IDEAL - A Family Business Formula for Success

A Family Business Film

IDEAL: A Family Formula for Success

The Kallis – father, Mike "Magic-Mix" and son, Phillip – run their family business, Ideal Manufacturing, out of their one-of-a-kind facility in Northamptonshire.

Mike Kalli became the founder of a family business partially by design and partially by accident. After getting his PhD in Chemistry, Mike got a job as a chief chemist at a large chemical company. However, he didn't find his calling until he overheard a conversation among colleagues about one of the largest laundries in Europe, the James Hayes Group. They couldn't solve a problem with persistent staining, or at least not with conventional chemistry.

So Mike Kalli went home and made his "Magic-Mix" – an innovative chemical formula that immediately impressed the James Hayes Group, so much so that they ordered 4 tonnes of the product on the spot directly after Mike demonstrated its efficacy. Within a few years, Mike's fledgeling company, Ideal Manufacturing, picked up the whole of Europe in terms of commercial laundry clients.

Phillip Kalli, Mike's son, was aware of the family business growing up, but never imagined he'd play an integral role in its future. For many years, his career took a different path through music and mass media.

In 2008, Mike Kalli was thinking about selling the business, but when Phillip came to him and offered to join, he decided to give it another year just to see if the father-son collaboration could change his mind.

So, Phillip Kalli became part of Ideal Manufacturing, bringing his experience to bear on the company's somewhat outdated marketing. Innovation is part of Ideal's DNA, and just as his father innovated the chemical formulas the company was built on, Phillip innovated not only how the independent detergent business reaches its customers but also how they sell their product.

Now, Ideal has a robust presence online and thousands of followers on social media. Their detergent is available all over the UK in farm shops that will refill any container customers bring in. This way, the family detergent manufacturer keeps its plastic footprint to a minimum.

Mike and Phillip Kalli now share a vision for the future of their family business, and Ideal Manufacturing hasn't looked back since.

Behind the Scenes of a Family Business Film

In late 2019, the Family Business Films team travelled to the UK to create a mini-documentary on second-generation family business IDEAL. This innovative detergent manufacturer aims for sustainability along its supply chain and is owned and operated by the Kalli family. During the shoot, we worked with father and son duo, Michael and Phillip, and discovered how they came to work together and their vision for the future of their company.

Enjoy our Behind-the-Scenes video to learn more about our experience documenting family businesses and why it matters.

About Family Business Films

Every family business is host to a hundred entertaining anecdotes, tales of courage, devastating failures, and soaring successes. The lessons that can be learnt from them are countless, and the next generation of owners is entrusted with the task of continuing the tale. The medium of film offers an exciting channel to capture the essence of your family business and motivate the next generation to share in your vision and legacy. The experience of making a film about your legacy offers a unique opportunity for emotional connection, creating a powerful space for meaningful dialogue across generations. It is also a powerful tool for external marketing that can help build brand awareness and authenticity around your company’s reputation.
Mark Hopkins

About Award-winning Director Mark Hopkins and Orbis Terra Media

Family Business Films is the next step for Vitas Media and Mark Hopkins in his storied career directing films in Hollywood and beyond. Mark was intrigued by the questions: ‚How can we capture this feeling? How do we make sure our children and grandchildren understand what it means to be a part of this business?’

As a feature film director, Mark believes that films have an unparalleled capacity to transmit emotions and preserve the moment.

Ramia M. El Agamy, Editor-in-Chief of Tharawat Magazine and Founder of Orbis Terra Media, has over a decade of experience connecting with hundreds of family businesses from around the globe, telling their stories and celebrating their successes.

Orbis Terra Media’s singular understanding of family businesses, coupled with Vitas Media’s mastery of visual storytelling, represents an unprecedented opportunity for families to document their legacies.

Get in touch for more information