Life partners to business partners

March 23, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
There's a growing trend among married couples these days. After becoming life partners, they also become business partners. Eyewitness News reporter Lauren Glassberg has more on going into business with your spouse.

It's happening, in part, because, on average, men and women are getting married older, in their late 20s and early 30s. So they already bring a skill set and work experience to the marriage, and sometimes, they merge those talents to create a business together.

"In truth, I've always wanted to work with Allison," Craig Schlanger said. "I've seen her work her entire career, and I've always been impressed."

And a year ago, Schlanger and his wife, Allison, went into business together. They joined forces with another couple, Alison and Bobby Berna, to create Appleseeds. It's an indoor space filled with classrooms, a playground and lots of little kids. It has quickly become a success.

"At the core, we all have the same work ethic and morals and principles," Allison Schlanger said. "And I think that's really what's important."

And that's a good start when it comes to launching a business with your mate. David Liu and his wife, Carley Roney, started The Knot and The Nest, two successful ventures that have grown out of a strong marriage.

"From the moment David and I spoke to each other, we were always like, 'We should work on a project, we should do soemthing,'" Roney said. "So I think it's always been in the DNA of our relationship to work together."

And of the 1,500 newlyweds polled on their Web site, 85 percent said they'd go into business with their spouse.

But before you and your mate become "couple-preneurs," take note.

"It's hard enough keeping a marriage successful, running a business simultaneously is additional effort," Liu said.

To make things the transition easier, make sure you have some financial security before venturing into business, in case it fails. Clearly define the division of labor, and keep it all in perspective.

"If you can start a family and hold it together through thick and thin with twin toddlers, I think you can manage the ups down downs of a business," Alison Qualter Berna said.

It is something these couples have been able to do.

"I think it's been a great experience for both of us, for all four of us, really," Bobby Berna said.

And some other tips from couples in business, always put your relationship first and set boundaries. Don't let work become your life. Remember to play together as well.

For more information on Appleseeds, click here

For more information on The Knot, click here.

For more information on The Nest, click here.