopra’s assertion, especially regarding siblings together in business. This issue of Inside New Orleans explores five businesses where siblings successfully work together.
MEGGAN ORY & MADISON DUPRE MAKEUP BY MEGGAN
Working together since 2018, sisters Meggan Ory and Madison Dupre make quite a team when it comes to the business of beauty. Licensed Aesthetician, creator and owner of Makeup by Meggan, Meggan says she and her little sister, also a Licensed Aesthetician, make the “ultimate team.” No surprise, considering the level of trust and loyalty these two ladies share. Meggan notes their mutual trust in business and life “…is something that cannot be bought.”
Their success is enhanced by working well together, supporting one another, communicating effectively, and complementing each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Madison explains that the two have very different personalities, which works well for them. “Working with Meggan is actually pretty amazing,” says Madison. “Her energy pushes and motivates me daily!”
The relationship between these two sisters has only gotten stronger with time. Madison calls their relationship as sisters and co-workers “complete.” Their dedication and hard work are paramount in their business, but sometimes just hanging out and chatting is also fun. Says Meggan, “I love talking to her about the latest makeup, skin, and lash trends.” They respect each other’s opinions and ideas and always collaborate to find the best look for their clients. For Meggan and Madison, the journey of working side by side has its ups and downs, but, as Meggan notes, “Within that is our perfection.”
Kasey Lyn Lopez And Kiley Lyn Eubanks K Lyn Photography
Sisters Kasey and Kiley make the perfect team. Both are photographers and do photoshoot sessions, but when it comes to other aspects of their business, they have their own roles that work in tandem. Kasey is the primary photo editor and runs the business side of things, while Kiley oversees client relations, scheduling, and the planning of photo session logistics. It works well for them because, as Kiley explains it, “ Kasey’s strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. We complement each other.”
The bond they share as sisters and business partners is a treasure. In business together for twelve years, Kasey and Kiley have forged their success on the cornerstone of trust, similar values, and a mutual drive to give their clients the best service and photographs. They push each other to give their best for their shared goal, which revolves around creating the best photographs for their clients.
There are few bonds like that of sisters, and for Kiley and Kasey, the bond formed in childhood is everlasting. Their mutual love is expressed through kindness, support, and protection. Three years into their business, Kasey had her first child. As a new mom with a full-time job as a dietitian and her side gig as a photographer, Kasey was anxious and overwhelmed. During those first few harried months, Kiley would come over unexpectedly and force her exhausted sister to take a nap while she took care of the baby. During this time, Kasey was ready to give up on their photography side business. Kiley, however, could see that their side gig had a lot of potential to become successful, so she took the reins and mostly kept the business going single-handedly. It was a difficult time for both sisters and finding balance was challenging. But these sisters, who are also close friends, deeply understand each other’s personalities and values. Because of this, they were each able to find the right balance, and as Kasey reflects, “The wonderful thing about working with your sister is that we always support each other and want the best for each other.” This beautiful support would be essential as Kasey and Kiley moved forward in their successful photography business. In time, their side hustle business would become their career.
BRITTANY PICOLO-RAMOS AND JOEL PICOLO GODWYN REALTY
Brittany Picolo- Ramos and her brother Joel Picolo have worked together for five years selling real estate. In those five years, brother and sister have been on the same team on and off. However, with all of the experience they have acquired in the past five years in the field, they have forged a partnership with the Picolo-Ramos Team as they pursue the best deals for their Godwyn Realty clients.
President of Godwyn Realty, Brittany, is also Team Leader and Listing Specialist for the Picolo- Ramos Team. Joel is the Sales Manager for Godwyn Realty and serves as the Buying Specialist for the Picolo-Ramos Team. This brother and sister duo has found their rhythm in the real estate world.
Brittany’s favorite part of working with Joel is that he is on the same wavelength as her and can often read her mind. She says working with Joel is “like working with my twin.” Joel feels the same way about their ability to know what the other is thinking without the benefit of >> words. Another very significant trait these two share is the trust they have for one another. Brittany conveys this the best, “ There’s a trust there that isn’t something you can find outside of your family.” Agreeably, Brittany and Joel share the same values. The principles they live by include recognizing the values of relationships and protecting those they love. Coupled with these principles, these siblings have a strong work ethic modeled for them by their entrepreneur parents. Joel also points out that one of his favorite parts of working with his sister is attending events. “Together,” says Joel, “We can really work a room, and by the end of [the evening], everyone knows who we are.”
Siblings do like to tell childhood stories about each other, and Brittany and Joel have some great ones. Brittany likes to tell about when Joel was that kid obsessed with Jurassic Park. She says, “He could run faster on all fours than most people could on two legs and was always greeting people with velociraptor sounds.” She adds that Joel was a sweetheart and was always down with his older sisters dressing him up for fashion shows. Not to be outdone by his sister’s story, Joel shares his own funny memory of Brittany and says that somewhere, there is a VHS tape to prove it. Once, Brittany, along with their other sister, made a music video for the Sinead O’Connor hit, “Nothing Compares 2U.” It truly must have been entertaining, as Brittany was the one on the drums in their classic music video. If that VHS ever turns up, please let those of us at Inside New Orleans know.
When it comes to working together, it sounds as though Brittany and Joel have mutual respect for each other and the work they do together. Finally, when asked for a quote about working together in their business, it was simply said: “Two Picolos are better than one!”
Jenny McGuinness and Jessica Woodward PHINA & THE BASKETRY
Sisters Jenny McGuinness and Jessica Woodward opened their first Phina store in 2016. There are three locations of these fabulous home, gift, and children’s stores in the New Orleans and Metairie areas. They also recently bought The Basketry, a gift store specializing in custom gift boxes for anyone and any occasion. About the origins of these businesses, Jenny explains a bit of background, “Phina is named after our greatgrandmother, and The Basketry was built by an amazing family with loyal customers and an incredible staff who have been there for years.”
The sisters balance the business responsibilities impressively, collaborating on things like buying but divvying specific tasks like sales data analysis or marketing according to personal skill. Jessica’s civil engineering background and her head for numbers make her great at data. She understands the best-selling items and quickly knows what needs to be bought and in what quantity. Jenny’s background in advertising has led her to take the lead on social media and marketing projects.
Jenny and Jessica agree that the best part of working with each other is knowing they always have each other’s back. Collaboration is key for these two. They constantly bounce ideas off each other to determine the best decisions to move forward through challenges or significant opportunities. Knowing they’re in it together, Jenny and Jessica find it easier to take risks.
It isn’t just their other sister that they rely on. Their businesses are indeed a whole family affair. Jessica said, “It’s not just the two of us. Our parents and our husbands are big parts of the business, and we couldn’t do any of it without them.” A prime example is when they decided to open the Harrison Avenue Phina location before Christmas, shortly after signing their lease in November. They drove to Ikea through the night to pick up their display fixtures, and with their dad’s truck filled with boxes, they got it all back the next day. Their husbands and kids even pulled numerous all-nighters, all helping the store successfully open on December 18. Jenny and Jessica’s success is unquestionably owed to how strongly they prioritize family partnerships in their businesses. There is no doubt that their strong bond will help them to continue to grow their list of accomplishments!
TINA PHAM, TORI PASENTINE, BAO KA AND KEVIN VO ROYAL RETREAT DAY SPA
In March 2022, siblings Kevin, Tina, Tori, and Bao opened the new and fabulous Royal Retreat Day Spa in Mandeville. Each sibling brings unique talents and skills to run their business successfully. Kevin’s primary roles involve management, front desk, and payroll. Tina is the lead Esthetician, oversees facial protocols, and trains new employees. Tori works as the hiring manager with a focus on marketing and promotions. She also created the menu and designed and decorated the beautiful space. Bao is the spa’s master-level massage therapist.
While reflecting on their childhood, Tori tells a funny story about a little game the four used to play called King and Queen Day. The premise is that one sibling gets to be the king or queen on a given day. It is pretty much a game of servitude for all who are not the king or queen. Tori says that Bao was always king. He had everyone else running around getting him water, food, blankets, whatever his heart desired. Tori did get to experience it one time, but not her poor sisters. She finishes the story by saying, “We spent our childhood being Bao’s servants.”
While it’s clear that these four are incredibly hardworking, they don’t let their roles as co-workers bar them from having some fun. Tina explained, “My favorite part of working with my siblings is that we can joke all day with each other but know when to get serious.” Balancing the sibling camaraderie and discipline required to run a business is a difficult challenge for most, but something that seems to come easily for this family.
What makes these siblings work so well together is their uniqueness. Each one has their own set of strengths that they contribute, not just their professional skills. Kevin’s favorite part about working with his siblings is learning the positives and negatives of each other and helping each other grow as individuals. Bao said they make a good team and always motivate each other, even when things get tough. Like all successful family businesses, Kevin, Tina, Tori, and Bao have excellent talent for balancing their love for each other and their commitment to hard work. This love and dedication to one another will surely make building the Royal Retreat Day Spa brand effortless.