Business/Partners: Michelle and Hunter Hoffmann
So you guys are always together — you sleep together and work together?
Husband: We certainly don’t sleep and work together at the same time — we’d never accomplish a thing! Seriously though, we’ve been together for over 10 years, and if you asked us at any point during those years if we would own a fresh baby food company there is no way we would have believed it. The business soft launched earlier this year so the personal aspect of our relationship is more familiar than the other.
So the biz part is harder these days?
Wife: The business requires much more tending. But we make a point to not get lost in the details of the business. I may spend most of my time in a kitchen pureeing fruits and vegetables but just like any NYC girl I like to get gussied up for date nights with my guy.
I can just picture you guys going into a great bar and finding a sweet potato smudge on your arm! Does being together help or hurt working together?
Husband: They’re both great, but we don’t really have any disagreements in the bedroom and I can’t say the same for the business. You’d be surprised how many arguments are generated by fresh baby food!
I mean, I guess you can argue about anything! Has that damaged the lovey stuff?
Wife: It’s a trip — for us there was a gradual shifting in the balance of responsibilities in our home, with our child etc. In an instant, you switch from who’s changing the baby or walking the dog to logo decisions or our next promotion. But, being together and talking to clients about our vision is one of the most satisfying and fun things I’ve ever done.
But fighting about smashing bananas doesn’t sound fun! What’s the worst brawl you guys have gotten into?
Husband: We had quite a “discussion” about the logo, and this went on for some time. Eventually we were able to get a logo developed that we both liked and I think the way we solved it was by removing the issue in dispute so neither of us felt like our opinions were being ignored. Plus, when we come to an agreement the matter is closed and we reward ourselves with non-business time together — martinis anyone?
Cheers to that! Aside from becoming an alcoholic, what advice would you give other duos looking to get into business together?
Wife: Don’t listen to the haters! There will always be someone who is rudely unsupportive — like you asked for their opinion or something. And it’s really incredible how disparaging they can be. Most importantly, listen to each other! I mean who knows you better that the person you sleep with? I must admit, however that at first this was one of my major shortcomings (and the source of many a spat) as a business partner to my husband. The vision was mine and I certainly have strong opinions and ideas but my husband brings a completely different skill set to the business and I had to let my guard down a bit and tell myself that I don’t always have to be right. And that my husband is a professional and gets paid a lot of money to provide his skills. Now that I’ve come to this realization, I’ve actually learned quite a bit from him and it’s made me respect him in a whole new way — and honestly, it makes him even sexier.