The Business of Love: Small Business Couples Tell All – Part 1

Starting a business together is a true test for any relationship so we decided to get real by asking a mix of loved up couples who took their relationship to the next level. From lessons learnt, to the best bits and challenging times, these couples spill all in the first part of our Valentine’s Day special. 

Keeping it Sustainable – Jamie-Lee and Len, theotherstraw 

For Jamie-Lee and her partner Len, starting a new business was more than just a new endeavour, it was an opportunity to create a positive change for the environment. 

Noticing the overuse of plastic straws polluting the environment, the pair decided to get active by developing a sustainable solution by making eco-friendly, re-useable, ethical bamboo straws.  

Since theotherstraw started in 2018, a staggering 4.5million plastic straws have been kept from filling landfill and our oceans, an achievement the pair are proud of. 

The best bits about working together?

Spending time together and having a deeper connection to one another. We have found that running a business together has further developed our relationship and we’ve learnt so much about each others skills, strengths and weaknesses.  

By working together our motivation to succeed has become stronger. We have shared goals, values and ambitions, a unifying bond and connection. 

And the challenges?

Switching off. It’s so easy to combine both your personal and work life together. However, it can be dangerous if there are no boundaries in place. You may develop the feeling that you can never escape work. 

The Successful Start-up – Anita and Paul, Nexacu

Six years agothe humble beginnings of Nexacu, a national software training firm were taking shape in Anita and Paul’s lounge room.  Fast forward to the present day and the pair now have training centres in seven locations across Australia, a reflection of the couple’s effort and well-deserved success. 

Training in the specialised field of Microsoft programs, the twosome team have worked hard at developing their business, all the while balancing a family of three. Their most recent big achievement is being listed as one of the Top 50 fastest Growing Technology Firms in Australia by Deloitte. 

Discovering each other, the biggest things we learnt from working together...

You see a different side to people when you are in a work environment. I saw how Paul channelled his drive and ambition and how he builds quality relationships. This has been a real strength, particularly in our work environment. 

Words of advice for lovebirds wanting to start a business together?

  • Support each other and respect each others opinion 
  • Don’t step on your partner’s toes 
  • Find each of your key areas of expertise and focus on them 
  • Be prepared to change as your business evolves 
  • Always be ready to learn new things 
  • Commute separately. This a time to catch up on podcasts and has become a bit of a ritual for me 

On a Mission to Help – Kiri and WesleyAMPERNA ® 

Inspired from a personal need for a holistic skincare solution, Kiri and her husband, Wesley, started AMPERNA® in early 2018. Kiri experienced her own skin issues suffering with pustular acne and perioral dermatitis. 

Determined to create a product and brand of active products specifically for sensitive skin using holistic principles, AMPERNA® was born. With a mission to help people feel more comfortable in their skin, the pair became joint directors in July 2019. 

Know your strengths, share the load

  • Having an understanding of each other means we are able to get more tasks done economically as our skills compliment each other. My background is FMCG Design and Social media marketing and my husband is an automations specialist. His skills of forecasting, stock trading and account-keeping helps with the technical aspects of the business. 
  • We support each other in whatever we need to do in life. My husband believed in my business idea and now he is a director. 

Thinking of tying the small business knot with your partner?

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