Whether you call them your Sweetheart, Bashert*, Beloved, Husband, Wife or Partner, it all comes down to this - how is it if you work together everyday. People often ask me what is it like working with my Husband? Many say to me "Oh I could never do that". I think even more people ask him that question. But the truth is we did not give it a lot of thought 30 years ago when we started Beames Designs! together. I had a passion for working in glass and Michael had a background in business. There was no Googling "how to work with your partner" and I don't even remember the term "entrepreneur" being bandied about. In retrospect, I can see that we organically developed systems that enabled us to be successful.
What we discovered along the way that made it work:
- Separate home and work - Most of the time our studio has been in our home and at one point (when we got our first big order) there was glass in every room of the house practically. That lead to building an addition on to the studio so that we could maintain separate spaces for living and working. More importantly is time. Once dinner time comes it is time for a cocktail and feet up. We try to take at least one weekend day to be together not working, whether it is brunch, a movie or taking a hike. And although there have been times when there is "pillow talk" of work, we try to leave the work discussions for the next day.
- Always be respectful of one another - This goes for every relationship whether it is in marriage or business. You might debate how to do something, just know that at the end of the day it is often how you say something that matters more than what is said. And that leads to the next point...
- Support one another – ALWAYS
- Find ways to maintain your individuality - For me it is taking time to have lunch with a friend or taking my weekly dance classes. For Michael it is rowing, running and reading. Plus we both volunteer with different organizations.
- Maintain separate working spaces - Not only do we each hang whatever artwork we want or keep it messy or neat, but we each like our own music.
- Have different responsibilities - Our work is clearly defined and divided so there is no stepping on each other's toes.
- The relationship comes first
- Enjoy the journey!
It has been an awesome ride so far and we are not done yet. Really, I could not imagine being in business with anyone but my Sweetheart!
*Want to read more about what Bashert means? Please go to https://beames.com/blogs/news/bashert-meant-to-be