Shared Passions: Tara and Ed Hammond of Slated

Photo of Shared Passions: Tara and Ed Hammond of Slated

The old adage that one shouldn’t mix business with pleasure may hold sway for many business people yet for many of our makers and designers, working with a romantic partner provides the perfect recipe for success. In the run-up to Valentine's Day we speak to Design Ireland couples about the challenges and rewards of working together in life as well as in business. First up it's Tara and Ed Hammond of Slated

Photo of Shared Passions: Tara and Ed Hammond of Slated

Why did you decide to work together on the brand?

Our love of natural materials has always existed and upon realising the possibilities of designing with slate, the natural progression was to utilise Edward’s skill of hand-cutting slate and my love of design.

As we both have completely different skill sets, it was amazing, in the beginning, to discover how well they complimented each other.

Photo of Shared Passions: Tara and Ed Hammond of Slated

What are the challenges of working together as a couple?

We have truly found no great challenges as we have, for the most part, our separate roles within Slated. But we are definitely Ying and Yang which has huge advantages. For all my moments of panic, I have Edward's calmness and composure to talk me down! (Tara) 

Photo of Shared Passions: Tara and Ed Hammond of Slated

Are there advantages to working together? If so, what are they?

We are incredibly lucky to work alongside each other every day. It makes the long hours a little bit easier when you work with someone who’s on the exactly the same page as you. The saying is true that if you love what you do you’ll never work a day again and we really do love what we do.

Slated has provided the most amazing journey for us over the last six years. It has been truly wonderful watching Slated grow year on year. From our very first stockist (Louis Mulcahy of Dingle) Slated is now stocked in exclusive stockists in Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Paris, Japan, London, Toronto and the Middle East.  

What better way to experience that journey than together?

We are incredibly lucky to work alongside each other every day. It makes the long hours a little bit easier when you work with someone who’s on the exactly the same page as you.

Are you always on the same wavelength with regards the branding or design etc. and if not how do you find common ground?

We both adore the authenticity of Slated - its rich heritage and use of traditional skills. This is something that neither one of us would ever compromise on. This provides a very even keel for the direction that Slated takes with the brand and product development.

We are always pretty much on the same wavelength, except when I get one of my “inspired ideas”! If it can be done, Ed always figures out a way to bring the idea to life. And if it can’t then he always breaks it to me gently!

There is an authenticity to our products that can be hard to find in this modern age and we’re hoping to continue Ed’s family craft for generations to come. (Tara)

Photo of Shared Passions: Tara and Ed Hammond of Slated

Do you ever get any downtime or are you constantly thinking about and talking about the business?

Family life is of utmost importance to us. Our children, Max and Annabel, make sure we get plenty of downtime and seeing life through their eyes is a wonderful gift.

Sitting down for our evening meal is the central part of our day - that moment of calm and chat about everybody’s day is very precious.

In saying that, when the kids are tucked up in bed a little Slated talk may start from time to time!

Photo of Shared Passions: Tara and Ed Hammond of Slated

Any advice to other couples thinking of going into business together?

Running a business is difficult and can be stressful. Add a relationship to it? That’s quite the challenge.

You need to know how to turn off the business switch and enjoy your personal lives - then you are one step ahead of the game.

Defined roles are a must as everyone has their own particular talents. It’s not easy to admit that you are not cut out for a certain role in the company that you helped build. But if the goal is to build a successful business you need to leave pride out of the equation.

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