Written by Jessy Howe
The thought of being in business with your spouse is enough to scare some away, but for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Multi-Unit Franchisee Jonathan Crain and his wife, Karen, the support and understanding from the experience far outweighs any negatives.
Karen and Jonathan met through mutual friends and quickly became inseparable. Karen sold the salon she owned and began working alongside Jonathan as the marketing manager at the Lakeland, Fla., location in 2010. Fast forward to 2016, and the happy couple is now experiencing great business growth. Between the Kissimmee and Lakeland franchises, they completed more than 3,500 moves in 2015 bringing in nearly $2.8 million in revenue. To top that off, they are expecting their first child!
Q: How did the two of you meet?
Jonathan: Karen managed a high-end salon and spa in Winter Springs, Fla., while I was in college at the University of Central Florida. Two of my female roommates worked for Karen at the spa. Unknowingly, Karen and I had both expressed interest in the other to friends. I said flippantly when I first met Karen, “I’m going to marry that girl one day.” Everyone laughed and said she was way out of my league. We had dated other people for a few years and happened to both get out of relationships at the same time. The timing was right and we began dating. We immediately fell head over heels in love and spent every moment of the next several years together.
Q: How long have you been married?
Jonathan: Karen was very patient while I opened the Lakeland franchise and pushed marriage down the road. She eventually sold the salon she owned in 2010 and began to work in the office with me. I proposed in 2011 after we had lived together for six years. We were married in November of 2013, and are now expecting our first child in June of this year, a little girl.
Q: Although no day is the same, describe a typical day at each of your jobs.
Jonathan: Our days are very different. We don’t always work the same schedule. Sometimes we ride into work together and sometimes we don’t. Our offices are on opposite sides of the building, so we don’t see each other much unless we need something. I take meetings and solve problems all day. Karen handles receivables and payables and QuickBooks. Karen also helps manage the customer service representatives.
Karen: When I first started working with Jonathan my desk was in his office. That lasted about three months and eventually I needed my own space.
Q: How do you balance your work life and personal life?
Karen and Jonathan: “Work hard, play hard” was our motto for many years. With a baby on the way, the motto is now “work hard, relax hard.”
Q: What is the best part of having your significant other at work?
Karen: The best part about working with Jonathan is I can come to him with any issue, and he always has the best solutions.
Jonathan: The best part of having Karen at work is she helps keep me calm when major problems are happening. It’s kind of nice to go home after a bad day and for your spouse to completely understand what you’ve been through. Not many spouses REALLY understand what their spouse goes through on a daily basis.
Q: What advice would you share to others about being in business with their spouses?
Jonathan: BE RESPECTFUL! That’s probably the best advice for marriage and working together.
Karen: Treat each other with respect, especially at work and in front of co-workers. If you have a disagreement about something, work it out privately. Also, try to have fun and lift the other person up if they are having a bad day. There are many times throughout the day that we take a break and just joke around together. I think it relieves a lot of stress.
Q: Are there any special plans for Valentine’s Day?
Karen and Jonathan: Valentine’s Day for us usually involves really great food. We either make plans for a great restaurant or stay in and make a gourmet meal together.
With a foundation as strong as this, Karen and Jonathan embody what it means to be the “Movers Who Care®” and are an excellent example successfully being in business with the one you love.
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us move your career forward. Consider investing in us and becoming a franchisee today! Visit franchise.twomenandatruck.com to learn more about franchising opportunities.