A friend asked me a question recently, she said ‘what is it like to work with your husband Steve?’ I giggled and replied with a small smirk ..’I do as I’m told’ ….she replied with raised eyes and a smiled ‘really’ knowing me as she does not quite believe my reply.
After taking redundancy from Waitrose in 2016 Steve said to me one day, ‘Kay don’t you think it’s time that you worked with me in the Business’. We had talked about it before and now seemed like the perfect time. We already got on well at home so, why not put our personalities together and see what we could achieve as a couple. After 21 years together, married for 14, if we didn’t like each other enough by now then I think we would be one of the most miserable couples in the world.
When you work with your husband it’s not about balancing your personal and professional lives it’s about maintaining a mix of both. Living and working together has allowed me to now understand and empathise with Steve’s daily frustrations. If it’s a particularly difficult day, we take a 10 minute time out and talk about something funny that our two sons James and Oliver have done or, what we are cooking for dinner that night. For me, it’s about knowing when and where to bring something up and when you’ve been together long enough it comes pretty naturally.
Before you finish reading this I don’t want you thinking that Steve and I don’t argue because believe me we have our moments. We are both very headstrong and stubborn so we do have conflict, argue and have different opinions. I do however, find that we resolve disagreements a lot quicker than we used to. To be fair we have a small team in the showroom with us from day to day, so it would prove unprofessional if we were seen throttling each other in the storeroom.
Honestly, working together these past few years has been a great experience, not only am I learning about life in the world of bathrooms but, how to act as a business owner. How lucky I am to have my ‘work husband’ and ‘real-life husband’ be the same person. For me, it has added a level of appreciation for Steve whereas previously I would have got very frustrated.
I have been asked if I would encourage couples to build a Business together. My answer is that it wouldn’t work for everyone, no one knows your relationship like you do, really only you can decide what’s best. I entered into our Business much later on and Steve was the one who started Options and has made it what it is today. I now can help it grow. If you choose to then ‘go for it’ you will find out a lot about your partner and it may make you appreciate them a whole lot more. Finally, good luck to anyone out there who does decide to work with their partner.