Loving Business Partners

Becoming an entrepreneur brings with it a unique set of challenges – from learning the ropes to copious amounts of paperwork – but the rewards often outweigh the risks involved, especially if the journey is travelled with your spouse at your side.

So is the case for several successful business owners within Camana Bay, like the friendly faces of Jessie and Lachie Hewitt at Jessie’s Juice Bar; Tarasa and Matthew Barnett at CrossFit Cayman; Andre and Inna Kazakova at Cayman Music School and The Music Box; Patrick Maloir and Nicola de Lima Maloir at Lola and the Cayman Fashion Group retail stores; Deana and Gary Bernard at VisionWear Cayman; and Paul and Darlene Thompson at Personnel 2000.

Two other Camana Bay business couples, Marcella and Stefano Franceschi, who own and operate Gelato & Co, and Catherine and Ian Dawson-James, the owners of Sand Angels, Activ Angels and Little Angels, shared their experiences of what it’s like to run a business with their partner.

Taking the Leap Together

Having worked in the gelato and pastry business for 20 years, opening an Italian creamery in the Cayman Islands was an easy decision for Stefano and Marcella.

“We were both extremely convinced to start it together, and so we did,” said Marcella.

While Marcella focuses on the marketing and managing of supplier relationships, Stefano is at the helm of the ice cream making itself. He is the brainchild behind all 26 flavours at Gelato & Co.

It was an equally smooth transition for Catherine, who had worked in the retail industry for years. Her husband, however, was a successful real estate agent before he made the switch to entrepreneurship and the two opened Sand Angels. Today, he runs the back office aspect of their business while Catherine focuses on the customer service.

Working Together Daily

Learning to balance the strengths and weaknesses of each partner is a vital component to a successful working relationship. Catherine and Ian use this as a framework in their day-to-day operations. And for Stefano and Marcella, it’s the shared passion and respect for each other’s roles that keep their professional relationship thriving every day.

“We trust each other,” Marcella said.

Having your partner at your side during the tough times means you’re never going at it alone. Both couples admit that one of the biggest challenges they face is finding the time for their private life and balancing work and home lives.

“As a small business owner, you have to be totally committed and dedicated,” said Catherine.

It’s no wonder then that both couples are planning a quiet evening this Valentine’s Day for some much-needed one-on-one time.

“Ian is a great cook,” said Catherine, who shared that Ian usually plans something nice for her, like a candle-lit dinner. Similarly, Marcella and Stefano are also looking forward to a nice dinner and bottle of wine at home.

Article first published in the Camana Bay Times
Images: Dart Real Estate

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