The idea of starting a business with my husband has always held an allure. Lululemon and EventBrite were started and continue to be run by couples. So are successful Edmonton businesses the Duchess Bake Shop and Beacon Hill Properties.
When I imagine our life in business together, I see soft focus images of flexible schedules, days full of shared adventure, and a common purpose that draws us closer.
|Illustration by Dennis Orb; printed Feb. 2014 in Avenue Edmonton|
My parents worked together for most of my childhood, and- for the most part- I loved that our whole family was incorporated into their work. It was only as I grew older that I became aware of the strain the business put on my parent’s relationship. The romance of the positives became more nuanced in my teens when my parents sought a totally different work- life balance. Mom found a 9-5 job. Dad started a new company and many of the particulars of his business remained bound between the four walls of his office.
They both seemed to exhale with relief. Business together had been good, but it had been hard.
Just as no one business is the same, so every couple in business has a unique story. I set out to speak to three couples that have adapted their relationships and businesses to suit their lives. Sometimes the business strengthened the relationship. Other times something- either the business or the relationship- had to “give”. In every case, these couples created something that was only possible because they were in it together.