The husband and wife partners of Robinson Financial Group, Crafty Bastards Restaurant and Liquid Creative use their opposite strengths, abide by their boundaries and remember each other’s love languages to establish and nurture a healthy work environment for themselves and their teams.
Marcus and Nyimah Robinson opened their full-service financial firm, Robinson Financial Group, in 2018. Marcus worked with Voya Financial for 11 years but was ready to leave the corporate world and start his own business. Nyimah, however, loved working in corporate sales at Lancome, a luxury cosmetics company, but always had the desire to be an entrepreneur. She left to join forces with her husband.
Together, they opened Robinson Financial Group to help people build, balance and preserve their wealth. Nymiah focuses on the operations and business development side of the company and Marcus works as a financial adviser.
Although being business partners and married has its pros, it’s not always easy. To prevent and resolve conflicts, they focus on being constructive in their criticism, following boundaries to not talk about work after a specific time, devoting quality time for Marcus to not be her business partner, but to be her husband and the father of their child and making decisions based on what’s best for the business.
“At the end of the day, everybody wants their business to grow and so if you put it, like Betty said, what’s the best for the business, the business always leads, so your feelings just have to be put to the side,” Nymiah said.
Pat and Betty Brunson, the owners of Crafty Bastards Restaurant, left their leadership positions at Publix to open their own restaurant in 2015. With Pat’s passion for cooking and desire to be an entrepreneur, he and his wife leaped and started Crafty Bastards. Betty works the front of the house, and Pat works the back of the house.
When they don’t see eye-to-eye on decision-making within the business, they follow their rule of never saying no before listing the pros and cons of every situation and analyzing what’s best for the business. They both focus on respecting each other and their employees.
“In the end of all of the discussions, you have to respect your spouse. And even if you never come to a decision on something, the respect just keeps the marriage together,” Pat said.
Scott and April Schroeder, the owners of the full-service marketing agency, Liquid Creative, have been serving the people of Gainesville for 13 years. While April was an advertising student at the University of Florida, she knew she wanted to start her own company. In 2007, Liquid Creative was founded.
After Scott was laid off during the recession in 2009, he decided to team up with his wife and to take the company to the next level. April focuses on the development side of the business and Scott focuses on operation management.
To create a thriving work environment for themselves and their team, they turn their differences into strengths. Scott is more risk-tolerant, but April isn’t. Together, they find a balance and always let the smarter decision win.
“Staying in our own lanes is how we kind of make it work for each other, I know what hats I wear and he knows what hats he wears, and I think that’s what makes it kind of work in our marriage and in our partnership as business owners,” April said.
Over the years, they’ve realized the importance of spending quality time as husband and wife with their kids and saving work conversations for another time. Even through the hardships, they are thankful for the time they have to spend together at work and at home.
“When you look at working together with your spouse, you always have each other’s back at the end of the day,” Scott said. Listen to the 110th episode of WHOA GNV podcast to hear more about how these three couples went from spouses to business partners.