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You & Your Partner, Inc.

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By In Her Shoes Contributor: Brianna Arps, @briannaarps

What’s love got to do with building a brand? For some, it’s every single thing – the glue, magic and common denominator that supersedes all obstacles. Four dynamic couples have proven this fact and through daily effort demonstrate that owning a business with your spouse is more than possible. It’s rewarding on so many levels plus profitable, too.

Without further ado, meet Lamine and Nilea, TyLynn and Bee, Michael and Christian and Osayame and Ekiuwa!

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Lamine Diagne & Nilea Alexander, Co-founders of Cafe Rue Dix & Marche Rue Dix

Location: Brooklyn, New York

How long have you been together and married?

Nilea: My husband and I have been married for almost 6 years. We have been together for about 6 1/2 years.

What are your thoughts, separately, on mixing love and business?

Nilea: We both pretty much share the same thought. Marriage in itself is a business that takes work. It’s a constant collaboration of thoughts and ideas. What better person to work with than your spouse?

What advice (do’s or don’ts) do you have for those who wish to either start a business with their spouse or bring their spouse on board regarding an existing business?

Nilea: My husband seems to think that the key to success is having patience and understanding for one another. I agree; however, I think it’s important to establish roles based on each other’s strengths and trust one another to do his or her part.

 

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TyLynn & Bee Nguyen, Co-founders of TyLynn Nguyen Intimates

Location: Los Angeles, California

How long have you been together and married?

TyLynn: We have been together for 7 years and married 6 years.

What are your thoughts, separately, on mixing love and business?

TyLynn: We both wouldn’t have it any other way. We are soulmates and the love we have for each other bleeds into every aspect of our lives.

What advice (do’s or don’ts) do you have for those who wish to either start a business with their spouse or bring their spouse on board regarding an existing business?

TyLynn: Make sure your relationship is strong and that you both are on the same page. Knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses and asking for help in areas you both aren’t the strongest in is a huge pointer as well.

Christian and Michael

Michael and Christian Warren, Co-owners of mrmichaelthomas.com & alifewelldressed.com

Location: New York, New York

How long have you been together and married?

Christian: This year, Michael and I will be celebrating our 7-year wedding anniversary!

What are your thoughts, separately, on mixing love and business?

Michael: Love brought us together, but our respect for one another helps propels our vision for the business forward. When I started to realize this, I noticed a meaningful change in our collective pursuits.

Christian: I think that love and business has allowed us to observe and appreciate our individual strengths that have attributed to our goals and ambitions. It’s like having the front row seat to see the professional growth of the person that you have chosen to spend your life with. I love it!

What advice (do’s or don’ts) do you have for those who wish to either start a business with their spouse or bring their spouse on board regarding an existing business?

Michael: My advice is to be open to criticism and feedback. From what I’ve observed, being able to work with Christian has allowed us to develop even greater intimacy because we share similar passions and have learned that we genuinely want the best for one another not only in life but in business as well. I think that it’s important to just always remember that at the end of the day you and your spouse just want the best for one another.

Christian: Don’t discredit communication and transparency when working together. Also. it’s okay to have two different opinions. I love that Michael and I respect each other’s input and recognize our strengths. The biggest key is to also just enjoy what you do and do it well together!

White shirt couple

Osayame and Ekiuwa Evbuomwan, Co-founders of House of Evbuomwan

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

How long have you been together and married?

Ekiuwa: We have been together 8 years and married for 5 years.

What are your thoughts, separately, on mixing love and business?

Ekiuwa: Mixing love and business can be hard, yet rewarding at the same time. In the beginning we bumped heads a lot, but eventually we sat down and had a business meeting and hashed out all the details and established roles and followed through. It has been an easy road since.

What advice (do’s or don’ts) do you have for those who wish to either start a business with their spouse or bring their spouse on board regarding an existing business?

Ekiuwa: Communicate, date, love, have business meetings, budget correctly, plan and remember they are your spouse and mate before they are your business partner.

Are you in business with your spouse or significant other? If so, what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned on your journey?

As a New York City beauty PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created “In Her Shoes” to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.

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