Some people have asked me, “What is it like owning and operating a business with your spouse?”
In the beginning, it was stressful. It seemed like every week for a year I would walk out of the coffee shop because I was talked to with a certain tone of voice. We had gotten married and started a business at the same time, so we were learning a lot of new things. We didn’t know much about communication yet within a marriage, let alone a business.
A lot of fights happened as a result of this. It did not help that we were on opposite sleeping schedules either. When we opened up in our first location, I was working 3pm-midnight at the local university library. I was basically working two jobs, because I would work at the coffee shop all morning and then from there go to my full time job. To say we were stressed would be an understatement. In my opinion, it was one of the darkest times of our married life so far. Surviving a fire and a pandemic was nothing compared to not being able to spend quality time with the love of your life.
Anyways, like most seasons do, it came to an end. I resigned from my library job to help full time at the coffee shop (coincidentally, weeks before the fire). But it didn’t take too long before we were able to work efficiently together. With my tools of observation and a bucket load of mistakes, I was soon able to read his body language and help him before he even asked. When we got to that point, working together wasn’t just work. It was fun. It was like a beautiful dance where everyone could see the steps we took, but no one but us could hear the music.
And as newer business owners, fun was a hard thing to come by. We knew it was going to be hard at first, but I don’t think we had really counted the cost. We knew we would be busy, but we didn’t realize we’d have to say goodbye to any social life we had outside of our business for the first year. It was hard not being able to hang out with our friends because we were either too busy or too exhausted. We still don’t have a lot of free time for social activities. During the week, it’s almost impossible to hang out with friends, because we get up so early for work. And right now we have only one whole day off work, Sunday, and we need that time to rest and be together. Monday, we are still closed, but it’s more of an office/errand day, where we prepare for the upcoming weeks. We make all our own syrups for our lattes, and so that takes time.
We have only been married for about 3 years and have owned a business for two, so we know we still have so much to learn. Time management is one of them. It seems there are not enough hours of the day to do all that needs to be done. But with that being said, we love working together. We wouldn’t trade this life for any other. Not many people get to work with their best friend and go home with them as well.