Many say that starting a business with your spouse is a bad idea, but Winnie Chan of Bynd Artisan says otherwise. Here’s what she learned from going into business with her husband James Quan.
Three years ago, I established Bynd Artisan with my husband James. Since then, I’ve never looked back
What is it like to have a business with spouse?
In today’s society, many think that couples shouldn’t be working together in the same space as disagreements are bound to arise in the workplace, which may lead to unnecessary arguments, eventually causing the relationship to turn sour. But I beg to differ.
A harmonious partnership
James and I work very closely, be it in the office or at home, and we have established a great working relationship that is built upon trust, mutual respect, and offsetting each other’s strengths and weaknesses. James and I love bouncing ideas off each other on a day-to-day basis. After all, Bynd Artisan is a brand that we painstakingly built together from scratch.
Whenever an idea comes to our mind, we will each voice out our opinions and weigh the pros and cons to see if the idea is feasible or not. When we have disagreements, we will spend some time to persuade each other and have a good think through each other’s valid points before convening to re-evaluate the various possibilities available.
This is something that was built over 20 years of marriage. I am more than grateful to have James by my side as my confidant, partner-in-crime, and most of all, my pillar of support throughout this journey.
Keep work and home life separate
Having worked side by side with my spouse over the past 3 years has taught me that it is all about striking balance and ensuring that work and personal matters stay separate. It is unhealthy to bring work disputes home as what happens in the office is a completely different episode than that of home.
To avoid such situations from occurring, James and I often make sure that all work-related matters are solved in the office before heading home. Doing so not only allows us to come up with solutions to solve problems together but also allow for time for self-reflection during our alone time.
Know each other’s strengths and weaknesses
If there is anything that I have learnt upon entering a business with my better half, it is to ensure that you know yourself and your spouse well enough to leverage on each other’s strengths and weaknesses as in doing so, you gain the strongest pillar of support who best understands you and your working style.
Partners in life and business
As we are both in the same boat, James and I never had to worry about not understanding each other’s work situations, which include getting off work late, back-to-back meetings and events, and business trips. If anything, we are able to empathise each other and support each other emotionally and mentally during such moments. And when we get stressed, it is comforting to know that we have each other to rely on.
Starting a business together with your spouse differs from one person to another but it isn’t necessarily what society perceives it to be. As long as both you and your spouse respect each other and remain open-minded to constructive feedback, working together as a team can open doors to endless possibilities. After all, two is always better than one.