All In The Family
Do you want to know a secret? I am really into working with my family. Like I really love it. This way of life does not come without its fair share of woes and trials, but the other night we were sharing a meal with dear friends and I found myself blushing when Jon and I admitted to spending a lot of time on the phone throughout the day. I am considering publishing a copy of our phone bill to show just how ridiculous we are.
"I don't even think much of it, I just call you when I'm driving" - Jon Shiplett
"I hope I'm not an annoying wife just calling you to update you on hardware for a client, our children's meltdowns, what's for dinner update, and then the occasional I just need a friend phone call" - Hanna Shiplett
We both laughed and agreed, we really wouldn't want it any other way.
A lot of folks will ask - "What's it like working with your spouse?" and we always laugh and then reply, its the best and the worst all wrapped up in our typical 12-14 hour days.
It didn't start out roses and sunshine with our work lives. Our married life, sure, that has always been all kinds of good and normal, but work, we kept that separate.
It was a long road of learning to build trust. The kind of trust as a designer that Jon could take good care of my client's and not change my ideas because they didn't fit the mold. Jon had to learn to trust me in with schedules, and anticipating our client's needs that might have looked different than how he managed things in his business sans me.
The hardest thing by far about working together now is learning how to separate work and life. Our weeks, weekends, and holidays blend together with a juggling of three active children, church life, and work. We sometimes struggle with shutting down the work talk on dates and on Sundays when we are resting. That same thorn is what brings a wholeness to our days. It's a delight to come together at night and pull for each other in the struggles of the day, and to be able to share every celebration as one that belongs to our whole family. We don't have to explain who Jake from H.R. is or the funny thing he did that day because 1) were small enough we don't have anyone in H.R. and 2) We've already done the day together so we're all caught up.
This family business has allowed us to spend more time together. The kids and I make games out of visits to the tile showrooms, and you can build a lot of cool towers from construction samples while waiting on client meetings. We have a tent and games for our kids and our client's kids when they come to the showrooms for meetings and we make them welcome because they are.
A true struggle is remembering we are on the same team. When things get stressful it's easy to play the blame game, but we combat that by knowing we both really love each other and the work we do, and if we can paddle in the same direction, things go more smoothly.
Jon and I have learned to make fun of life in order to make life fun. We truly love serving families. We get a charge to see their lives change by our contributions to their homes and work places, and doing that in house with the family is sweet as can be.
Are you considering working with your spouse? It might not be right for everyone, but we give it a five out of five stars because no one has your back like your chosen family and I don't want to hang out with anyone else. (No offense entire rest of the world) as much as I do with Jonny Ship.
*Side note since this picture has been taken we are both taking a hiatus from caffeine. Going off of caffeine is a lot like having the hangers (angry when you get hungry) Our marriage has sustained a lot of trials but going off of caffeine...well I don't mean to brag but so far so good.