Loral Quinn and her daughter Eishel founded their ethical fintech company, Sustainably, in 2016. Their mission? To make it easy for everyone to create a positive impact every day. With Sustainably you connect your bank card and then every time you shop, it rounds up your spare change and donates it to causes you care about. Their unique technology – which combines open banking, gamification and AI – enables employers and retailers to give to causes, too. Based in Edinburgh, the mother-daughter duo is making waves in the industry, but launching a start-up with your family is no easy feat. We caught up with them to find out more about how they make it work….
Mother-Daughter Duos: Loral and Eishel Quinn
When did you decide to go into business together?
Loral: After mapping my idea out on post-it notes on our kitchen wall, Eishel started to give me her ideas. It happened organically. We never thought we’d work together before then.
Eishel: We could see the feasibility in it so we began to develop our solution and test it against friends and family as well as industry experts – that’s when the kitchen wall ‘post its’ became a real-working business!
What are your different roles today?
Loral: I’m the CEO, so I’m in charge of building a great team and securing funding and brand partners.
Eishel: I’m the Chief Product Officer, which means I’m in charge of everything fun and exciting relating to the brand and the customer experience.
What’s the best part of working together?
Eishel: It's been an amazing journey so far with high highs and low lows. Our close bond has helped us to become a super-unit. We are really driven by our mission to create a global brand for good.
Loral: Through it all we’ve grown and become more resilient. We always have each other’s back and we can work through anything together.
And what’s the worst part of working together?!
Loral: There is a fine line between work and home life, especially as we still live together. So we do see each other a lot.
Eishel: Sometimes we have to draw a line and stop talking about business in the evening, zone out, and watch the Real Housewives of New York instead - with some spicy margaritas!
What’s the toughest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
Eishel: At the beginning it was getting investors and building a team, which we’ve overcome thanks to getting our brand vision out there and winning some awards.
Loral: Our next big challenge is get our product connected to 17 UK banks for mass market adoption, which is our fundamental goal.
What has been your proudest moment so far?
Loral: Getting the first version of our product in the market for Monzo Bank customers. Winning amazing awards like best of show at Finovate Fall, a big fintech conference in New York City. Meeting Richard Branson.
Eishel: “Getting awesome investors including Gareth Williams, the co- founder Skyscanner, and Con Gorner previously of Warner Bros films. Pitching on stage at the WeWork Creator Awards in London in front of thousands of people (including Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis) and then winning was an amazing feeling too.
Any advice for budding mother-daughter business owners?
Eishel: If you want to go into business together you have to have a really open and honest relationship (with any co-founder), and you both have to really love what you are planning to create, because there will be trying times.
Loral: Try to plan ahead as far as possible – things always take three times longer than you expect – but don’t put all your eggs in one basket. We’ve both personally invested in Sustainably and we’ve had some hard times. You need to be really resilient. I can’t imagine doing any other job with any other co-founder.