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When Your Professional & Personal Lives Blend - Andre & Danielle #couplespotlight

Q: How did you both meet and what inspired you to start working together professionally? 

We met in high school when we were 16 and had the same lunch period. We discovered that we were both of West Indian descent and Seventh-Day Adventist, which developed into a friendship that lasted 10 years before we started dating at twenty-six. We got married six months later. In 2009, we were both finishing our business degrees and deciding on our careers. Danielle's father was retiring from the Diamond District in New York to Atlanta, where the family lived, and we joined the new evolution of the family business. The opportunity found both of us at the right time. 

Q: What are the advantages of working with your partner, and what are the challenges? 

A major advantage is the time spent together. Although we've been married for 14 years, we have the time spent of couples who are 30 years into it. Most couples only see each other in the morning, evening, and on the weekends, whereas we see each other all day, every day. Our breaks are the drive to and from work, carpooling, and the gym. There’s no such thing as workplace harassment between us. Andre loves to tell people that his wife is in HR, so she can't report him to herself. The challenge is that if you don’t want to address something, there is no way to avoid each other. Not addressing issues is a waste of time, so it's important to always address the issue.  

Q: Can you share a memorable moment from working together that strengthened your relationship? 

One year into our marriage and working together, Andre quit and walked out of the office. Our cousin, who was a business partner, called Andre while he was playing basketball and told him that his lunch break was over, and it was time to come back to work. When you get past extreme situations where the worst thing that can happen occurs, a lot of things start to feel easy. We see obstacles as temporary.

Q: Has your routine changed at all since you started doing that thing? 

When it was just the two of us, we were always at it. There were times when it was almost daily. Now that we have kids and life is always full, we find time when we can. We make sure it’s good and everyone is happy. Andre will ask if I’m his wife or girlfriend today. Girlfriend treatment is always welcome. 

Q: Have there been any major disagreements or conflicts related to work, and how did you resolve them? 

Major disagreements are inevitable. Resolving them involves discussion and backing up your points. There are times when it takes days to reach a resolution. Having mentors in business and life will help with this. I made some adjustments to the text to improve its readability and clarity. I hope this helps! Let me know if you need any further assistance.

Q: What are the key factors that contribute to your successful professional partnership? 

The keys to our professional partnership's success include a shared belief that this is not a competition. When one of us wins, the family wins. We operate under the assumption that our intentions are always geared toward each other’s personal and professional growth. We are each other’s biggest fans and champions, and we recognize the greatness in one another. 

Q: What advice would you give to other couples considering working together professionally?

Be each other's biggest and loudest champion, ensuring that you are both aligned with the vision of where you are headed professionally. It's crucial to have a mutual understanding of the long-term and short-term goals you are working toward.

images by kenneth bradley & Sophia Barret 



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