With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, the VarageSale team decided it was high time to pop the question to our favorite office couple: How do you run an award-winning startup with your spouse and keep the spark in your relationship?
So we sent Tami and Carl a short questionnaire to find out their secrets to a healthy, successful company and a healthy, successful marriage. The catch? Neither of them knew the other was taking it.
When their answers came back, we were kind of blown away. From business to family, these two see eye to eye on pretty much everything!
And we were inspired to learn that Tami and Carl also have a tried and true strategy for keeping the spark aglow.
Curious? Get your minds out of the gutter and keep reading to find out what it is… 😉
Tami tells all…
VS: Did you ever think you’d go into business with your husband?
Tami: Never. Not in a million years. While Carl and I are very similar in our values and enjoy many of the same pastimes, we are opposites when it comes to our careers. He has a tech/business background… and I was a teacher!
VS: What are the top 3 challenges when it comes to working with the man you love?
1. Finding time to focus on our relationship.
2. Juggling work and family. Since we are both founders, we need to put many, many extra hours into building our company. This is in addition to running a household and raising a toddler!
3. I NEVER escape him—Just kidding! I actually love being around him all the time, especially since we don’t get to spend much quality time together.
VS: What are the 3 best parts of working with the man you love?
Tami: That’s easy 🙂
1. I can always be sure that he’ll understand the stress I am under. I know that when I’ve had a long day—whether I want to cuddle up or need my space to do some work—he’ll give me that option, no questions asked. Why? Because he gets it.
2. We’re in this together. We celebrate our successes together, we deal with our hardships together, we are never alone in anything that goes on and that feels great.
3. I get to see him shine. I think my husband is the smartest and most talented guy out there. I get to see this first hand every day and that is very attractive!
VS: Before you decided to open a business together, were you ever worried that it would get in the way of your relationship?
Tami: Yes! I was terrified of it. While I knew that Carl and I saw eye to eye on most things, I also knew that this was another thing to add to what we could argue about in our marriage. There are some key things that couples are warned about when entering a marriage/relationship. We are told that arguing about money and your children are right up there. Luckily for us, we don’t argue about any of that stuff, but about VarageSale? We can disagree sometimes… but they are healthy disagreements.
The truth is, it’s good that we challenge each other sometimes! Carl and I are the left/right brain masterminds behind VarageSale. Once we both explain why we feel the way we do, we respect each other’s opinion trusting that we both know what we’re talking about. The trust that we have in each other with our product is probably nothing close to what non married co-founders have.
VS: How has your relationship with Carl changed since launching VarageSale together?
Tami: We have become stronger, that’s for sure! Getting married was one thing, having a baby was another. Having a second baby that just happens to be a startup takes a lot of figuring out… and well, we’ve got this! We have learned how to balance our relationship, family life and our work. We have learned how important respect is and we do our best to keep that in mind always. Most of all, we have celebrated high and low moments together. It’s really awesome to be able to share all the most important things in our life as a team. I think that’s what makes us stronger.
VS: And, now for the question all of our readers want to know… How do you keep the spark in your relationship?
Tami: Well, once a week we… go on a date! (Get your mind out of the gutter, I’m not sharing any of that stuff.) Seriously though, we do go on a date. We get a babysitter one evening a week and go do something fun. I think it’s super important we take the time to do this. I won’t lie though, often those dinner conversations turn into business meetings!
VS: Any tips for other couple entrepreneurs?
Tami: Definitely. I’ve got two pieces of advice:
1. Respect is everything. If you choose to start a company together, it means you’re both really good at what you do. Always remember to respect each other’s roles, opinions and feelings.
2. Don’t be scared of going into business together. You married each other because you make a great team. Turns out, great teams mean great co-founders. Having the person you’ve decided to spend your life with through thick and thin probably means they’ll treat all journeys you take together that way. I’m grateful that my man is by my side in all aspects of my life. I consider myself very lucky.
VS: Anything you’d like to add?
Tami: They say not to be a nag in your marriage. I’ve failed at that one. VarageSale is the result of months and months of nagging Carl to build something I truly believed in. The best part of me having this idea was having a husband to help me build it. Ideas aren’t much of anything if they’re stuck in your head and you can’t follow through on your own. Carl has not only helped me create exactly what I envisioned, but he has helped me start a company on top of that. That is something I could not have done by myself.
Want to know what Carl has to say about all of this? Find out in Part Deux: The Male Perspective! 😉