“How can you two work together?”
“I could never work with my spouse. How do you do it?”
It’s not a secret. My business partner is my husband, Russell. Without him, I could never have started MAJAMAS EARTH – I can’t imagine a better partner to have in business.
I don’t claim to be an expert on marriage and I certainly don’t claim to have a better marriage than anyone else in the world, but I do feel we’ve managed to work and stay together because of some basic rules:
1. We both have a great sense of humor. Well I do, anyway… There is no way we could muscle through a typical work day without it. Life is too short not to crack each other up.
2. We really knew each other before we got married. This sounds so simple but it’s truly important. Knowing a person’s likes, dislikes, passions and habits can really determine if you are meant for each other. Russell has figured out, chocolate makes me happy, even on the roughest days.
3. We met working out and we respect the need for each other to continue working out. Exercise makes us both happy and without it, well, uh, there goes that sense of humor.
4. We split everything down the middle. This isn’t always a conscious effort but we truly share the house work, grocery shopping, kid duties and more. We make a great tag team and we’re always willing to help each other. Unless of course it’s something like killing a bug or unloading two skids of production. These are totally Russell tasks.
5. We have a rule not to discuss work at home and more importantly, we don’t discuss home at work. Um, ok so we don’t always stick to this. Just ask my kids and my employees…
6. We don’t consider our marriage work. We aren’t sticklers about presents and flowers. I mean, getting some once in a while would be great but we don’t make a big deal of this stuff….again, that sense of humor plays well here.
7. We don’t expect the other person to be perfect. Life isn’t perfect and we all know there’s no such thing as a perfect marriage so this pretty much takes the pressure off. We remember this when one of us screws up, like shipping 5,000 yards of fabric to the wrong city. Um… that’s where that sense of humor comes back into play.
We were married on 2/29/92 because Russell is a numbers guy and it felt mathematically correct to him to be married on Leap Day. Or maybe the draw was having one anniversary every four years… did I mention that sense of humor??
My dad opened his speech at our wedding holding a foot-long margarita and saying, “Mi casa, Su casa!” I think the literal translation is “My house is your house” – when you come to MAJAMAS EARTH with Russell and me both in the office, you may feel as if you have entered our home. This could be a good or bad thing but I’d like to think you’ll feel like part of the family.
Oh, and that reminds me of another important rule. Always keep a cold pitcher of margaritas at the ready. Nothing better to help resolve those tough issues we faced at the office. Or should I say, “The Casa”?
Happy Valentine’s Day!
– Germaine Caprio, MAJAMAS EARTH Company Owner & Designer