It started innocently enough with Hollie Driscoll lending a hand at her parents' Just Grillin business as a 12-year-old.
"She helped with filing, answering phones — small things," Heather Driscoll said.
Now Hollie, 23, handles a full-time schedule fueling sales at the outdoor grilling design-build firm on N Dale Mabry Highway alongside her mom Heather, 45.
"When (my parents) started the business 14 years ago, I kind of grew up into the business and got to see everything firsthand," says Hollie, who heads up the company's outside sales division. "I was around when the first outdoor kitchen was built and the first showroom was designed. When I was in college, I earned a marketing degree and was able to apply everything I was learning in the classroom to Just Grillin, which I think was very cool."
When Heather and husband Doug Driscoll started Just Grillin, daughter Hollie and son DJ were young children.
The Driscolls say business remains hot today, with Doug regarded by many as a grillmaster, but his wife and their two grown children remain essential ingredients. DJ, 22, lends a hand as project manager while focusing on his studies at the University of South Florida.
Heather is a proud mom.
"I like Hollie working at Just Grillin because she is very independent," Heather said. "I can give her tasks and she gets things done and really sees the big picture with our business and always has the company's best interest."
Said Hollie: "Everyone thinks we're sisters"
While business may seem like a sister act to many customers, there's still a polite mother-daughter line in the sand when it comes to the workplace boundaries between Heather and Hollie.
"We work at least 40 hours a week together but have separate offices, so we have our own space," Hollie Driscoll said.
Even after the flame dims at the end of each business day, the mother-daughter duo enjoy spending time with each other outside of work.
Running a business has been a learning experience for both Heather and Hollie.
"I've learned how much work goes into running your own business," Hollie said. "You essentially rely on everyone in the company to succeed, and at the end of the day as business owners you have to be happy.
"My dad was in corporate America and retired early, my mom used to be a Realtor. Then one day, they wanted to start their own business. So, as a family, this has all been new to us."
Meanwhile, running a business with Hollie has helped Heather learn more about her daughter.
"It has taught me just how intelligent and creative she is."
Contact Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez at [email protected]