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The D'Amelio Family Rules: Balancing Brand and Family

Q&A with Marc & Heidi

We can think of about a thousand kids who would be mortified for their parents to get on TikTok. But not Charli and Dixie. For us, creating is a family business. Like any parents, we want to set our kids up for success, but we also need to give them the freedom to express themselves the way they want to in this industry. We’ve learned so much over the past two years that helped us grow as creators. Through all of that, we’ve trusted each other to make decisions that helped our family to grow as a unit and a brand. Now we want to share what makes our family business work and how we balance it all.

“For us, creating is a family business.”

The247: What is your number one piece of advice for parents of creators?

Heidi: Don’t ever make them feel like it doesn’t matter.

"If your kid wants to be a creator, the best thing you can do is be supportive."

Just because this isn’t the world we grew up in, this is part of how businesses run on social media. It’s the world we live in now - and it does matter. So, your job is to figure out how to let them take the lead while still being there to guide them. Once you start telling them what to do it can be the beginning of the end, so give them time to practice and get better. Tell them to share what comes naturally. And then after a while if things aren’t starting to click, you know, switch it up a little bit. And try to find guidance in that. You need to balance your role as a parent with their creative freedom. If they’re doing the same thing for a really long time and nothing is popping off, maybe it needs to be tweaked. Ask them questions like “what could you add to this? Is there a certain niche here?” while still staying true to who they are, what they love, and what they want to share.

Marc: We didn’t put up barriers to let our kids create. We saw the interest they had and encouraged them by giving them the tools they needed. Heidi and I chose to give both girls them phones early on when they wanted to get on social media, did not stand in the way of that. We made sure that we gave them a good foundation, and the trust to not abuse the privilege of having access to social media.

When becoming a career creator, when do you know it’s time to add more people to your team?

Marc: As soon as we realized that this could be turned from a hobby to a career, I knew we had to get people on our team that were experts in this field. There are things that most people learn throughout their careers that they can use in being a creator. And being in sales, there are two things I thought of really early. 1) I know nothing about this business. And 2) I’m not going to be one of those dads that walks in thinking they know what they do not know and take control of my daughters’ careers and mess it up. In any other business I’ve been involved in, I always hire people that have knowledge.

Who is the first position you should hire as a creator?

Marc: The right attorney is where I would start. People usually think the first step is getting an agent, but the agents will come once the business gets to a respectable size. There are attorneys out there who are looking for new clients and will support young creators in their endeavors. As your business grows, they are going to be there to protect you and handle the deals, so that you can focus on the creating. This is a new kind of business, so it is not full of people who have been doing this forever - there’s a lot of new ground here. It would be amazing to develop a resource for creators, like a portal, with a list of attorneys who are looking to work in this field.

As a family unit, how have you been able to balance your individual creative pursuits?


"As a mom, I tend to want to make sure that my family is good first."

But when I realized creating content was something I enjoyed doing, I had to get out of my, you know, “mother’s guilt” and start really carving time out for it. I think communication is key, and I think something I probably should have learned earlier as a mom is valuing my own time. Like, I enjoy giving my time to my family, but it’s almost like they’re like “Mom, do this for yourself!” They became the push I needed to do my own thing. So when I get a brand deal, I communicate with my family and let them know I am going to need time and space to focus on it. And they’re always very excited for me. Just like I would support my family to do the things they want to do, they do the same for me.

Marc: I have been able to balance it with an understanding of how lucky we are to wake up every day and be able to not only be around people we love, but to be doing stuff that we love. We know that what our kids have been able to accomplish is something that the majority of young people are aspiring to do. I have an appreciation for what we get to do everyday and try to not let the little things get to us. That’s always kind of how we have lived our life before this. Our family always tries to do the best job of appreciating what we have with this platform.

What’s the secret to balancing being a family and a brand?

Marc: I’ve always taught my kids that they’re their own personal brand. I knew that it meant they should act in a way they feel proud of, and treat other people in a way they feel proud of. And I think that’s one part of teaching them that they are their own brand. And the other part is actually acting as a brand - looking at the biggest consumer brands in the world and what do they do. So we’re proud to see them find this balance of their own personal values and their online presence. We’ve given them a level of trust where they can come to us if they’re not sure about a post, or even if they feel like they’ve made a mistake. When we’ve given the kids that creative freedom and sort of loosened the reins, knowing they’ve got our trust, they’ve used it to make us proud.

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