Episode show notes

The Cornishware brand’s iconic striped design is a hugely recognisable hallmark of a company over 150 years into its journey, and having taken the reins in 2007, Charles & Rebecca Rickards are retaining its magic.

The pair contribute to the continued success as Managing Director and Graphic Designer, and exude pride in the opportunity to work as a father-daughter duo. On this week’s It Runs In The Family, we dive into their complementary skill sets, strong ties to the community, and the intangible bond that sets family businesses apart.

This episode covers:

  • The intangible qualities that underpin so many family businesses’ success
  • Charles & Rebecca’s complementary roles, and their pride in being able to work together
  • Cornishware’s lovely connection to their huge, engaged community
  • How Rebecca’s desire to help Ukraine led so quickly to such prolific and rapid fundraising
A graphic with Robin, Judy and Ollie.

Episode highlights

“Most patents were very floral and dainty, and I’ve got some of the old archives there. At the bottom on these pages are about 12 images with floral designs, and then suddenly at the bottom right hand corner, there’s this thing with bold stripes. That was the beginning of the Cornishware design.” – 3:00 – Charles Rickards

“When you’re buying a family business, you’re very aware it’s a family business, because that’s where a lot of its strength has come from. It’s all those intangibles that you can’t really pin down.” – 8:15 – Charles Rickards

“There’s a huge support for us on our Instagram. The messages our customers send – they are completely rooting for us and supporting us the whole time. It’s really lovely. I’ve never known a brand speak with their customers like they’re almost our friends. There are people who are really supporting the brand who don’t want to see the brand ever go away.” – 20:45 – Rebecca Rickards

“If I had an idea on a Saturday, I’m like, ‘I can’t wait till Monday to tell Dad, I gotta tell him right now, I’m calling him’. So it’s hard when it’s a family business to sometimes separate the two because they are so entwined.” – 28:40 – Rebecca Rickards

“It’s totally different when you work with colleagues. You might be close to them, but you don’t have this weird family telepathy thing where you just you’ve grown up with them, so you know them so well, you wouldn’t even have to talk to each other to agree on something.” – 36:45 – Rebecca Rickards

“So when we first became involved, the most dedicated, almost loyal customers were the 35 to 45 year olds, followed closely by the 45 to 55 year olds. Since the lockdown, it’s the 25 to 35 year olds who are the leading group now.” – 51:10 – Charles Rickards

“When the Ukraine thing was going on, the news was just hideous, and it was really hard to watch. I came into work the next day, and said we’ve got to do something. I’ve never launched something so quickly in my life, and the 100 plates sold out in 4 minutes.” – 53:20 – Rebecca Rickards

“It’s family, it’s so close, we all really care. There’s so much emotional attachment and I love working with Dad. I feel really privileged. Honestly, I feel so lucky to even have this chance.” – 1:05:00 – Rebecca Rickards

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