Business/Partners: Duane and Isabel Draughon
PaverStone Design Group
So, you sleep together and work together?
Wife: (laughing)…We do both and sometimes while at work.
Husband: Mid-day events can be a norm around here. When the staff is all gone and we have an open window, we will play. We even found that the chairs can be lowered to the right position. The work and play never stops, we pick each other all day about everything. Even if I lose a sale she will tease me while we are in bed or if we had to get in somebody’s ass we will have bed-talk about that, too.
Which aspect of the relationship takes more of a, well, beating these days?
Wife: I think it’s harder to turn it off and take week-long vacations. It was really hard during the downturn in the economy until we figured it out. We had said to each other that we were going to be the last company standing. Now things are turning around for the better. We did learn a valuable lesson in the recession: it’s called budget and time. We learned that everything that is done has a time frame and we have to beat the time issue. We also learned that we have to have weekly meetings every single week to game plan the next week to the next month.
Can you keep a straight face during said weekly meetings?
Wife: We get to spend a lot of time talking about almost everything — and I mean everything — from women, men, sex, fantasies, etc. The topic can get really juicy. We both have these made up girlfriends and boyfriends that we tease each other about.
Whoa — whatever floats your boat! What about, like, real money talk? Do you have time for that in the midst of your fantasy talk?
Husband: Yes — it gets really hard when we are chasing money, because nobody in the house has a stable income; it’s all on the line everyday. The first instinct is to blame each other. But we have learned how to get through those issues after seven years together in business. We also had to learn how to compliment each other for a job well done.
Wait, let’s go back to the money part. Are you guys duking it out everyday?
Wife: The worst fight was about money. We came up short one year during the recession because sales were low and that spun into a major war in the office. It lasted about two days with loud arguments, throwing paperwork, and damn near a divorce. We learned to resolve the fights with emails to each other. We found that an email or a text can get the point across without the insults and the rude interruptions.
Great advice: email your boo even in the same room if you guys are in business together. What additional advice would you give other duos looking to get into business together?
Husband: Get ready to have your whole life and relationship tested. If your relationship is not stable and you don’t really talk or trust each other, the business and the marriage will fail. You have to have the same fighting spirit. We always tease each other because our marriage was business-based and not love. We learned to love each other from business. We have been business partners from the beginning. Learn to take vacations and dates. When we get loose we party hard, too. We will shut down the bar if we have to.
What are you guys doing Friday night? I’m kidding…but, seriously…