Advice & Planning

Vatana Watters and Sydney Watters Dunbar on Working Together and Keeping the Brand Relevant

We all love our moms, but it takes a special kind of relationship to work together professionally. Local mother-daughter design duo, Vatana Watters and Sydney Watters Dunbar of one of America’s largest family-owned global bridal brands, Watters, have proven that it can work.

Marrying (pun intended) tradition with contemporary vision, the mother-daughter team have figured out ways to play to each other’s generational strengths in order to keep the Watters business growing.

Below, Vatana and Sydney share 5 ways they’ve managed to stay relevant. 

We Play to Our Strengths

Vatana: My role has evolved over the 30+ years and having Sydney join the company after she graduated from college has brought a renewed energy. She’s always staying on top of current fashion trends and is knowledgeable about social media and digital marketing strategies. 

We Look Ahead

Sydney: My mom has taught me to always look ahead. At Watters, we always remain flexible, testing out new styles and exploring different categories. While we reach a large variety of brides right now, I would love to expand the Watters audience to brides who shop at alternate price points.

We Travel to Stay Inspired

Vatana: I’ve always encouraged my daughter (and design team) to travel and see the world. I believe visual journeys are what shape and grow us as individuals and spark creativity in business.

We Encourage Each Other

Vatana: Our design process is family style. We laugh and cry, but at the end of the day we are passionate about the product we are creating. I think it’s important to encourage and support one another because that’s when creativity and magic happens.  

We (Try to) Maintain a Work-Life Balance

Sydney: We set aside time to enjoy each other’s company. Sometimes you just need a break and it’s crucial to nurture your at-home relationship and not let it get confused with the business one.

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