Keeping it in the family: The daughter who co-owns two businesses – one with her mum, the other with her dad


Running a business with family members can have its benefits – and its drawbacks.

Someone who knows all about that is Scarlett Blakey.

The 27-year-old fine art graduate from Lincoln has a 50-50 share in Finedale Construction with her dad Malcolm and a similar 50-50 share in interior design business Ophelia Blake with her mum Helen.

Finedale combines Malcolm’s experience in construction with Scarlett’s enthusiasm and creativity.

Launched in 2017, it has worked on a number of decent sized housing schemes.

It operates as a main contractor and developer and on joint ventures, with Scarlett manages things on a daily basis.

Ophelia Blake, meanwhile, has an “art-inspired” approach to its work in residential and commercial properties.

Scarlett said her mum and dad previously ran a national nursing home business, which they designed, built up and ran before selling that when Scarlett was young.

Both Scarlett and Malcolm have years of experience in their sectors, while Helen helps with the day-to-day running of Finedale.

She said: “After leaving university I was looking at what I should be doing so approached Malcolm and thought let’s work together and bring together my creativity with his construction experience and do something new.

“He’s in his 70s and has had lots of companies and worked for different people. He’s done work in London, Plymouth, all over the place.

“Working with me he’s more involved in the construction side of things and jumps into the business side as and when needed, and I do the marketing and design.

“About seven months ago I decided to join forces with my mum Helen too. What I do there is more arty-farty, with some business elements, and she is more on the business side of things.

“We are all Lincolnshire-based – I live in Lincoln’s Cathedral Quarter and they live just outside Grimsby, but we work nationwide.

“When Finedale was set up we went straight into 22 houses which we are just finishing off in Grimsby.

“It’s unique in that it’s being built on a curve. It’s a £3 million project and we have sailed through it.

“We’re working on converting a building in Lincoln into four apartments, and the interior company is doing all the design for that.

“We are also starting a 14 house scheme in Grimsby.

“As a family we have a very strict rule that after 6pm our work brains turn off, otherwise we spend all our evenings and weekends talking about work.

“We have a fantastic relationship and we know how to wind each other up, but also when to keep quiet.

“What it also means though, and I think our staff will back us up on this, is it allows us to approach businesses at a slightly different angle because as a family we can be flexible. We also tend to retain staff.

“We know the importance of balancing life work, although we do have the odd argument.”

She said Ophelia had recently taken on an interior designer and Finedale had a team of nine.



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