idea gardens inc.

Family Business: Nina and Trine’s Story

My vision is to create a profitable company
that allows me to fully express myself
and to reap the rewards of doing so — Nina

My vision is to create a partnership
which gives me freedom, independence and a sense of connection —Trine

In 1993, sisters Nina and Trine were exploring the possibility of forming a partnership. Along with their five brothers and sisters, they owned a number of rental apartments. With the death of their parents, it was more difficult to reach agreement on day to day operations, particularly since family members lived in different parts of the world.

They began working with idea gardens by each completing personal visions. Sharing their personal visions with each other allowed them to see and understand each other in a new way, so they could approach their common vision without preconceptions and misconceptions about each other.

Their shared vision of “Turning lemons to plums” helped them to focus on the type of properties they wanted to acquire: small to medium sized apartment buildings that were structurally sound but needed cosmetic work to make them more attractive and livable. This strategy allowed them to fulfill their greater purpose of providing decent housing for people, while creating a good investment and profit for themselves. It also allowed them to live their own personal visions: Nina to fully express herself both in the improvements to the buildings and in the way the business is run; and Trine in creating a partnership with her sister to give her a sense of connection, as well as freedom and independence from the income it generated.

The sisters’ first property was a triplex. Their efforts and sweat equity in turning this property from a ‘lemon’ to a ‘plum’ allowed them to purchase larger properties, and they currently own two apartment buildings with a total of 54 units. The improvements they’ve made in the quality of their buildings has also had an impact in improving the overall neighbourhood in which their apartments are situated – a win for the people who live there , as well as a win for them in the value of their investment.

As the business has grown, new opportunities and new challenges have appeared, and the sisters have scheduled periodic updates with idea gardens to reconnect with their vision as they move forward, so that they continue to stay on track with what they really want.


Working with Peggy really allowed us to get clear on exactly what we were trying to buy and to create. For our first property, we were looking at many different properties in many different locations – with the clarity of our joint vision, we were able to focus on finding just the right property.

Since then, we have continued to go to Peggy for “tune-ups” about once a year, just to keep ourselves on track, and also when we’re starting to look for another property. These sessions have been incredibly valuable in keeping our relationship with our investments and each other healthy and in perspective.”



Owner managed businesses


Organizations whose success depends on employee involvement


Individuals who are retiring or entering other periods of transition