14 1/2 years ago Fazoli’s was our place to meet for dinner. Calzone & pepperoni pizza. Craig’s hair was solid black. My face didn’t have as many stress lines as it does now. We were engaged and wanted to pay for (most of) the wedding ourselves. We flipped a 2 bedroom house in (the modest section of) Nichols Hills right around the corner from Fazoli’s. I had romantic HGTV expectations of DIY couple-demo tile, painting together and picking out light fixtures on date nights together.
It was horrible. That flip ended up being the best relationship test but in a way we never expected.
After one evening of dusty, dirty & loud demo + plumbing issues I realized that DIY construction was NOT fun after all. Craig ended up being way pickier than I was about light fixtures and paint colors. I told him to just let me know when the remodel was done and that I’d come back for pizza later that evening. Once the remodel was finished I designed a sign & fliers, held open houses and eventually sold the home to a sweet young couple. We earned the money we needed for the wedding but the reward was not the closing check at all. I learned that DIY renovation wasn’t as fun as Hollywood says it is (for us) and we learned that our individual strengths were individual. We didn’t both need to be plumbers or wear safety glasses. We each had to stay in our own lanes and know when to step back in order to work together. Although we trip over that lesson all the time it has brought us to where we are today at OklaHome.
Running a business with your spouse is for sure not for everybody. Like any relationship it’s ridiculously hard but rewarding too. For two first-born stubborn “bosses” (now with an only child who’s bossier than either of us) we can butt heads for sure. Lines get blurred when employees can tell when we’ve had a fight the night before no matter how hard we try to mask it. There are work-life balance, submission and respect issues that other couples don’t have. A different language we have to speak. But for two workaholic spouses it means we still get to see each other a lot even when most days he’s going left & I’m going right. We have shared stories about the same people and the same dreams to grow. Sometimes it seems like we’re horrible communicators but I also think that’s because we have to communicate about so many things. My grandparents ran a plumbing company together and from the lessons we learned at that little house by Fazoli’s I realized that working together but separately was my dream too. Plus I got to keep my manicure safe from demo damage.