Building a small business is demanding, but running a business with a romantic partner can be a unique challenge. How do you make sure both your relationship and your business are thriving?
For these Clover merchants, being a couple working together often means sharing a common vision for the business and playing to each partner’s strengths. Here are a couple of tips for building a business with a loved one from real-life Clover couples who work together.
Brandy Tipper and her husband found themselves in a difficult situation when the Covid-19 pandemic struck in early 2020. Their 17-year-old son was finishing up his first year at carpentry school when everything was shut down. His classes were cut short and many of the opportunities he was looking forward to after getting his diploma were no longer available. The renovations company they had owned for the last decade was also no longer viable. “So we asked, what can we do to support [our son] and still make money?”
The Tippers decided to combine their skills and start a small business making and refurbishing furniture. After early success, they began to look for a building to run the new business out of. Then, when a large warehouse became available, Brandy felt inspiration strike: “It was obviously too big for our needs, but it got my brain going and I couldn’t shake the thought of having a multi-vendor marketplace,” Brandy explains. “I knew that there were other people out there during Covid who probably were in the same situation [as us]. They didn’t have a place to sell their items, or they were starting a new business themselves—a lot of people got into crafty things, passions, and hobbies. So we knew that this was something we needed in our community.”
Joel Murga and Jaide Hatfield started Jaide & Joel’s Baking Company together when Joel’s sister stepped down from the bakery she was running. Joel’s first attempt at baking gluten-free treats didn’t cut it, and Jaide told him so. “She tried them and said they weren’t very good,” Joel says. “Jaide told me, ‘If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right. And we’re going to do vegan and gluten-free.’”
Today, the couple shares that clear vision for the business—and supports one another through the trials of small business ownership. “No one’s going to believe in you and your business like you do.” says Jaide. “Everyone isn’t going to see what you see or value what you value. Keep believing in yourself and keep working hard.” says Joel.
Brandy Tipper and her husband, of The Hidden Gem in Alberta, see themselves as not just building a business, but serving their community. The Hidden Gem opened in 2021, and currently supports over 90 local vendors in the Calgary area. The vendors offer everything from crafts and furniture to jewelry and skincare.
“We do everything we can [to support the vendors],” Brandy says. “This has become a really big passion of ours–to support them–and try to help them grow. We have two rooms where we are able to offer workshop classes and we allow our vendors to use those spaces for free. We encourage them to use the space for taking product photos, shooting videos, and meetings of their own.” She continues: “Now, we’re starting to put together classes that we can offer our vendors like social media classes, product photo classes, even making mailing lists–anything that’s going to help them boost their business. These are things not everybody has knowledge about, but that might be able to help these small businesses grow.”
Being a couple at work can be challenging, but these co-founders are making it work by playing to their strengths, pushing each other to be their best, and always keeping sight of what really matters.
Read more about Clover merchants and what inspires them in our Meet the Merchant series.
If you want to learn more about how Clover can help you accept payments, run your business and sell more, please contact your Clover Business Consultant.
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